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Land of the rising…er, bun

Feature

Land of the rising…er, bun

Out with the puns, and in with the pan. KS presents a bite-sized guide to the weird and wonderful breads of Japan.

Filled with red bean paste…

anpan• An pan: Arguably Japan’s most iconic baked creation. A sweet roll with even sweeter red bean paste filling.
• Price: Around ¥100
• Yum factor: A soft treat that’s easy to eat. Goes well with green tea.
• Kid-friendly: Fairly, but the cartoon character this pan inspired – Anpanman – might be more popular than the bread itself.

Sweet creamy goodness

cream pan• Cream pan: Custard cream-filled bread that comes in all shapes and sizes.
• Price: Around ¥100
• Yum factor: Good, gooey comfort food.
• Kid-friendly: Very. A popular holiday snack.

No melons here

melon pan• Melon pan: Vaguely resembles a melon, but tastes nothing like one. A sweet roll with a soft cookie-like crust.
• Price: Around ¥100
• Yum factor: Nice, but perhaps best left to its young fans.
• Kid-friendly: Extremely! Munched by children countrywide.

Mugwhat?

yomugi pan• Yomogi pan: A (usually) savoury roll that contains and is coloured by Japanese mugwort. Good with veggie soup. Sweet anpan versions can sometimes be found.
• Price: Around ¥100
• Yum factor: Decent, but depends on your tastes.
• Kid-friendly: Not very. Tends to be favoured by healthconscious hippy types, and the elderly.

Green tea tastic

mattcha pan• Matcha pan: Bread that packs a powdered green tea punch. Usually sweet. Often contains sweet red beans. This one featured chestnuts too.
• Price: ¥150–¥400
• Yum factor: Delicious, especially if you are a fan of traditional Japanese sweets.
• Kid-friendly: Not so much. They might eat it. They might also bounce off the walls. More of an “adult ladies” thing.

Kawaii ne

waon pan• Cutesy pan: Turtles, pandas, cats and more – Japan knows how to do cute breadstuffs. The pan pictured is Waon bread – a baked version of supermarket giant Aeon’s cartoon dog.
• Price: Around ¥100
• Yum-factor: Simple, sweet and fun to eat.
• Kid-friendly: Extremely. Cute breads often have chocolate cream inside for extra temptation.

Is this for real?

yakisoba pan• Yakisoba pan: The famous fried soba noodle dish, on or in bread. A cheap, filling snack.
• Price: ¥100–¥150
• Yum-factor: Saucy, savoury, double carbs. What more could you want?
• Kid-friendly: Not hugely. Popular among teenage boys though.

Donut with masala filling

curry pan• Curry pan: A curry-filled bun that’s been deep-fried.
• Price: ¥150
• Yum-factor: Satisfying, high-calorie comfort food.
• Kid-friendly: Yes. This one seems to be loved by the whole family.

Osaka pizza!

okonomiyaki pan• Okonomiyaki pan: Osaka’s specialty on a bread roll. Well, the sauce, nori and fish flakes, anyway.
• Price: ¥100–¥150
• Yum-factor: Good, in a rich, greasy way.
• Kid-friendly: Indeed. Another family favourite.

Trick or treat?

pumkin pan• Pumpkin pan: A seasonal bread with exotic looks but often plain tastes. Shaped like and/or contains pumpkin.
• Price: ¥150 upwards
• Yum-factor: Nice and soft, but don’t expect too much. Depends on the bakery.
• Kid-friendly: Fairly. It’s part of the excitement of autumn.

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