Did you know that plastic food is a big business in Japan, and it's growing in China? This surprised me, but it's the topic of an informative report on the OddityCentral blog -- complete with some great photos of some realistic-looking plastic food. According to the report, Japanese restaurants started to use wax models of meals in 1917, and eventually manufacturers shifted to plastic. The manufacturing process is pretty complicated:
Restaurants send fake food makers the exact item they want replicated, along with photos. Silicon is poured around and over the disk and solidifies into a mold, which is then filled with liquid plastic and cooked in an oven. Then comes the really hard part - getting the details right. Oil based paints, regular brushes, air brushes, knives and carving tools are all part of fake food artist's arsenal, but they all keep their techniques a secret.Maiduru Corp. is one of the big players in the market, check out their website for more photos of plastic food. According to Wikipedia.com, which actually has a listing for "Fake food in Japan" (isn't the web wonderful?), Japanese makers of plastic food now are targeting restaurants overseas, including in China.