2020 NO.28

Souvenirs of JapanSouvenirs of Japan


Practical and Fun
Food Replica Lifestyle Accessories

Photos: Osaka Satoshi

Food replicas, originally developed for the display windows of restaurants, are true-to-life models of food items made from synthetic resin, and they have been around since the 1920s. The secret to their realistic appearance is hidden in the techniques of the artisans who meticulously craft each piece. Foods to replicate are selected from the menu, and it takes a complex process with multiple steps to complete a single one—for example, creating the mold from the real food, painting by hand or using an airbrush, and baking in an oven.

In recent years, going beyond their original use, food replicas have become popular as personal lifestyle accessories—USB memory sticks in the shape of fried prawns, sushi earrings, ramen bowl-shaped smartphone holders, pizza rulers, and more. Despite their small size, the replicas are quite realistic. A gift of such a food replica accessory, both fun and practical, is certain to bring a smile.