If you’ve ever tried making your own bento box art before, you know the art of kawaii cooking is something of a double-edged sword. What on the drawing board looks like an adorable face can end up looking like a terrifying hellscape that puts your kid off of soy sauce forever.
Zoku, the makers of the popsicle system that’s won scads of awards over the past year, is selling a new tool that takes the guesswork out of cute cooking. The Zoku Character Kit is an add-on to the company’s Quick Pop system, which lets you make your own custom popsicles and freeze them in minutes.
The set comes with 14 stencils that are used like cookie cutters—with fruit in place of dough. You cut out your eyes, mouth, horns, whatever, from your chosen fruit, then arrange them on the special faceplate. Once that’s inside the Zoku maker, you pour in the fruit juice and let it freeze. Et voila.
Reviewers have hilariously different reactions to the (fairly inoffensive!) faces made in Zoku’s demonstration video, ranging from "demon-esque" to "super fun," which proves that food art is still a matter of taste, so to speak. The kit was awarded a Core77 design award earlier this month.
Zoku’s blog has plenty of ideas, but be forewarned: It’s easy to get sucked into sifting through the dozens of zany recipes, like caramel popcorn and mint margarita.