Just the thought of melon bread (or meronpan, as it’s called in Japanese), is enough to make my mouth water. It’s got to be the combination of that fluffy, sweet interior and the crispy, thin cookie dough outer coating…not to mention its heavenly aroma. Whenever I go to a new bakery in Japan, I always try out the melon bread first, and that inevitably sets the standard for me (by the way, plain old 7-11 melon bread is one of my favorites – who else agrees?!).

While it may seem contrary to fact, not all melon bread is actually made with melon flavoring. The name has more to do with the fact that its round shape and exterior grooves resemble a melon. However, we here at RocketNews24 have recently discovered an authentic, “ultimate melon bread” to beat all the rest! If you’re as big of a melon bread fan as us, keep on reading to find out where you can buy this little bun of happiness.

This mouth-watering, “ultimate melon bread” (no joke, it’s really called that) is made in a bakery called Kokado in Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Either Hokkaido or Kumamoto probably comes to mind when you think of melon bread, but Ibaraki Prefecture actually produces the most of it in the entire country. At Kokado, the bread dough is made with bits of sweet, ripe melon and melon juice, without a single extra drop of water added. There are even melon pieces in the cookie dough outer covering, which makes it moister than most other versions and leaves a pleasant aftertaste in your mouth. Your taste buds will definitely dance in delight upon indulging in such a luxurious treat!

▼ You will immediately be enveloped by a wonderful smell when you open the bag.


▼ You can clearly see the outer layer made from cookie dough batter


▼ A beautiful, circular shape



▼ The ultimate melon bread is a faint orange color, like a cantaloupe (unlike most melon breads, which tend to be pale yellow).


▼ A rich, custard cream filling is also inside.



For those of you who can’t quite make it to the Kokado bakery, you can also purchase the ultimate melon bread at the Kashima Soccer Stadium (in Ibaraki Prefecture) or at the Ibaraki Marche shop in Ginza, Tokyo (a store that specializes in products from Ibaraki). Mail order is another possibility for those of you who live a bit further south. Depending on where you buy it, the price ranges between 180-200 yen (US$1.76-$1.95).

▼ One bun sells for 200 yen at the Ibaraki Marche shop


▼ “Deliveries of melon bread on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays”


▼ The Ibaraki Marche shop in Ginza, Tokyo


So, what’s the bottom line? If you’ve never had melon bread made from real melons before, get yourself to either Ibaraki or Ginza as soon as possible! Just be sure not to overeat…

Original article by Meg Sawai
Sources: Kokado, Ibaraki Marche
Photos: RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]