Photo: Ayano Irizuki
food

Melonpan has become a bite-sized chocolate

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By Ayano Irizuki

Some of our more dedicated grape Japan readers may be familiar with Japanese bread and baked goods such as アンパン anpan (sweet red bean paste bread), 食パン shokupan (Japanese milk bread typically used for sandwiches), and 焼きそばパン yakisobapan (stir-fried noodles bread).

However, you can't talk about Japanese baked goods without mentioning メロンパン melonpan, a favorite among tourists and very well known, even internationally. A sweet bread very similar to Mexican conchas or pineapple buns in Hong Kong, it's made from enriched dough and covered in a thin layer of crisp cookie dough.

Melonpan.jpg
Photo: Sakurai Midori / CC BY-SA 2.1 JP

The term メロン meron actually refers to both cantaloupe and honeydew in Japanese. As you can see in the image above, melonpan got its name because its top looks similar to the rugged skin of a cantaloupe.

Melonpan flavor Tirol chocolates

The chocolate company チロルチョコ株式会社 Tirol Choco Co Ltd is famous for making chocolate cubes that are low cost and available in a wide variety of flavors. They have many unconventional flavors like pistachio, caramel mochi, eel (!), choco mint mochi, orange juice, and croissant.

On May 16th, 2022, they released another unique flavor, Melonpan (「チロルチョコ」 in Japanese).

This chocolate was featured on Fuji TV's nationally broadcast morning news magazine program めざましテレビ Mezamashi TV on the day of its release, so it's clearly attracting a lot of attention all over Japan.

Of course, I had to give this chocolate a try.

Cute wrapping

1_melonpanchoko.jpg
Photo: Ayano Irizuki

Tirol Choco chocolates are also known for their cute wrapper designs in addition to their delicious taste. There are four versions of the wrapper. Each package contains the same melonpan flavor, but they are really cute.

I bought all four designs. The two designs on the left fit together like a puzzle. Many people on Twitter also did the same and were very amused by the way the two fit together.

Open!

2_melonpanchoko.jpg
Photo: Ayano Irizuki

It looks like this. Even the smell and color of the chocolate resemble an actual melonpan.

First, to enjoy the taste and texture properly, I ate the chocolate in one bite. The katakana サクサク sakusaku written on top of the flavor name メロンパン on the wrapper means "crunchy," so I had high expectations. I wasn't disappointed! Not only was the crunchiness amazing but the texture of the crust strongly resembled that of the baked cookie dough crust that tops a real melonpan.

The melonpan-flavored chocolate, the crunchiness of the filling, and the rough texture really invoke the image of an actual melonpan but how do they do it?

To get to the bottom of this, I cut the second one in half before eating it.

3_melonpanchoko.jpg
Photo: Ayano Irizuki

The complex flavor is realized through this structure! According to the press release, the filling is made of three elements: butter cookies, baked melonpan flavored chocolate, and 粗目 zarame coarse sugar.

The combination results in a perfect melonpan flavor.

But perhaps the most shocking aspect is the price: Including tax, these chocolates are only 32 yen each.

4_melonpanchoko.jpg
Photo: Ayano Irizuki

Tirol choco Melonpan flavor (「チロルチョコ」in Japanese) is now available nationwide. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy a bite-size melonpan chocolate.

Information

Official Tirol Choco website

Official Twitter account

Official Instagram account

Read more stories from grape Japan.

-- Pokémon food artist turns Grimer into a cute traditional Japanese sweet

-- Morinaga’s Milk Caramel: Japan’s most delicious caramels enjoyed since 1913

-- “Kawaii Sugar” from Japan will sweeten your life with cute animals

© grape Japan

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

1 Comment
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I wanna try melonpan chocolate! :D

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