英語でニッポンをフカボリ！ DID YOU KNOW…?『食品サンプル』
まずはKey Words & Phrasesから。
food sample / food model / fake food（食品サンプル・食品の模型）
look just like the real thing（本物にそっくりである）
Did you know that many restaurants display food models at the entrance in Japan?
・In Japan, realistic models of food menus are often displayed in front of the restaurants and cafes to show customers what dishes will actually look like.
・Such models are called “food sample” and thought to have been invented in the early 20th century in Japan.
・Food samples are commonly used in many places offering foods and drinks as a menu and the quality is generally high. As the samples look just like the real thing, they make it easier for the customer to decide on their order.
・Although food samples are rarely used in other countries, they are quite popular among visitors from abroad. Some visitors buy food-sample related goods as a souvenir and some enjoy making their own food samples at a workshop.
・It would be fair to say that high quality food samples are part of unique Japanese culture.
3 Questions for Digging Deeper! 《 もっと掘り下げてみよう！ 》
1. What are food samples made from?
Originally, gelatin mold which was made from agar was used to create food samples. Liquid wax was then injected into these molds and colored with paint to give a lively look. Although the quality of the wax food sample was high in terms of appearance, it was rather fragile and needed improvement. Now, most food samples are made from durable plastic that won’t melt in the showcase.
2.What kind of related goods are available with food samples?
Typical goods include keyholder, magnet, smartphone case and accessories such as necklace and earrings. If you want to enjoy making your own food samples as well, Asakusa located in easten Tokyo would be the ideal place. There are a variety of food samples and food-sample related goods in Asakusa. In addition to that, visitors are able to make their own food samples at workshop sessions held there.
3. Why are food samples widespread in Japan?
It is said that the company which commercialized food samples in Japan wanted to help restaurants convey the “deliciousness” of their food to customers. The result was a success. In fact, it had an effect to attract people as food samples are visually appealing and it is now widely used throughout Japan.