Blog Entries

It's Foodie Friday! Mexican Pan Dulce, Japanese Melonpan & Hong Kong's Pineapple Bun

Friday, March 19, 2010
[Pictured above:  Pan Dulce Image (c)2009 Chelsie Kenyon licensed to]
Pan Dulce (also known as “Conchas” - meaning shells - referring to the shell-like pattern on top), a traditional and delightful Mexican sweetbread, has absolutely no preservatives and is a definite yummy for the tummy (especially with a cup of coffee)!  Visit any local panadería (bread shop) in Mexico (or in North America for that matter), and you'll be sure to get pan dulce.  In fact, Casa Pan Dulce Bakery is the largest bakery in San Pedro, Belize, where the residents are mostly of Mexican descent and speak both Spanish and English.  California resident and OBG Advocate Sherry Trujillo has this to say about this chewy Mexican delight:  "My daughter would often complain of missing [authentic] Mexican food while living in Texas. Her boyfriend brought her to many "Mexican" resturants in Texas trying to alleviate some of her homesickness. It didn't work. He is now visiting California for the first time, so I brought him to a panadería. He had never seen pandulce.  Now he understands what his girlfriend was missing from home!"
Not to be confused with Mexican pan dulce, melonpan - also known as melon bread - (pictured above) are sweet bakery products from Japan, but also popular in Taiwan and China. They are made from an enriched dough covered in a thin layer of crispy cookie dough. Their appearance resembles a melon although they are not traditionally melon flavored.  Melonpan is so popular in Japanese culture that (1) there are melonpan competitions; (2) a Japanese children's character - Anpanman - has a sidekick named Melonpanna who is a heroine with a melon bread bun for a head; (3) a Japanese game show has melon bread that accompanies the prize; and (4) a Japanese video game has a character called "Melon Bread."
A pineapple bun (pictured above) is a kind of sweet pastry popular in Hong Kong, Macau, some other areas in southern China, and in Chinese communities in North America. They can also be found in bakeries in Taiwan. It is known in Cantonese as bo lo baau, in which "bo lo" means "pineapple", and "baau" refers to a kind of bun-like item in Chinese cuisine. It is commonly found in Chinese bakeries, and is mentioned quite frequently on TV, radio and films in Hong Kong.
Melonpan and pineapple bun from Hong Kong are very similar. By comparison the Japanese style is lighter in weight and taste, slightly dryer and has a firmer outer layer (including top cookie crust) which resists to flaking unlike its Hong Kong counterpart which should be treated with care as the top cookie crust tends to flake easily. The Hong Kong version is also more moist and is generally soft on the outside and inside and has a stronger butter flavour.

[SOURCE: Wikipedia & see links]


Anonymous on: March 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM said...

Wow - I used to eat Melonpan when I lived in NY as a substitute for Pan Dulce. It took me a few months to find a panaderia in my area, but there were several Japanese bakeries. So delicious.

Anonymous on: March 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM said...

I'm new to sweetbreads and live in NYC. What would you recommend me trying as an introduction to this new treat?

Anonymous on: March 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM said...

Try the ones pictured, they are called conchas -shells, they are lightly sweetened with a topping which has a cookie type consistency. Pan is fairly inexpensive, so feel free to experiment and share. Buying a dozen is usually less expensive than a dozen doughnuts. Depending on where in NYC you live you may want to try Don Paco Lopez Panaderia they have locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Happy Snacking!

Talking with Tami on: March 27, 2010 at 7:38 PM said...

ooh those look soo yummy!


Looking For A Speaker to Chat With Your Youth Group About The World of Travel? Book Tracey today!

Looking For A Speaker to Chat With Your Youth Group About The World of Travel? Book Tracey today!
Please send inquiries to Complimentary passport photos for all of the kids in your group! Photo: Paris, France (2012)

The Danger of a Single Story

It's a Carnival!

Just finished reading...

Just finished reading...
5 Stars!


The Chit Chat is going down on Facebook!

The Chit Chat is going down on Facebook!
1700+ OBG Advocates!

Travel Enthusiasts Use Social Media...

On the OBG Bookshelf

Blog Archive

Fortune Enough to Travel?

The Sweetest Trip Around The World...

Copyright © 2010 • Tracey Friley's® - Culture. Diversity. Humanity. Travel. • All rights reserved