Foodspotting: Popping Boba – Latest craze in drink condiments

The other day I made a pit-stop at Yogurtland with the sis because she wanted to collect the Hello Kitty spoons currently on residency. I technically wasn’t eating dairy but thought I’d just get a little cup filled with mostly fruit. It was a hot night so most of the machines were out anyways, well at least of the flavors I would normally get. Standing in front of the whirring machines, I couldn’t resist so I got sample sized squirts of blueberry, passion fruit pineapple and plain tart and then as I was going to town with the toppings, I got to these gelatinous balls that were eerily reminiscent of salmon roe but yellow. Yogurtland sushi? Ewwww. No thank you.

I asked my sister if she knew what they were and she chirped matter of factly that they were popping boba. Popping boba? For those who haven’t frequented a Yogurtland or boba store lately popping boba is the latest craze in drink accessories. “It’s boba (also commonly referred to as “bubbles” or “tapioca pearls” ) with juice that ‘pops’ inside your mouth.  It’s a invigorating and fun experience,” says the Popping Boba website. Invigorating and fun? That’s what she said.

Curiosity got the best of me and I had to give this thing a try. So, I scooped a few balls into my cup and before I even got to the register I had to try one. It is exactly like salmon roe in texture down to the “popping burst” of tasty liquid but instead of seawater saltiness it returns a sweet artificial fruitiness supposedly resembling passion fruit. The shell resembled plastic and I instinctively wanted to spit it out. I asked the kid behind the register what they were made of and he said simply that they were boba. I asked if it was plastic that I was eating and he said that he didn’t know because he doesn’t eat it. Great. If the store employee doesn’t even eat it, he must know something I don’t know. But, the sis loves it and she says that she’s had it in lychee and yogurt flavors. But, I still wanted to know what I was eating, so of course I Google it and find out a few things from the website.

The current flavors that are available are:

  • Strawberry
  • Yogurt
  • Mango
  • Passion Fruit
  • Lychee
  • Orange

Popping boba is made from water, sugar, fruit juice, calcium lactate, seaweed extract, malic acid, potassium sorbate, coloring, and fruit flavorings.

Calories Per 30g Serving: 35
Calories from Fat: 0

Not having had Yogurtland in a few months, I found everything but the fruit tooth-achingly sweet, a testament that your taste buds can actually change. But, overall, the popping boba is a unique experience in its own right. But, texture aside it was mostly the artificiality of the liquid flavor and plastic-like shell that made me feel like I shouldn’t be eating it. It just didn’t seem right. But, that’s just me. Other people seem to be going crazy over this new drink condiment. It’s worthy of at least one try. Enjoy!


3 thoughts on “Foodspotting: Popping Boba – Latest craze in drink condiments

  1. NY BBB says:

    I had the same reaction- It tasted fine and was a very different experience, but the artificial feeling from the outer shell and the taste of the juice made me feel uneasy about eating it. Worth a try, but probably won’t go for seconds.

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