Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Restaurants' displays of fake food are real deal for tourists | The Japan Times

Restaurants' displays of fake food are real deal for tourists | The Japan Times

The end of this article cracks me up.  If you order solely based on the appearance of fake food-- which can be ambiguous; that's the whole point-- you may end up eating fish cake instead of an omelet.  No problem if you like fish cake.

Just about everyone knows about the amazingly realistic fake food on display at many restaurants here in Japan.  I'm a big fan of the kind that looks positively edible.  I've never dragged a restaurant employee outside to the display case to point, but I have chosen restaurants based on whether or not I found their fake sets appetizing.  And I'm quite taken with the idea of renting a fake hamburger for 600 yen a month.

Food mistakes through illiteracy can be fun.  My first trip to Japan back in 2003 found me wandering the streets dying for a drink.  In those days, I wasn't the kind of person who would drink water.  You'd have to give water to me intravenously before I'd accept it into my body.  No, I wanted something with flavor.  Yeah, I could have gone for a Coca-Cola.  Coke vending machines are everywhere here, and there's little chance of making a mistake when buying a Coke.  But I wanted apple juice for some mysterious, possibly pathological, reason.  Only apple juice would do.  Well, the bottle had a green label and the fluid within it looked like apple juice, so I put my yen into the machine and pressed the button.  Only it turned out to be unsweetened tea.

I like unsweetened tea, but I had prepared my taste buds for the tartness of apple juice, not the faint bitterness of tea.  I would have registered less revulsion at even sweet tea.

Flash forward a decade and travel over to Tokyo Disneyland with my brother and his daughter.  They were hungry and right in front of them was a booth selling what appeared to be meatballs.  Like many Americans-- especially those from Georgia-- they're largely carnivorous.  So they bought the meatballs only to experience their first taste of one of my faves, takoyaki.

Fortunately, their tongues took to the takoyaki better than mine did to the unsweetened tea.  Now they both love takoyaki.

No comments: