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Melon bread and more go into the hot sandwich maker for our kashipan taste test experiment.

Japanese convenience stores are a constant source of joy in our lives, and much of that happiness comes from the bread aisle. This is where you will find the class of Japanese pastries called Kashipan or “confectionery buns”, sweet and light snacks that always make our faces smile and growl in our stomachs when we see them.

So, naturally, when our Japanese-speaking reporter MG Ogawa returned from his shopping trip to 7 elevenhe had no less than five kinds of sweet bread.

▼ 7-Eleven Butterscotch Bread, Melon Bread, Chocolate Cream Chigiri Bread, Sugar Flatbread, and Maple Bun

Now MG could have given in to his immediate impulse to dive face first into this cornucopia of kashipan, but he showed admirable determination in waiting just long enough for an idea to come to his mind. . As loyal SoraNews24 readers know, we are finding more and more uses for our hot sandwich machine beyond the simple preparation of hot sandwiches. Now MG wondered what would happen if he gave his collection of kashipan the sandwich-press treatment, and he decided to find out by grilling each one for three minutes and testing them to taste.

● Melon bread

Let’s start with Melon Bread, the king of kashipan. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of eating it, Melon Bread has a cookie-like top crust with a hint of crunch, so MG had high hopes that a few more toasts would make it even better. After three minutes in the hot sandwich maker, it felt very much like a waffle.

● Caramel bread

A relative newcomer to the kashipan scene, 7-Eleven’s Butter Bread is a Danish-style new entry vector for a flavor largely unknown to foodies in Japan. The sweet, buttery aroma that emitted when MG opened the lid of the sandwich maker, however, made him very eager to experience this cross-cultural culinary treat.

● Chigiri bread with chocolate cream

Within kashipan, chigiri bread is a subset of spherically segmented sweet breads (chigiri comes from the Japanese word chigiru, meaning “tear off”, since you can easily tear off one segment from the others). Since 7-Eleven’s Chocolate Cream Chigiri Bread is too long to fit in the sandwich maker, MG cut it in half.

While the top half came out somewhat squished, the underside had a nice golden brown color.

● Flatbread with sugar

This also had to be cut in half. The top of the bread is sprinkled with coarse sugar, and as it baked, the sugar flatbread made tantalizing popping noises, almost like low-boil stew.

● Maple bun

And finally, true to its name, the maple bun was compact enough to fit two pieces in the sandwich maker, which looked like fancy cookies.

And now, time for the tasting!

● Melon bread

Since it looked so much like a waffle, MG decided to eat it with a fork. Really, however, the most accurate food analogy is senbei, or Japanese rice crackers. Again, the top crust of the melon bread is already a bit crispy, and that aspect was greatly improved during its run through the sandwich maker. The end result reminded MG of kawara senbei, a class of particularly crispy rice crackers, but with the mild, slightly fruity flavor of melon bread, which makes it feel like a very fancy snack..

● Caramel bread

Just as MG had hoped, the sensation of warm buttery goodness that hit her taste buds was extremely satisfying. Unfortunately there was something else that was also great: how heavy this feeling. 7-Eleven’s caramel bread is quite large, so compressing it in the sandwich press means each bite delivers plenty of bread to your stomach. Granted, it’s still the same amount of bread overall, but the increased bread per bite made this one surprising for the stomach.

● Chigiri bread with chocolate cream

This, on the other hand, was everything MG could have hoped for: a crispy yet light crust with a warm, gooey chocolate centre. Honestly, if 7-Eleven sold bread like this in their hot food crate, MG would buy it all the time.

● Flatbread with sugar

This one turned out quite similar to melon bread, which makes sense since they both have cookie-like sugar-dusted top crusts. The sandwich pressed sugar flatbread was crunchy and tasty, but not as good as melon bread.

● Maple bun

And finally, the maple bun was also excellent, adding a crispy quality to a flavor most often associated with fluffy, fluffy pancakes. Bonus, since you get several pieces of Maple Bun in each bag, you can eat some as is and sandwich the others, allowing you to enjoy both textures in the same snack..

Of the group, MG’s favorite was the sandwich pressed Chocolate Cream Chigiri Bread, and since you can also find chigiri bread with other fillings, MG may have to try sandwich pressing them as well.

Photos © SoraNews24
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