Famous sweet makes a surprise appearance at Starbucks.

It’s been 25 years since Starbucks landed in Taiwan, and the chain has been releasing some extra-special menu items to celebrate the occasion.

One of those items looks like something you’d expect to find in the sweets section, and moreover, it’s something that usually looks more at home in Japan. However, you won’t find it in either of those places, as it’s Starbucks Taiwan’s take on a pineapple bun, only it looks and tastes more like a Japanese Melon Pan, but with a surprising savoury filling.

▼ There it is on the top right, sitting alongside an array of savoury options in the sandwich section.

Though it’s officially called the BBQ Pork Pineapple Bun, melon pan fans in Taiwan, like our Taiwan-based reporter Yui Imai, have been dubbing it the Melon Pan Burger, as it’s lighter and crispier than a pineapple bun, making it more like a melon pan.

Yui decided to try it the other day, and she requested it be heated for maximum enjoyment. When she took it out of the bag, the warm bun made her grin from ear to ear — what she had in front of her looked absolutely mouthwatering, but unlike the sweet buns she’s used to, which tend to come whole, this one had been cut in two and filled…with a very curious filling.

Lifting the top bun, Yui discovered a mound of meat that looked like bacon. However, taking a look at the information about the burger online, she found it was actually thinly sliced pork thigh meat, combined with a Hong Kong-style thick sauce and melted cheese.

This promised to be a salty sweet combination, but Yui wasn’t sure how well Starbucks would nail the flavours. There was only one way to find out, though, so she lifted the bun to her mouth with both hands and tentatively took her first bite.

The cookie-like exterior crunched beneath her teeth like a good melon pan, and the sweetness of the bread danced on her tongue for a moment, as a sweet opening before the aroma and saltiness of the char siu shone through. The crispy surface of the bread and its fluffy interior had a gentle sweetness, which further enhanced the salty char siu, and when eaten with the thick, melty cheese piled up inside, this made for an addictive combination.

For melon pan aficionados, this may be a surprising mix of sweet bread and salty ingredients, but pineapple buns are actually a standard breakfast and brunch menu item in Taiwan. Regardless of whether you view it as a pineapple bun or melon pan, it’s a dish Yui would love to see more people enjoy, and priced at 110 yuan, (485 yen [US$3.69]), she’ll definitely be returning for more during its limited-time run in Taiwan!

Images © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]