Last Call: Realistic food pillows leave us confused, cuddly

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Realistic food pillows leave us confused, cuddly
Photo: dima_sidelnikov (iStock)
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

We talk a lot about texture to describe foods we love, or those we can’t stand. Mouthfeel is such a big consideration that Merriam-Webster has apparently consented to its use as a single word. But what about handfeel? It’s a term most often applied to textiles, and it does not have an entry in the dictionary, but it seems like the way something feels as it makes the journey to your mouth is worth considering, too. I say all this because I’ve stumbled upon the mesmerizing corner of the internet concerned with hyperrealistic food pillows, and some of them give me more pause than others.

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Doughnuts? Sure, that seems to lend itself to pillowdom easily enough, especially since their shape and texture is already so much like a pillow, and its color scheme is cute enough to decorate a room with. I notice first that the cartoonish, Squishable variety of doughnut has given way to a more high-definition photograph-based one, but it’s a pretty subtle distinction. But I’m not so much a fan of that photorealism when it’s applied to something even more textured, like an almond or a pistachio, and then pillowified:

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Nothing about that looks comforting to me. Not only does the almond look as rough as tree bark and serve as a reminder that, oh yeah, almonds really do come to a rather dramatic point, but the shadow going down into the pistachio shell is dipping too far into the uncanny valley. When I think of pistachios, I think of the snap of prying their unyielding shell open. I think a soft and huggable pistachio might fry my brain’s circuitry.

Absolutely not. A fish made to look like its charred, all-dressed-for-dinner self is the last thing I want to be squeezing. This needs an oversized plush knife and fork to be properly dealt with.

Surely mine is not the only brain that exhibits a visceral disgust response upon seeing these food pillows? Are there others out there who find them off-putting? If not, then you’ll all be pleased to know the bulk rate on these unnecessary things can’t be beat. Enjoy your cute and cuddly coconut shrimp.

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Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

tsuyoikuma

I’m fine with these mostly, but the idea of cuddling the realistic meat ones is a little to Texas Chainsaw Massacre for me.