“Watching them feels wicked meditative.”
May 3, 2016 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Brian Feldman, Hopes&Fears: Why are people obsessed with Japanese miniature cooking videos?
There is an irreconcilable conflict at the heart of working with miniatures: “It’s about as far removed as you can get from the chaos of real life, but at the same time it requires you to be a very attentive observer of real life if you hope to capture that in your miniature art. It’s a cool paradox and one that’s really fun to play with as an artist.”
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (17 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, I could watch these all day.
posted by moons in june at 7:48 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

My daughter and I do a little bonding over the Korean versions of these. One of my favorites is this miniature roast turkey dinner. I DO NOT KNOW WHERE THE 1" TURKEY COMES FROM. And to connect to a recent post here on the Blue, here's a demo of miniature spam and kimchi fried rice, complete with homemade miniature kimchi from a miniature fermenting pot!
posted by drlith at 7:56 PM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

I ran across them a couple years ago. I think what I love about them is their methodical procedure and attention to detail. It's like, we're going to put in the love to recreate every bit of this process, even though we can't quite represent every phase of real food cooking.

Miniatures are soothing to people because of the sense of control they give. It's the same thing with train layouts and Christmas villages.
posted by Miko at 7:59 PM on May 3, 2016

For a while I was getting sucked in by an offshoot of this - someone who made miniature versions of food entirely out of candy powder mix.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:35 PM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

That turkey looks like it's been through a tiny flesh interface.
posted by STFUDonnie at 8:44 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was already a fan of these but had not seen those Korean ones, and they are amazing...the tiny turkey already had me going but then the tiny box of tin foil? Dead.
posted by pandalicious at 10:30 PM on May 3, 2016

I've seen quite a few of these, but I could mostly figure out how the things got there. The tiny turkey is utterly blowing my mind.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 10:49 PM on May 3, 2016

oh my god people will you please sharpen your damn mini knives
posted by ZaphodB at 11:31 PM on May 3, 2016 [5 favorites]

A little research turns up claims that the turkey is carved from chicken breast with a couple of tiny bones added.

I'm reminded of the claim from Penn and Teller that sometimes magic is the result of people putting in more work than a normal person can imagine doing.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 2:23 AM on May 4, 2016 [5 favorites]

This is all desensitisation so when the giants invade everyone's like "oh sweet can you make more cooking videos" instead of screaming and running, you mark my words.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:17 AM on May 4, 2016

OMG it's Li'l Bits /obligatory Ricknmorty 100 million years forever .com
posted by yoHighness at 6:31 AM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I really want one of those little candle stoves to cook tiny things on.
posted by Makwa at 7:48 AM on May 4, 2016

sometimes magic is the result of people putting in more work than a normal person can imagine doing.

I was really surprised that the purely magical aspect of these videos didn't get more of a mention in the original article. To me, the appeal is absolutely the fact that the kitchen is so impossibly tiny and so impossibly perfect -- basically, a fairy kitchen. (I saw one that involved breaking eggs! Eggs! How did those even... how?!?) The intrusion of human hands is necessary, of course, to highlight the impossible tininess and perfection by throwing it into relief. (Although the hands' game attempts to interact appropriately with stuff that is too tiny and perfect -- holding the tiny coffee cups by their handles, for instance -- is part of the appeal.)
posted by babelfish at 8:39 AM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Eggs! How did those even... how?!?

Quail eggs. They're very small, and very, very cute.
posted by epanalepsis at 12:17 PM on May 4, 2016

miniature spam and kimchi fried rice

you warned me about the kimchi pot but not about the rice cooker! oh, the rice cooker!
posted by nat at 6:04 PM on May 4, 2016

I have seen quail eggs and they are very, very far from being 1:12 scale. A 1:12 scale egg is about the size of a dry black bean.

Oh, here's the one with the eggs.

(Edit: On re-watching I think the part where they crack the egg and it's full of actual egg may be a bit of movie magic!)
posted by babelfish at 8:46 AM on May 5, 2016

Here's how they made the eggs. (Don't watch if you want to believe.)
posted by Scram at 8:21 PM on May 5, 2016

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