Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Sushi Poppers: is sushi in a tube progress?
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Sushi Poppers: is sushi in a tube progress?

Sushi Poppers -- is this cool or dumb?

Wow. As if buying crappy-tasting, unauthentic “sushi” at your local supermarket or Costco wasn’t enough, they’ve found a way to completely commodify sushi — sushi rolls, at least — as a mass-produced pre-packaged snack food. Sushi Poppers are individually wrapped sushi rolls on a stick that you eat like… a Popsicle, those quiescently frozen confections.

In fact, you can even buy Sushi Poppers online, and have it delivered frozen, packed with dry ice. They claim they’ll be fine frozen for up to 30 days. I dunno, I’ve never been able to eat sushi that’s even refrigerated overnight, never mind frozen for a month. I may have to order some just to test it. You get six tubes of sushi on a stick, with seven pieces in each roll (that’s 42 pieces), for $29.95. You can get various flavors, including ones with raw tuna, spicy tuna or salmon, cooked fish, vegetarian, meat (teriyaki chicken or beef, miso chicken) and some dessert flavors.

It seems they’re really stretching the definition of “sushi” here.

If you’re suspicious of ordering frozen sushi through the mail, the company is planning to have the Poppers available at retailers nationwide, with the sushi made locally.

A skinny tube of soy sauce comes attached to the side of the roll, and you use the soy sauce tube as a stick to push up the rolls to eat.

It’s so silly I would almost expect this to be a brain fart from the mind of some crazy Japanese inventor, but no, Sushi Popper is the invention of a European American dude Evan Kaye, CEO and co-founder of Popper Foods LLC, and his team seem to be all non-Asian, though the company works with a Taka Tanaka, whose company Autec fills the rolls “efficiently.”

I guess we should be glad the company didn’t go with his initial idea, which was to use a roller mechanism like the bottom of a deoderant stick to push the sushi up. With the “popper” concept, at least they can market the things as being somewhat “green” because you don’t need to raze any rainforests for the bamboo to make chopsticks.

Here’s a YouTube video that sells the idea.

(I saw this on BoingBoing)