Barking mad

Dog jellies by Walaiwan Megen. photo courtesy of Walaiwan Megen

After the Krispy Kreme, Glico ice cream, and Pablo cheesecakes mania, it seems that Thais have found themselves spiralling down into another unexplainable food craze for 2017 (and this time it’s locally made): dog-shaped jellies.

Walaiwan Megen, creator of these hyper-realistic jellies, became an overnight sensation last week after a picture of her creation went viral. In the picture was a brown bulldog puppy, lying down in a plastic box — only it wasn’t a real bulldog. It was a piece of coconut jelly meant to be eaten.

The post was met with polarising comments, either complimenting Walaiwan’s artistic abilities or outright saying that her creations’ looks made them nauseous. Thai news media got into the craze fast, visiting Walaiwan’s home in Pathum Thani and finding out more about her and her now-infamous jellies.

Here’s what they found out. Walaiwan, 30, and her husband make Thai traditional sweets on weekends to earn extra income. Wanting to try to create new jelly shapes to differ themselves from the competition, Walaiwan, a dog lover, coincidentally found a dog-shaped jelly mould and ended up selling her creations to stores and weekend markets for only 25 baht apiece.

Though her jellies have been met with much criticism online, Walaiwan is having the last laugh. Her dog jellies now have a waiting list that extends months in advance due to a surge in demand. Her phone and email has been exploding, and she’s overrun with orders to the point that she can’t keep up. News outlets are still visiting her to cover the strange yet fun commotion. Adding to the amusement is Walaiwan’s refusal to eat her own creations, being a dog lover herself.

There’s one phrase that more than any other seems to capture the phenomenon: Thailand Only.

We can’t help but wonder what will be the next craze to hit the nation.

Those interested in Walaiwan’s jellies can visit facebook.com/Wilaiwan01