September 12, 2016
Takizo Iwasaki’s 121st birthday
Most of us are familiar with the wax and plastic replica foods that help you decide what to order at a restaurant, but did you know that the practice dates back to the 1920s?
Takizo Iwasaki re-invented a practice that had been around for over a decade, of creating sampuru (or samples) of food served by restaurants. He started with a perfectly 'cooked' omelet made of wax. Reportedly, upon showing it to his wife, she couldn't even tell the difference between the sampuru and the real thing! The omelet was once open for public viewing in his home prefecture of Gifu, where most of the world's replica food is still made.
Although replica foods are now more often made of plastic than wax, the practice is still done by hand and rarely mass-produced. This is to maintain the quality of the sampuru and the unique dishes that each restaurant requests.
Today's doodle celebrates Takizo Iwasaki on what would be his 121st birthday, with an homage to that original omelet that changed the landscape of sampuru forever.