So for those obsessed with Japanese culture, or absolute foodies like me, you have probably heard about this Japanese toy.
Popularized by Youtube’s RRcherrypie and Sorted Food, demonstrations of Popin’ Cookin’ have flooded the internet. So when this showed up in my local asian grocery store, I had to buy it. Since the link above likely has a better tutorial for this, this post will not be a tutorial, but will just show the steps I took to get the product above. The box was pretty self explanatory.
But what is Popin’ Cookin’? It is an edible candy slash toy where kids, and young-at-heart adults, can replicate cooking. It is very similar to playing with play dough, only it is specifically food themed.
I note, it’s safe to eat, but not tasty. It has a very sweet, icing-like smell. But tastes strongly of artificial flavors and sweeteners. Also, the texture is not appealing. However this is a fun way to occupy your time. It took me about 15 minutes to make the full batch.
What was weirdest about this was the texture. I would compare it most to very dense gelatin. However it looked so accurate. The texture emulates not only dough, but fried dough so well. I was thoroughly confused while making this because it looked good and smelled good. Yet I knew it wouldn’t taste good.
Fortunately, it is edible. I remember hearing about a similar toy being pulled from the shelves in Japan because the ending creation was so accurate looking, I’m assuming kids tried to eat it even though it was not food-safe. The company spent great efforts trying to make the toy cooking-accurate, that certain chemical reactions had to be used to create special effects. For example, you could drop in pieces of “dough” into “oil” and the liquid would start to boil, emulating frying. The end products even floated up when they were fully “cooked.”
There were also props involved that could be misleading, like paper seaweed and plastic shrimp tails.
Popin’ Cookin’ is the end result of that situation. It’s a bit less realistic, but you still get the same play-cooking feeling from it. And you don’t have to worry about it if someone pops it in their mouth at the end. They might regret it though.