Maybe it's because I hate Jell-O and maybe it's because I love cake, but I really do not like the latest trendy dessert that people are waiting in line for, which is this goddamn water gelatin giant contact lens:
I actually remember seeing these about a year ago, when they were called Mizu Shingen Mochi and could only be found in Japan. I am usually all about Japanese confections (shout out to those Kit Kats you put in the oven), but this transparent, watery rice cake inspires nothing in me, much like a glass of tepid water.
Look, I get wanting to try the newest, trendiest dessert. I live in Portland, and waiting in line for food seems to be the Official Pastime of the City. I even get the appeal of eating something for the sake of a gimmick, but I simply cannot see the appeal of a gelatinous cake that tastes strongly of water.
I will say however that I am intrigued and, yes, a little bit impressed by the technique and skill that goes into making something like this. According to Darren Wong, the maker of these clear water drop-looking mofos, this ain't no easy bake:
It took a lot of trial and error testing out different agars and gelatins to get the right consistency. The cake has to maintain its shape but still have the texture of water. This makes the cake a nightmare to store and transport. That was the second challenge I had to overcome. Each cake has to be individually packed in a way that protects it from movement and temperature.
The cake itself is "very mild" — because it tastes like water — and is apparently more about the texture than the flavor, which is why it served with other, flavorful ingredients like brown sugar and roasted soy flour. All of this leads me to wonder: "WHY?"
Based on all of the available information, this thing is:
- Hard to make
- Annoying to transport
- Not very tasty
- Basically Jell-O
- Not really cake
Can you imagine if someone was like "hey, let's go get some cake," and then they took you to Smorgasburg to wait in line for a water-flavored, ethanol-free Jell-O shot? If you are a fan of cake, or simply not a fan of shenanigans, you would be furious, and rightfully so.
If you're a "texture person" in that you like experiencing new, strange textures, I guess this could be fun to you? If you do want to try the Raindrop Cake, head down to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg on Saturday and Prospect Park on Sunday (both days run 11AM-6PM) and taste one.
Would you try the Raindrop cake? What if there was a line? Am I being to harsh? What's the trendiest dessert you've ever eaten (I still haven't tried an official Dominique Ansel Cronut, to be completely honest)?