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Despite its pronunciation in Japanese coming out unnervingly close to “shoe cream,” choux crème does not, in fact, refer to a product to keep your wingtips looking their shiniest. More commonly known in North America as cream puffs, choux crème are one of the many non-indigenous desserts popular in Japan.

In similarly confusing fashion, the popular chain Beard Papa sells neither razors, lawnmowers, easy chairs, nor any of the other trappings assorted with fatherhood and/or having facial hair. Beard Papa is instead Japan’s most prolific choux crème bakery, and for the next two months they’re bringing back their popular melon bread-inspired cream puffs.

Two things make Beard Papa stand out from its competitors. First is its instantly recognizable mascot.

▼ Come on, Santa, do you really have to watch me all the time? I’m eating here!

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Second is its ever-changing lineup of cream puffs, with new flavors being offered for a limited time almost monthly. Already this year we’ve seen honey lemon, green tea, and strawberry varieties.

One of the chain’s biggest hits last year was a special flavor inspired by Japanese pastry mainstay meron pan.

▼ Ordinary meron pan.

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As if Beard Papa hasn’t showered us with enough unintuitive terminology already, traditional meron pan is not cooked in a pan, it’s baked in an oven. The pan part is simply the Portuguese loanword which Japan uses for bread.

Wading even farther into the linguistic morass, the meron is actually the corrupted Japanese pronunciation of “melon,” due to the language lacking the consonant “l.” So meron pan is actually “melon bread.” OK, mystery solved, right?

Except that traditional melon bread usually doesn’t really taste like melon at all. Instead, its flavor comes from the generous amounts of butter it contains, plus the sugar sprinkled across its top. It tastes exactly as good as you’d expect baked butter and sugar to. The “melon” part in the name in fact refers to the shape of the bread, with the exterior often crisscrossed line the skin of a cantaloupe or rock melon.

Beard Papa’s melon bread cream puffs, dubbed meron pan shu, seek to combine the best of elements of both indulgences. Starting with an outer layer with a crispy top, the chain’s chefs then insert a generous helping of cream infused with a slight melon flavor.

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While most of Beard Papa’s limited time flavors go on sale for just a single month, the company received so many requests to bring back the melon bread flavor that it will be sold throughout October and November, for a price of 200 yen (US$2) each.

Unfortunately, not every Beard Papa branch is in on this sweet crossover action. The melon bread-flavored cream puffs won’t be available in the chain’s Tokyo stores in the Wing Shimbashi and nonowa Nishi Kokubunji shopping centers, as well as a handful of regional locations. Also, the Beard Papa branch attached to electronics retailer Yodobashi Camera in anime/video game mecca Akihabara will sadly not be selling the special flavor until the start of November, so plan accordingly if you’re headed there to pick up your new Attack on Titan Blu-rays.

Sources: Narinari, Beard Papa
Top image: Beard Papa
Insert images: Carview, Tabelog, Kimuraya