Sushi Poppers: A New Portable Sushi?

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[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Remember the interactive candy called Push Pops? How about taking that idea to its illogical conclusion to make... Sushi Poppers?

A Sushi Popper is a frozen, (sort of) hermetically sealed cardboard cylinder with a pre-cut maki roll inside. You attach a plastic straw to the base, then push up to reveal each piece of sushi. You're supposed to let it thaw at room temperature for two hours or overnight in the fridge.

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While I'm not a stickler for sushi technique, "rolls" might be a misnomer. Maybe "cylindrical taco" is more apt. If you're impatient like me, a disastrous microwave nuke causes it to disrobe down the middle.

I think my primary beef (er, spicy shrimp) with this invention is that unlike the Push Pop, it's functionally worthless. At least the former takes a messy foodstuff (saliva-laden, half-eaten candy) and provides a neat, fun-to-eat solution. Sushi, on the other hand, is not messy to eat in its barest form. It also presents logistical problems how best to add the soy sauce. And since the roll is not anchored to the plastic base, the "pushing" part of the packaging seems superfluous. Just turn the thing upside down!

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So really, you're paying for a tubular carrying case instead of your usual black tray. And the taste, well, it's about what you'd expect—serviceable for its humble culinary aspirations. It comes in a variety of flavors, including California roll, spicy shrimp, and cucumber.

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Ok, so I was hungry and ended up eating three Sushi Poppers. But I dumped them out of the tubes and just ate them the old-fashioned way: on a plate with my fingers.

Six-packs of the seven-piece rolls are $29.95 each at sushipopper.com.

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