What is It with All the Faux Food in Japan?!

Faux foods are a regular sight in Japan and elsewhere. It is a century old tradition and is seen in tapas bars and high end restaurants.

The display of food in restaurant windows can blow your mind with their craftsman ship and aesthetic sense.

They seriously make you want to eat them. And that’s their whole purpose.

Clever, isn’t it?

Japanese Sampuru or samples of fake food has been made traditionally in Japan. But these days they are being made in the US too.

There are workshops being held to learn making faux foods. If you cannot make it to a workshop, then there are the DIY kits that come with instructions on how to make real-looking lettuce!

From rice bowls to noodles, from ice creams to pastries, they can replicate almost any food item.

A famous fake food enthusiast is Akiko Obata. Obata has a Guinness Record to her name. She has a collection of about 8083 artificial food items in her home. Her sister worked at a restaurant and brought home samples of food no longer needed by the restaurant. That piqued her interest and she began to experience the early days of her long standing hobby.

The delicateness of the samples, she appreciates. She has been collecting samples for 30 years now.

The faux food industry is not organized. There is no trade union.

Originally, the industry saw high demand, as Japan was seeing a market boom. With the market slowing down, artists moved to the consumer section of the market to continue their business. The retail customer buys either from the shop or orders online.

The food samples may be made to order or you may ask them to create miniatures for gifting purposes.

These faux foods are used in windows of restaurants for display purposes. The real food if used needs to be replaced each day, causing wastage. A bagel chain store needs to display a bagel every day. Assuming that the bagel costs about$10, and there are 1000 stores its amounts to wasting $10,000 each day!

These artificial foods however aren’t restricted to window displays. They are even used in nutritional education and for consumer research purposes.

Though they are more expensive to create, they last for a long time. That also causes some of these manufacturers to see declining profits.

With artists getting to the minutest detail in their craftsmanship, these artificial foods look as real as possible. The real food is created in kitchen, the prop food in studios.

These foods feature in movies too.

One can view the food before actually tasting it. These models are meant to make food visually appealing. They are a true feast for the eyes.

Though the practice is quite old, Oddity Central would have us believe that these foods items weren’t displayed in glass cases until 1926.

Though business isn’t lucrative since these last forever and require only once-in-a while cleaning, the artists have fun making these wonderfully real-looking replica foods.