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Created by latte artist, Kazuki Yamamoto.
A Happy Cat made from a latte? Einstein in foam? The Japanese have such a love of the cute and the whimsy.

See more images from today's NPR article by Maria Godoy, "Masterpiece in a Mug: Japanese Latte Art Will Perk You Up," featuring work by Japanese latte artists, Kazuki Yamamoto and Kohei Matsuno, also known as Mattsun. Kohei Matsuno's website contains a video of him creating his art, literally painting with espresso! And both tweet images of their daily frothy creations. 

Ephemeral art. Totally cool. 



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How can one sip away something this cute? Latte creation by Kazuki Yamamoto
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It's Kiki from Hayao Miyazaki's animated film, Kiki's Delivery Service! I love this film! I think this is a Mattsun latte.
 
 
There's two kinds of fake food: the replica fake food like the food displays in the windows of Japanese restaurants, and the cute kind. My collection of fake food is the cute kind. 
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peas & carrots in a mini blue colander!
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Super realistic fake food always has a plastic-y look to it that doesn't work for me though I was enthralled by these displays as a little girl. Photo credit: Lombroso
And my ultimate favorite kind of fake food is much harder to define, but I like to call it functional fake food. fff is adorable and should have a high design quality. It's cute but usable, playable. You can cuddle with it, use it in the kitchen, or maybe it's a funky display item. It's realistic but does not try to be exact. There's always lots of whimsy. Hand-crafted is good and natural materials are best.
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On the other hand, here is plastic fake food that is super cute. The difference is that these donuts are not trying to look realistic so the plastic doesn't detract from its playfulness. Children's toys are a great source of fake food. These donuts came as a half dozen from Lakeshore Learning many years ago. The frosting comes off and can be mix n' matched with the bottoms. 
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Wood food is best, and Haba is the best of the best! These butter cookies evoke the real thing but leave lots of room for imaginative play.
 
 
This is super special fake food because it was hand made by my daughter, Jordan. She made these just for me in her needle felting elective at school. 

Included are a sake nigiri (salmon), kappa maki (cucumber roll), tekka maki (tuna roll), and my favorite part, the wasabi!

I went to my favorite Japanese food store, Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley, and bought the wooden platform for full presentation effect. For those of you who don't know, Tokyo Fish is an amazing Japanese specialty food market with exceptionally fresh sushi-grade fish. They also carry a select inventory of fresh vegetables and our favorite fresh tofu from the Sacramento Tofu Company. Also attached is a small gift store with Japanese cooking utensils, dishware and other gift items. 
On my wish list is a Hangiri, a Japanese wooden mixing bowl specifically used for making sushi rice. The wood helps to absorb excess moisture from the rice so you can get the perfect texture for sushi.