Fake foods aren’t restricted to restaurants or food outlets wanting to advertise their list of food to prospective customers. They have been made use of in the museums, movies and photo shoots too. As food props. As sampuru.
Have you looked at those pictures of ice creams that hold their own in magazine front pages and wondered how? They are actually inedible ice-creams that don’t melt away in the heat of the camera lights. And some times, fake though they are, they are perfectly edible, made of store bought frosting and humongous amount of powdered sugar. Commercial photographers use fake food models during photo shoots for food magazines typically for their durability. Real food may not last the entire length of a photo shoot and sometimes, fake foods are more visually appealing than their real counterparts.
In movies, actors are seen gathering around dining tables as families for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some of the food on the table isn’t meant to be eaten during the scene. They are there only to represent a dining table from real life. A basket of fruits kept at the centre, maybe. At times, it may be that the food item will have to last the entire shoot. The director or the producer isn’t keen on purchasing fresh food very day. He would rather buy a replica, especially if that isn’t meant to be eaten, as per the script. If you are looking for toast pieces piled high on a plate or for an ostentatious display of wealth by a certain czar, a bucket of caviar then using fake food props could be your solution.
And then you could be a restaurateur looking to display your bento box lunch items in your window using fake food items to resemble the real stuff. Customers can order bento boxes that you put up in the display using the sample as a guide for what to expect.
Display of fake food require you to order plastic replicas from stores such as Fake Food Japan as separate items that you then corral or you may even order the whole box by sending pictures of what your restaurant serves. Using fake plastic material to display food is an art form practiced in Japan. The art form dates back centuries to times after the end of World War II.
Japanese fake food is famous. They don’t make just Japanese stuff but include pizzas, pasta, tofu, ice cream, and hamburger steak; just name it and they’ll fake it for you. Kappabashi or the kitchen town sells wares for the restaurant that include Japanese plastic food. Most of it looks real and gives the visitor a surreal feeling. But mind you, these works of art don’t come cheap. They can cost you as much as $30 for a good quality faux ramen. A complete bento box may leave your lighter by several more dollars.
In education centers, nutritionists use these fake foods to demonstrate facts to the class.