Model Food

I’ve spent, I think I can say, an inordinate amount of time browsing through the fetishization of the most mundane activities in order to provide you, dear readers, with interesting material. Yes, it was for you that I watched dozens of Japanese YouTube clips of earwax removal, trapped in a horrific, personal grooming K-hole, desperately trying escape only to do so and realize that most, if not all of the people who would be interested in such a thing are already ensconced in a vast, virtual library of such material. Alas, such is the life of an internet spelunker.

We are not here to talk about earwax removal, however, (though, if you want to I have some videos to show you) no, we’re going to briefly discuss Konapun. Konapun is a Japanese cooking toy that allows the you to create realistic, miniature food with the use of chemicals. It’s like molecular gastronomy — a practice in which people who are bored by food and the idea of it as nourishment torture it into funny shapes and forms with needles and eyedroppers — but without the pretense of being edible.

And, like all things now, there are videos. Oh so many videos of mixing, squeezing, scraping, and dolloping. All of which would seem completely uninteresting if the “food” didn’t seem so fucking miraculous. It’s one thing to see someone make a tiny hamburger with a side of french fries, but another entirely to them sizzle on the grill or crackle and pop as they are “fried” to a golden brown crispness, removing them from the oil in a miniature basket. The video up at the top, the first one I saw, features the preparation of various types of sushi and, like most, is presented both without commentary or musical accompaniment, save for a cacophony of plastic on plastic as each item is prepared.

I am, perhaps, predisposed to enjoying this kind of thing, however, I suspect that there are others amongst our readers who are as well. If so, and if you are looking for more, may I suggest you take a look here. Just don’t blame me for all the lost minutes of your life.

11 Responses to “Model Food”

  1. JoAsakura Says:

    if there’s one thing that Japan truly “gets” is the concept of “anything small is immediately 1000% cuter and more awesome than it’s normal sized counterparts” Exhibit 2: ReMent (tiny little versions of real things, like my teeny tiny toy makeup train case and brush set that I keep on a shelf in my bathroom >.>;; )

  2. Adrian Says:

    I think the most fascinating bit is how it’s not just mimicking food, but the whole production of it. Frying, boiling, cutting potatoes and using a pasta maker. That someone decided that the toy would be more “fun” if the grill “really” sizzled and the water ‘really” boiled….man. Wow.

  3. stephanie Says:

    wow…i’ve always wondered how they were all made!! hahah thanks ross. :)

  4. fortheloveofthestars Says:

    1. This reminds me of how my friend always said everything at Denny’s was made out of the same “Denny’s Batter.” From Milk Shakes to Hamburgers. It was all the same.

    2. Most of these take longer to make than the food I eat daily. I wish I was kidding.

    3. Okay, what happens when you eat these abominations?

  5. Amelia Arsenic Says:

    I agree with Adrian’s comment, it’s interesting how the production process is also mimicked! I had no idea that was how that kinda food was made. BRILLIANT!

  6. Ross Rosenberg Says:

    fortheloveofthestars – As alluded to in the post they are not edible. However, there are a few videos on the channel I linked showing a product called “Popin’ Cookin” which is the same concept except the end product is edible candy and which you can still buy (turn down the volume on your computer if you’re at work or in class, there’s a video that autoplays on that linked page).

  7. fortheloveofthestars Says:

    Ross- Thanks! I was mostly wondering what horrific chemicals are used in these “delights,” and what would happen if you, oh I don’t know, were impaired in someway (drinking?) and took a little gnosh? Heheh.

  8. Ross Rosenberg Says:

    fortheloveofthestars – Aha! I see. I imagine they taste like burning.

  9. seedymckenzie Says:

    That reminded me of this:

    Scarcely correlative, but heck, I feel like putting in my two bobs today.

  10. Ariane Says:

    I imagine the majority of these things are made our of various resins or silicone. eating the finished product would probably just give you intestinal blockage or just pass through because they are pretty small. eating the components however, could be pretty dangerous depending on what they are actually made of.

    It is fascinating though, I would love to read an article about the science behind this, although I imagine its all proprietary information, what is for example, the yellowish mixture they “fry” things in? it introduces minute bubbles in the finished product, but by what method?

    I must admit this has given me the curious urge to try it out, just to see what happens. I find it has a similar attraction as “grow your own dinosaur in a bucket of water, watch it become 10 times as big” and silly putty.

  11. alumiere Says:

    Surprisingly cute. I also suspect that a lot of these molds could be used with real edibles. Mashed potatoes for fries. Jello (with condensed milk if needed for opacity) for the sushi. Chocolate for the burgers. Etc.

    Not that I’d have the patience to make any of it, but still.

    Oooh, or use the molds to make jello shooters from – looks like sushi, but it’s actually a white russian with a chocolate band… That would make for a fun evening.