Few things stop a web-surfer in their tracks like an F.O.U.S. You know, Food of Unusual Size.
Whether it’s a pizza the size of a car or a cake the size of a penny, culinary creations scaled to the extreme are among the most delightful treasures to uncover online. YouTube tycoons have built their empires on culinary stunts with millions of subscribers flocking to see their super-sized dishes. Instagram artists have made their mark in miniature, creating tiny worlds for fans to peer into, double-tap, and follow.
Not all of this artwork is made from edible ingredients. But whether it’s made of plaster, flour, resin, sugar, wood, oil, or glue — if the meals we’re scrolling by look delicious and ridiculous? Plenty of us will be clicking.
Of course, like many online trends, enjoying foods of unusual sizes predates social media. The practice of sculpting miniature food out of wax began in early 20th century Japan and soon became an iconic staple in the country’s culture of cuteness. By 1994, the world’s largest pancake — measuring 49 feet in diameter and weighing nearly 7,000 pounds — was gracing the city of Rochdale, Manchester in the UK. It hasn’t been outsized since.
Our fascination with grub mammoth and miniscule seems to persist in part because of the immense amount of work required to create these dishes. It’s labor that can be easily appreciated, with little more than a glance summoning all kinds of questions: How did you make all that dough? Where did you get an oven that small? Why would you want that much ketchup?
So, who are the creatives breaking their backs and straining their eyes to feed our feeds? We visited their digital kitchens to find out.