Japanese faux food is now available across the world. In the form of key chains, small fridge magnets, pen drives, these food items can be order online to be delivered in many countries.
Plastic isn’t considered a healthy material and associating food with plastic may sound a bit odd. But when these plastic food items aren’t meant to be eaten, they can be safely relegated to the windows of restaurants that are looking to attract customers with displays of artificial foods.
Some take a look at it and think it’s weird.
Fake food display works to the advantage of restaurants. Tourists not aware of the food culture of the local region find it easy to recognize food items and order them by simply pointing to the food.
Sampuru as they are called, Japanese plastic food isn’t meant to be eaten and hence pose no hazard to anyone’s health.
These food items are a piece of art and takes time to craft. Hence they are expensive and last for almost a lifetime. Restaurants consider it a worthwhile investment. These items fill the window with delectable dishes that also display the price of the dish alongside.
It works for the customer and it works for the restaurants since they may not have a workforce that knows and speaks English. Though the fake food models are heavily priced, they are made of vinyl chloride and last long years thus working cost effectively.
Takizo Iwasaki is considered the father of the plastic food model industry and is revered in Japan. But there are stories that he may have been inspired by wax models used elsewhere.
The world of medicine also uses wax models. These however are built for physicians and for pathological studies.
If one has observed movies where the actors are seated at a table or there are displays of food items in buffet, while the actors are going around talking and singing (parties), some of these food items are artificial. Food models are used in the filming process since real food don’t last for the entire week and start degrading by the end of the day. Purchasing real food items everyday or getting the cooked dishes on the table for the actors to eat isn’t practical. Sometimes the food items used are expensive and required in huge quantities making it difficult for the producer to purchase them.
Food props work to replace real food items in such cases.
These food items are hugely popular and work well under the warm temperatures in which shooting occurs.
Sometimes a tray of food items being carried across may contain liquid that is likely to spill. These are replaced with artificial foods.
Plastic food display is a popular practice that every restaurant in Japan worth its name employs. They have benefited from such displays that tourist’s often simply ogle at for their attractiveness.
Have you seen such a display and felt fascinated? They look real but aren’t – surprise, surprise.