Saturday, November 7, 2009

Veggie Heaven: Sweet Bun

Sweet Buns

When I go to Veggie Heaven, I order a sweet bun. Little did I know that it would lead to a hunt for some sweet bun specifics.

Sweet buns, a type of kashi-pan (sweet bread), are made of flour dough and very soft in texture.

An-pan, buns stuffed with a bean jam, originated in Japan. According to Otani Hiromi, I'd say the one I ate is Ogura'an-pan (stuffed with ogura-an, a jam made with whole adzuki [red bean] jam), the most common an-pan bun. There are other types of an-pan that can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack.

Most sweet buns, as I've seen here and here, look browned because they're baked, but steaming sweet buns leaves you with a white color, like the buns at Veggie Heaven. Steam buns and Curry buns are also made at the restaurant.

Nutritional info for the typical sweet bun: 186 Calories per piece (70g).

The bun doesn't have a distinct taste, slightly doughy, but the sweetness comes from the red bean filling. It may seem weird to eat beans in a bun, sounds nasty actually, but some tastebuds agree it's pretty good.

I'm not anti-vegetarian, but I would not recommend going to Veggie Heaven for the dishes as most contain "vegetable proteins," fried pieces of-- I'm not sure what. The proteins "look" like chicken nuggets, but turn out to be a gummy meat substitute. Very disappointed when I tried them at a previous visit. I learned my lesson--I'd only go to VH for the $2.50 sweet bun snack.

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