Nothing feels more like exam time than binge watching YouTube videos of Japanese candy hauls. Thought I was going to say Netflix? The truth is, Japanese candy is much more capable of stealing away your study hours than an episode of Orange is the New Black. Don’t believe me? Just search Popin Cookin on YouTube. I dare you. Popin Cookin is a candy you assemble yourself. Just add water. Each package contains mini packets of powder that somehow magically transform a delicious (or not) gummy candy.
YouTube stars jumped on the powdery bandwagon late last year. Some bloggers were well seasoned in the art of Popin Cookin. Others had more colourful interpretations. Regardless of the end result, it’s clear that this was something I needed to try.
That’s right, today yours truly has partaken in this trend, and has survived to tell the tale. Bring on the Popin Cookin Sushie! It starts off easily enough: a bag inside a box. That’s about were the easiness ends; there are no English instructions to be found. You are left guessing what powder goes where and how much water to add. The good news is that there are pictures to go along with the Japanese script. The bad news is that the colours don’t quite translate. The colours on the powder packets don’t seem to match anything on the box, so I’m forced to watch an assembly video just to continue. As for how much water to add? The videos seem to conclude that you just eyeball it.
I hope you’re a fan of artificial grape flavour and cat pee because each packet had that identical smell. To me, it was a little disappointing; I was hoping for something similar to fruit loops. The taste didn’t get much better either. I don’t recommend sampling the ‘batter.’
Some of the steps were actually quite cool. Although, I will say that it felt less Easy Bake Oven and more Playdoughesque. After adding water, a couple of the mixtures needed to be left to settle (presumably the ‘fish’ and ‘sweet egg’). The second last mixture to make (what I can only assume was caviar) was probably my favourite part of the entire project. I got to make red spherical blobs using a dropper. (Don’t be lazy on this step. You could end up with something resembling fish feces as opposed to fish eggs.) Radical!
Next up was assembly. Time to find out if the mixtures held up. Spoiler: the sweet egg turned into a mushy jelly mess. I am, however, happy to report that three of the four rolls ain’t bad. The fish (salmon?) was charmingly ‘fish like.’ The rice even looked realistic. This was the candy that I had come to know and love. I just wish the taste would concur. Sadly, the taste of the final product was true to the smell. Perhaps if you’re an artificial grape (and cat pee) flavour fan, this is the sushi for you. If like me, you’re a fan of making a mess and wasting time, this still could be the candy for you; the candy you make, take a couple pictures (and maybe a video of), and then toss out. Enjoy the lingering scent for the next couple of days. So should your Popin Cookin fix come from a video or your own two hands? Undecided.