I have been in love with all things Japanese since…well forever. Particularly the packaging and advertising design. That country knows what it’s doing and can make even the most dastardly items a precious impulse buy. Everything is just so RIDICULOUSLY cute! The mister literally has to throw me over his shoulder and haul me away even when we visit the tiny shops downtown in Little Tokyo while visiting the market. He just doesn’t understand how I neeeeed those Pokemon slippers. How I can’t exiiiist without that musical manga toothbrush. Harsh, right?

Whatever, I have a full blown culture crush. Deal with it.

Please don’t make me go into details about my record of compul-so collecting vinyl toys (mini mid century chairs to be exact), or how I devoured those Billy Chaka Tokyo crime novels as a teenager, oooor how I waited by the mailbox for these  Popin’ Cookin‘ DIY candy kits to arrive. No seriously, it was like Santa’s coming to town style.

<<Yikes>>

This right here is magic in a box, a dream come true…for me, anyway. It’s an anime food chemistry set for adults and babes alike. It is in a word: ahhhh-mazing. {Off camera here’s the real deal: Me = hits the floor / fainted / stars and large eyed candy colored cartoon characters floating overhead = harajuku heaven}

I should probably throw in a disclaimer while I’m at it: Cute things don’t necessarily taste cute. They might taste, in fact, rancid. A little surprise curve ball, being coy/precious and all, I suppose? That being said, you need to get in the mood for this. You need to get in the spirit of all things J-Pop! May I suggest hitting this button while you browse? [haiku url="http://www.thecuisinerd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Its-a-Beautiful-Day.mp3" title="P5 - It's A Beautiful Day"] Let us transport back to my Pizzicato Five college radio days and take a magic carpet ride of kawaii together. ¡Vamanos!

Bento Box

Flavor Factor:  ★ (Texture, you are no friend here)

Fun Factor:  ★★★ (Panda, you saved this one)

Italian Dinner

Flavor Factor:  -★ (I will never be able to listen to Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti the same… EVER. AGAIN.)

Fun Factor:  ★★★★★ (Scratch that. Making pasta out of taffy has never made more perfect sense. No, sincerely)

Sushi

Flavor Factor:  ★ (Eerrr…Grape-a-berry and visions of raw fish aren’t exactly jiving with me right now)

Fun Factor:  ★★★★★ (Never mind. You had me at making roe with an eye-dropper)

Dessert

Flavor Factor:  -★ (Soft serve has a new <horrible> meaning)

Fun Factor:  ★★★★★ (OM-Gelatin in a pastry tube? Sprinkles? MINI ICE CREAM CONE!? Ignore rating above)

Yes, I suppose you have deduced this was an A+ feast for the eyes and C- taste (at best)  for the mouth. Cuteness and presentation are quite possibly for show only here. But, who cares?! I’m coming clean, I never really wanted to eat any of this anyway…it was all, too cute. In fact (insert weirdo apology now) we loved the Italian spaghetti so much that it sat on our kitchen window sill for THREE WEEKS. No really, sprinkles were on display. Talk about some serious culinary confessions today!!

There you have it folks… We’re better friends for it, I promise.

Sooooo, Who’s in the mood for some ramen? Have sucrose, will travel.
You know you want in.
XOX