Melon pan is not only delicious, but one Japanese company also thinks it can make a good mask.
Osaka-based experimental think tank Goku no Kimochi The Labo has created “Mask Pan” or “Mask Bread” after college students from Fukuoka and Okinawa decided they want to sniff the smell of bread all the time. What better way to do that than wearing melon pan on your face?
FNN reports that Goku no Kimochi The Labo roped in famed melon pan specialty shop Melon de Melon to bake the bread. For each Mask Pan, the middle is carved out, making space for the wearer’s mouth and nose. As silly as this might seem (and goodness does it ever), the melon pan’s signature crunchy outside supposedly has a degree of effectiveness.
According to the official Mask Pan site, the masks were rated by an outside group, Unitika Garment Technology’s research division, and the results indicated the possibility that the bread coverings were equal to or even better than other commercially sold urethane masks to prevent the spread of droplets.
Below, the image in the upper left shows the spread of droplets without a mask. The upper right shows a commonly sold urethane mask, while the bottom left is the Mask Pan. (Next to that is the inspection certificate.)
While these aren’t exactly N-95 or medical masks, they’re not simply a gag product because they do offer a degree of protection. As much as I do love melon pan, I would not want to wear it on my face all day long. Others apparently do, because all the masks allotted for June shipments have sold out!
Still, these are certainly not commonplace in Japan at all. You, and pretty much anyone else, would be surprised to see them in public—shocked, even.
Goku no Kimochi The Labo is currently prepping the July batch, with a set of five bread masks priced at 1,800 yen ($16.40). The bread masks are shipped refrigerated and will be good for one day after thawing.
And yes, you can of course eat the melon bread mask. After it’s been on your sweaty face. All-day long. Yum.