An Overview of Sampuru: The Japanese Fake Food

The art of Japanese fake food is about multi-billion yen business and it bears nearly a century old tradition of Japanese food craftsmanship. Japan is always famous for its creativeness in culinary tradition. That’s why Japan has gifted the world a number of typical Japanese dishes like sushi, ramen, tempura, soba, kaiseki and so on that have gained immense popularity throughout the world. Therefore, it is obvious that this country has artisan not only on variety of dishes, but also on the food replicas. Food replica is the common sight in izakayas, especially tapas bars. You can also view them in top-notch restaurants as well as supermarkets throughout the country, even in your nearest Chinatown.

The Purpose of Using Sampuru

Japanese sampuru or food replica is actually used with the assumption that its presence may increase the revenue. Its purpose is very straightforward- by providing the sample of the realistic looking food the potential customers get the idea of their selection, shape, quantity and price of the food. These food replicas look appetizing. Though these artificial food props are all literally fake, if you say honestly, it is purely an advertising strategy. In simple word, through these artificial food prop you will have the idea what you see is what you eat, the only exception is that your served food won’t be vinyl made.

Sampuru is a purely Japanese preference of unique marketing tool. Since the Japanese people are cautious enough to choose their dishes, these Japanese food models will help them to see what they are going to place order.

The Japanese Art of Testing Food with the Eyes

The fine art of sampuru or plastic food is purely Japanese phenomenon though you can see now that South Korea and China concentrate on constituting its growing markets. If you give an in-depth look on this art of artificial food, you will come to know that the appreciation of fake foods is strongly linked with the Japanese extraordinary appreciation of visual aesthetics of foods. Actually, it is the Japanese tradition of first ‘tasting with their eyes’ before eating. In order to give special concentration on the art of Japanese sampuru, Yasunobu Nose, a Japanese journalist, has written a book on this topic with special appreciation of the art of Japanese food replicas.

What is Sampuru?

Let’s have a brief idea about sampuru. Derived from the English word ‘sample’, the convincing origin of sampuru took place. This piece of art is exclusively made in Japan. These artificial display foods are not mass-produced and all of them are skillfully handmade by the expert artists. The restaurants specially order these custom-made display foods by providing pictures as well as realistic food to the studio. It is the haute couture of fake food prop, but you may find wholesale retailers in the big cities providing artificial display foods in less price “pret-a-porter” equivalents. But the real tradition of sampuru doesn’t consist of cheaper price as replica foods themselves cost typically ten to twenty times higher than the dishes they advertise.

fake food props

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