|Popin Cookin Sushi|
This is fun stuff! To fully understand what you're getting yourself into, and what a social phenomenon it is, you need to see a Youtube video showing you how to make it (the Japanese instructions make it a bit challenging otherwise). Plus, they give you a far better review than I could. There are many videos of each of the different Popin' Cookin kits, and they are both informative and entertaining. If you buy your own kit, you absolutely must use a youtube video to guide you through, or you'll make a terrible mess of things. Well, unless you can read Japanese.|
So what is Popin' Cookin? It's a candy that you make yourself, using the provided packets of powder, little plastic tubs and tools, and water (not included - I hope you have access to water). It's a really fun little science experiment of sorts, which ends up with something... edible? Sorta. Let's get that out of the way: for yummiest candy, stay away from Popin' Cookin. For fun and adventure, Popin' Cookin is what you want. As you can see in the video, there are a lot of steps involved in making this, though it's all really easy, mostly you just pour a packet of powder into one of the slots in the tray and then stir it up. Then you put it all together, and it looks super cool. That's all there is to it! Then of course you eat it, and it's not so great, but you had so much fun you don't mind.
There are quite a few different Popin' Cookin kits, from hamburgers (that one looks amazing, I will try it one day - it even involves a little microwaving!) to bento boxes to donuts and ice cream. They're all sort of the same food-wise: semi-gummy edible playdoh type stuff, generally with a fruity sort of flavor. What's really special about the sushi are those fish eggs you see on the seaweed roll. Those are made by mixing up two different liquids, and then using the included eyedropper to drop one liquid into the other. Some mystical chemical reaction takes place, and each droplet becomes a little ball of jelly with a liquid center, like boba if you've ever had that. It's super cool.
As I mentioned above, these aren't very tasty. Well, I've heard different things about each different box, but I can tell you from experience: the sushi kit is not very tasty. By far my favorite part is the seaweed - it's some kind of grape fruit roll almost (that doesn't come as a powder, it's just a thin sheet you roll out flat with your fingers), and combined with the rice (which has a ramune-like flavor) and the fish eggs (which are... well, something fruity, and also kind of weird/fun because they pop open in your mouth), they make that particular sushi actually enjoyable. The other 3 sushi you create are a lot less tasty, because the egg and tuna toppings are this kind of fruit-flavored jelly that isn't really that pleasant, and the rice is rather a weird texture.
If I were truly rating this kit on the Yums, it would get something like 2/10. It's pretty much barely edible, other than the seaweed roll. But I actually highly recommend Popin' Cookin kits, and I will definitely get more of them in the future, because they're really fun. I'm willing to eat the results to justify creating them, and I'm sure kids would be less discerning, because hey, at least it's sweet. And sometimes weird is its own entertainment. So overall, I'm going to give these 8/10 Yums and I hope you find some of your own. By the way, you can buy these on Amazon.com, pretty much all of the available kits, and they're only around $5-10 shipped. That's a whole lot of money for the food you get, but not too bad for the entertainment. Oh, also expect to wait at least 2 weeks for them to arrive - they ship from Japan.