You know it’s hot when objects start melting. Forget temperatures being too high to dine outside — in Japan, they’re too high for even fake plastic food to sit in their window displays. That’s right, the plastic food that’s meant to entice customers to enter cafes and restaurants in Japan is turning into colorful, but unappetizing, goo this week, according to Kotaku. In Nagoya, the temperature was 104 degrees, but inside the display window temperatures were as high as 140.
The display foods are meant to both demonstrate how the meal will look on a plate, and allow non-Japanese tourists to simply point at menu items without having to struggle with the language. They have been found in the window displays of Japanese restaurants for nearly 90 years. Display food, or “shokuhin sampuru,” is a huge business in Japan — the niche industry is worth about $90 million each year, according to The Guardian.
You can bet that these cafe and restaurant owners are eager for a break in the heat wave even more than their parched customers.