The art of fake food

posted by Daphne April 19, 2016
Miniature food replicas | Daily Delicious Eats

We’ve already established that I love food, but I don’t only love the edible kind. I get unreasonably excited about fake food whenever I see it. You may have had some as a child in your play kitchen (I remember having fake French fries), but in some countries, food replicas are not just child’s play – they’re serious business.

If you’ve been in Japan, you will have noticed all the restaurant displays full of amazingly realistic plastic food replicas designed to showcase their menu and lure you in. This tradition started in 1932, when Takizo Iwasaki began handcrafting food replicas. In fact, the beautiful replicas are still meticulously crafted by hand to this day, as machines lack the refinement and tend to make the replicas look like toys.

The popularity of these food replicas may have been connected to the surge in popularity of Western foods in Japan after WWII. As people were unfamiliar with the names of the dishes, it helped them to visualise what was on the menu. Nowadays it’s still useful in a similar way – this tradition is a lifesaver for tourists who can’t read the menu. But even if it wasn’t useful, it’s beautiful, and I love that this amazing craftsmanship is still alive and kicking.

As you can see, I’ve started collecting miniature food as well. What you see here is from Hong Kong, where I fell in love with Gudetama the lazy egg. I’ll undoubtedly expand my collection of fake food over the next couple of years, because this stuff is almost as addictive as real food. Is it socially acceptable to decorate your house with fake pizzas? I don’t care. This is a great idea.

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