The edible Japanese face masks made of bread.

Melon Pan Madness

Over the past year and a bit, the demand for face masks has shot up almost exponentially. This has led to a whole host of innovative and interesting face coverings, but non as strange (or unique?) as the melonpan facemasks.

Whilst we know that Japan is more than famous for it’s outrageous food experimentation, can anything beat the bread mask?

What is Melonpan?

melon pan bakery
Japanese bakeries are BEYOND cute!

After you’ve seen the video above, you might be wondering ‘What is melonpan?’ So before we get further into this novelty project, lets talk about the bread itself.

Melon bread (or Melonpan) is sweet Japanese bread that has a fluffy and airy inside with a hard, cookie like crusty top.

It’s quite simply the best bread in Japan, or, the world maybe?

Who knows…

But what’s completely non negotiable is everyone needs to and deserves to try it at least once in their life!

What does melon bread taste like?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that melon bread actually tastes like melon, at least in it’s traditional form. It gets the name ‘Melonpan’ first from it’s crust shape (resembling a muskmelon) and ‘Pan’ meaning bread in Japanese.

Japanese melon bread traditionally tastes like sweet buttery cookies, so you can see why it’s extremely moreish and tempting every time you venture into a 7-Eleven… I’ve definitely eaten too many… -_-

Where can I try melon bread?

The absolute best place to try Melonpan is in Japan. If you’re on a trip over there and are feeling a bit peckish, pop into any convenience store and you’ll find a selection of melon bread for an affordable price.

Sadly I know it’s not possible for everyone to get over to Japan so your next best option is to make it at home!

If you’re looking for an authentic and tastey recipe to make your own Melonpan then I advise you to look at the chopstick chronicles and follow their instructions to get your very own Japanese sweet bread at home!

If you’re more of a visual learner, take a look at the video below and follow along (There’s also a chocolate version!):

Who made the ‘Mask Pan’?

Designed and made by three college students, the melonpan edible face mask looks absolutely ridiculous and is probably highly impractical.

But, It’s Japan so I’m more than intrigued about the idea to have an edible face mask!

Pros & Cons of the Melonpan Mask:

Zero waste (Apart from the head straps)May deteriorate with natural elements and prolonged use
It’s completely edibleYou may end up eating your only protection from the virus
Scientific tests show it actually worksYou have Melonpan on your face…
Would you wear and edible face mask?

The masks actually work

Despite the fact this was inherently a novelty food stunt, it seems the masks might actually be a fun alternatives to other options.

Not that I’d particular like to walk around with a piece of melon bread strapped to my face, but if they work like surgical masks, they’re a tasty and fun alternative I’d try at least once!

As we can see here, there were three separate tests conducted to test the efficiency of the Mask Pan against other methods.

The first ‘Splash prevention performance test’ is done without a mask and we can see a number of droplets spraying from the mouth illustrating no protection.

The second test is done with the melon bread and we can see almost immediately that all the cough droplets have dissapeared!

The third is conducted with a traditional mask offering a similar result to the melon bread.

Can I buy one?

If for some reason you actually want to buy a mask you’ll need to be in Japan to actually use them.

Whilst you can buy 5 of them for 1,800 yen here, I would imagine the expiry date and travel time wont work well together.

But you could always make your own by following the instructions above and then DIY it into your own bread mask! Why not!?


Although Japan is a pretty ‘Out there’ kind of country with things like this, I think even there you’ll get interesting look if you have a piece of bread strapped to your face!

But of course, it’s because of novelty stunts like this that makes all of us love the crazy side of Japan and intrigued to see what the country will bring out next!

Jonny Gleason

Jonny is the founder of A Day of Zen and has an unhealthy obsession with Japan. In 2022 he moved to Japan on a mission to give his audience the best possible information. He's helped over 300,000 plan their trip so far, and is eager to make that number much bigger!

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