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Fake food factory

Photo by Renee ShadforthGSE team member Tammy Staley makes a head of cabbage in the fake food showroom outside of Kakamigahara, Japan.
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For some reason there’s a fake food phenomenon in Japan. Almost every sushi shop you pass on the street has fake but realistic looking sashimi, rolls and vegetables laid out in a box. Apparently, a sign and a menu outside the door of a restaurant isn’t enough to entice people to walk into a restaurant in Japan.

Well, today we got to make fake food in a fake food showroom outside of Kakamigahara. First, we learned their methods of making tempura out of wax. First you drip some yellow wax into hot water. Then, you roll a fake piece of shrimp, sweet potato or bell pepper into the wax. Voila! You have a fake piece of tempura.

According to a 5-year-old article in AsianWeek, an online news source for Asian Americans, the fake food industry is huge in Japan, but it has not taken hold in American restaurants:



“In Japan, fake food replicas can be found in 86 percent of restaurant windows”it is a $150 million industry,” said Fujita, owner and CEO of the Los Angeles-based Iwasaki. But in the United States, “only 1 percent of all restaurants display fake food replicas and less than 10 percent of those are Japanese restaurants,” Fujita continued.


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