The ultimate food miniacs, however, may be the Japanese.
Clever Japanese cooks have created real meals fit for the Borrowers: penny-size omelets and strawberry shortcakes, spaghetti boiled in thimble-size pots, pea-size potato salads. All are prepared and cooked using miniature kitchen appliances—stoves fueled with tea candles—and utensils the size of straight pins. Videos of some of these preparations are available on You Tube. One even features miniature coffeemaking, with a pot the size of an acorn, an even smaller coffee filter, and—eventually—a tiny pair of coffee cups on a table set for two. It’s weirdly irresistible.
For those of us who aren’t Lilliputian, this doesn’t seem to make much sense. What’s the point of a sip-size portion of coffee or a breakfast dish the size of your thumbnail?
The best guess seems to be that the appeal of the teeny meals is an offshoot of the Japanese obsession with kawaii culture—that is, with things that are little and cute. Think Hello Kitty, Pokemon, or Totoro. Or Winnie-the-Pooh. Tiny meals are—well, yes—pretty adorable.
Tiny is also a billion-dollar business. Psychologists hypothesize that its appeal is escape: It gives us a respite from real life. The small, the delicate, the unexpectedly miniaturized allow viewers to live, at least temporarily, in a fantasy world.
Also, the idea of tiny cuisine may appeal because many of the recipes use real ingredients and tools–things you could actually cook with or consume, if you wanted to.
So … let’s all think small, reports internet.