For the first time visitors in Japan, many of the things seem weird since the country somehow maintains a veil of mysticism. But one thing that must intrigue the foreigner tourists in Japan is that Japanese plastic food display. You can see them anywhere-either in front of the restaurants, or in the display cabinets, sometimes presented on the little tables by the door or in the showcases of stores. Every time you will visit the Japanese restaurants, you will always come across these life-like food replicas.
Though this fake display food is especially meant for the foreigners who visit Japanese restaurants in order to simplify the procedure for choosing their menu, but these are enormously used in everywhere in Japan. Such Japanese plastic food is called sampuru and you can find every kind of food samples ranging from plastic pizza, salads, soup, beer, curry, sushi, everything. Visitors both foreigners and Japanese use these prop food as the menu before they enter into a restaurant. Actually, this is an art- the Japanese art of display fake foods. Let’s have a look how the Japanese Sampuru is being used in several ways.
The okonomiyaki is actually a popular Japanese seafood combo. The okonomiyaki sampuru displays the raw ingredients that are presented with the grilled pancake. In this seafood combo you will get the raw asari (a little clam), ebi (shrimp) and ika (squid). Though these ingredients can be cooked in tow popular styles such as Kyoto style and Hiroshima style, but don’t attempt to cook these real-like ingredients as these are only made of plastic.
- Lunch set
You can also find sampuru in the way of a lunch set plate which is popularly found in an o-bento. Like the real lunch set, here also sampuru lunch set will be presented with Naporitan which is actually Japanese pasta with ketchup based sauce, egg, gomai (spinach with miso and sesame dressing), sandoicchi (sandwich) and potato salad and stir fry with gobo root (burdock root). The entire set is favorite for the kids and therefore keeps the kids away from the replica food. Otherwise, they will try to consume this plastic food.
You can also find artificial food in the form of desserts that look most appetizing as well as appealing to you. You will also find chocolate, strawberries with the combination of other fruits in the sampuru desserts.
As a tourist, you may not be satisfied only with the display of these food props until you are not taking anything with you as a souvenir. Sampuru are meant not only for displaying in the windows of eateries, but also in the form of souvenirs such as cell phone charms, key chains, pen drives, and attached to purses. These souvenirs are especially popular in Tokyo’s Kappabashi-dori (kitchen town). You can also find then almost all souvenir shops in Japan.
- Sauce display
The excellence of sampuru is not limited in displaying several Japanese foods, but also different forms of presenting them. Therefore, in some cases, you will find the plastic food display as pouring sauce all over your food.
Thus, you will explore every form of food in Japanese sampuru in your gastronomic journey through Japanese food. Here lies the artistic creativity of Japan.