We love the ever-growing trend of Kawaii (cute) food that has taken the YouTube and social media world by storm.
There are people who make tiny, tempting meals from modelling clay, others who cook little meals on miniature stoves and then there’s artist Chikoto Kawkaami, who makes cookies that look like tempting dishes of tiny sushi and ramen who has turned it into a true art form.
Where Did It Start?
So how did it all begin? Life size models of different dishes – known as sampuru – have been used by Japanese restaurants since the start of the 20th century as a way to display the food on their menu in their windows.
Originally the models were made using wax, but plastic models were introduced in the ’70s for obvious reasons. The fake food industry still thrives today and the Japanese sell them all over the world. They’re not cheap, with some detailed dishes costing up to £200.
The World Of Small
It wasn’t long before fake food became popular as key charms, mobile phone covers and flash drives. With the Japanese love of kawaii and all things small, it didn’t take a great leap of imagination before fake food was downsized too.
The trend has taken off all over the world, but it seems to be Japanese food that dominates the popularity of this art form. A food journalist in the Bahamas makes intricate little dishes whilst a popular YouTube channel in Japan features a guy who makes any type of food as long as it’s tiny.
Tiny But Edible
People while away the hours on YouTube watching cooking shows with a difference – think Masterchef only hosted by The Borrowers.
Old-fashioned stoves are fired up using a tea light and millions tune in to shows like Tiny Kitchen to see grown adults cook up real food that looks like it’s been made for dolls.
The production company behind Tiny Kitchen, one of the most popular tiny food channels, got the idea when one of their Japanese partners sent them a box full of tiny kitchen equipment. The team even got a doll housemaker to create the perfect model kitchen for them and they are now shooting their second series.
Tiny Kitchen makes everyday food including doughnuts, tacos and a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup. Lots of other tiny food shows have sprouted up everywhere with people glued to their laptop to watch tiny cups of coffee being brewed.
Happy Kitchen is another well watched channel for tiny food where the team make fast food and doughnuts from tiny food kits that are now on sale in Japan.
Cute Food That’s Something Else
The latest phenomenon to excite the crowds on Instagram is artist Chikoto Kawakami who makes cookies that are decorated as savoury Japanese dishes that look far too good to eat.
She creates all the food she makes from icing, down to the tiniest sesame seed and the shiniest egg yolk. Why not visit her Instagram page to marvel at her infinite patience and attention to detail.
We’re so impressed with all of this tiny food at Yutaka that we’re planning on giving it a go soon. Which tiny food would you like to see us make?