Me: 'Hey all! I'd like to take a moment to welcome myself back to the Fake-n-Bake kitchen after a summer away for the opera season.'
Myself: 'Thanks, Anna, you know, it's been a while since I've posted here on the blog and I just wanted everyone to know that while I was toiling away in the desert, my thoughts often strayed to my Fake-n-Bakers.'
Me: 'That's great Anna, welcome back. Tell us, what have you brought for us today?'
Myself: ' Well, in the spirit of the Olympics, I thought we'd take a look at fake food from another country. The USA may win the gold medal in swimming, but if there was an event in fake foodery, Japan would take the gold.'
Me: 'That's really dumb, why are you talking like Bob Costas?'
Myself: 'Your face is talking like Bob Costas.'
Me: 'Uh, okay, getting back to the food. Why is Japan so good at fake food?'
Myself: 'Well, according to my extensive research on Wikipedia and the feature film 'Big Bird Goes to Japan......'
Me: 'You mean 'Big Bird Goes to China?'
Myself: 'Whatever. According to my research, restaurants in Japan often use display dishes or sampuru to advertise their dishes to passers by. The display pieces are unique to each restaurant's menu and are executed in beautiful detail.'
Me: 'Those look good enough to eat! Now, for our readers at home who would like to make their own sampuru, where should they start?"
Myself: 'Funny you should ask! I've brought two videos to get people going, and both are pretty straightforward. It looks to me like both techniques are done using paraffin wax, which can be purchased in any grocery store. Be careful while heating and melting paraffin, it can be quite flammable. You can melt crayons into the wax to color it, but if you are making large batches, I recommend buying candle coloring pellets like the ones sold at www.thecandlemaker.com. Soda cans are a great container for heating paraffin in a water bath as they are light weight and disposable. Just cut the tops off with a pair of craft or kitchen shears, and watch out for sharp edges.'
Me: 'Great Anna, we'll get to the videos, but first, are there any paraffin projects here on the Fake-n-Bake blog already?'
Myself: 'Indeed, Anna, the pickled herring for Cabaret was made of paraffin. Now to the videos, I have two for you today, both from the traditional Japanese website 'YouTube' the first shows a man making beautiful fake lettuce, and the second shows a technique for wax tempura.'