All hail the melonpan

First, though, you must figure out what a melonpan is.


This is a melonpan.

This is your tongue on melonpan.

What is a melonpan? Wikipedia knows. Its cousin is the Chinese egg-custard filled "pineapple bun," two of which I devoured at Jade Garden's dim sum on Sunday.

I had never seen a melonpan until last week, when I was Christmas shopping at the University Book Store and stopped across the street to check out Saiko Bakery Cafe (4311 University Ave.), which Molly Lori had raved about on this blog. All I had was a couple of bucks, so I bought a melonpan: a soft, sweet, vanilla-rich bun covered in a crackly egg-sugar crust. Warm and fresh out of the oven. It never had time to cool down.

The melonpans above (the one on the left has walnuts) come from my second trip. They needed 5 minutes in a toaster oven to return to their just-baked perfection. But the wait was worth it (well, three melonpans had come from the store, and only two made it to the oven/photo shoot).

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