First of all let’s clarify that we are talking about condoms as cooking utensils, not as an ingredient, before anyone gets over-excited. Nonetheless, Japanese pop culture has once again taken us by surprise. “We’ve got a serious problem with safe sex awareness, seeing STIs – particularly HIV – currently on the rise in our country, and we like making good food,” must have been the thought process of Japanese manga writer Kyosuke Kagami.
Kagami has recently brought out a new cookbook, Tsukutte Agetai Condomu Gohan, which for those few non-Japanese speakers out there roughly translates to Condom Meals I Want To Make For You. Kagami has written eleven recipes in total, including the likes of ‘Condom Cookies’, ‘Condom Escargot Cooked with Butter’ and ‘Condom Meat Stuffing’.
Condom Meals I Want To Make For You has come out at a very important time in Japanese society, as the nation is facing a frightful surge in STIs, especially HIV/AIDS. Kagami’s recipes carry a clear message to the public, and in particular to men who are practicing unsafe sex, emphasising the durability of condoms and their importance as a form of contraception.
While hearing condoms in conjunction with cooking in a sentence may not amount to music to your ears it has been noted on NariNari that the point of this book isn’t just adding excitement to cooking. On the contrary, it is meant to place sex ed on a plate for Japanese men, who are according to a 2008 global survery placed amongst the third worst condom users in the world.
Hence, the primary target audience are men: Hey, start using condoms more! Furthermore, this cookbook doesn’t just provide sex ed, it is also meant to increase male presence in the kitchen and tackle misogyny in the country.
Condom Meals I Want To Make For You was an instant domestic hit and is now selling online at only $2.99. Its unsurprising that this anomaly sells: it’s cheap and important. Again the Japanese have managed to think outside the box, using their innovative skill to tackle a growing national issue.