Officially called Suika Pan (literally Japanese for “Watermelon Bread”), this unique baked good comes from Japanese bakery Bo-Lo’Gne, but can be ordered through department store group Daimaru Matsuzakaya’s online store.
The product ships in a cube-shaped box decorated with a watermelon rind pattern, which is actually a pretty good description of the bread itself.
Slice off a piece, and the vivid red inside reveals itself, along with bits of chocolate subbing for the seeds you’d find in an actual watermelon (Japan, in general, isn’t into seedless varieties).
The visual recreation is so thorough that it takes a while for your brain to process what it’s seeing, and your taste buds will likely also need a few moments to come to grips with what you’re eating. Bo-Lo’Gne’s Suika Pan is made with watermelon juice, and between that and the chocolate, taking a bite causes some momentary confusion as your mind tries to slot it into the category of bread, dessert or fruit.
But while it may straddle those three classifications, the watermelon bread is undeniably tasty. In contrast to its attention-grabbing looks, the flavor is on the mild side, providing refreshing sweetness without overloading your flavor receptors or making you feel bloated.
And while it’s delicious as-is, the Suika Pan gets even better when you toast it. You’ll want to use a light setting to keep the chocolate intact, but make sure to toast the slice long enough so that the “seeds” get moist and melty. That will also give you a nice crisp outer layer, but leave the center layer soft and chewy.
At ¥2,592 (US$23), the Suika Pan’s price falls somewhere between that of standard and square watermelons. It feels more special than the former, though, and it’s arguably an even better conversation piece than the latter. If you’re looking to enjoy the culinary crossover for yourself, orders can be placed right here.
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