You probably know Re-ment, the beautiful set of miniatures loved by the collectors of all-things-Japan. However, the “madness” of the Japanese people and their love for the little-and-cute do not ends here! In fact, what could be more more kawaii than tiny sweets and delicacies? The answer is simple: miniature cakes and delicacies made by us (even edible)!
The first cooking toys to appear on the Japanese market were the Konapun sets, made by Bandai in the early ’80s and then relaunched in 2006, after nearly 20 years. Inside the boxes, there are bags with a soluble and inedible powder, composed mainly of sodium alginate (a substance derived from seaweed). By adding the right amount of water and using the molds contained in the packages, we obtain a faithful reproduction of cakes, donuts and anything else that can be decorated as desired!
The Konapun sets of Mamegoma and Rilakkuma.
To make the preparation even more likely, there are also mini-kitchens with custom tools, or special powders that can imitate the bubbles of frying oil, boiling water for pasta and even give a slight “fried effect” to some dishes!
Icecream Konapun Kitchen and Donut Kitchen: the sets can be combined together to create customized donuts.
But there’s more! Kracie, a Japanese food and chemical company, in 2009 started selling Popin’ Cookin’, which incorporates the basic concept of Konapun (magic powders that become food) but adds an important thing: the edibility! The main ingredient, in fact, is a flavored powder that added with water becomes… a gum candy! In addition to the sets for preparing specific foods (for example, a cakes or sushi), there are also packages with pre-made candy, to be modeled like clay.
Some Popin’ Cookin’ sets: Cake Shop Candy, Sushi Candy, Candy Bento, Neri Can Land.
Where can I buy these wonders? Konapun sets can be purchased on eBay at a price that varies between 10 and 30 Euros (plus shipping). Popin’ Cookin’ sets are definitely cheaper, around 4-10 Euros (plus shipping), both on eBay and Jbox. Clearly, you need decent manual skills and patience to cook these little wonders! On the web, you can watch videos by RRcherrypie, a girl fond of miniatures that regularly films her little cooking experiments. We recommend you to take a look at her youtube channel which is really fantastic (and vaguely hypnotic)! Have you already tried cooking toys? Tell us your experience!