Brace yourself, for you are about to enter the uncanny valley of food. It's a land where cakes look like nachos, pizza, and pancakes, where hot dogs are really haute desserts, and where pasta melts like ice cream. This is where I have collected pictures of impressive food designed to look like other types of food. Get ready for your mind to be blown, and then for you to be very hungry.
You want a grilled cheese now, don't you? A greasy diner sandwich with American cheese, right? Well, you ain't getting it. Especially because this isn't grilled cheese to begin with. It's slices of sponge cake with a carefully placed layer of colored buttercream between them.
I cannot get over the fact that this is not macaroni salad but a combination of vanilla Tootsie rolls, chopped Starburst, and vanilla pudding. It's honestly probably too sweet to eat, but they nailed the look.
This really looks like a heavenly stack of blueberry pancakes, doesn't it? Well, too bad, because it's actually a cake. I mean, I guess that's not too bad. Cake is also delicious. So it's more like too good!
If you bite into that expecting a savory potato topped with sour cream, butter, and parsley, you will be very confused. Disappointed? No, because it's ice cream rolled in cocoa powder topped with whipped cream and fresh mint. But confused for a second? Yes, you will definitely be confused.
Bagel and cream cheese
Being from New York, I am quite the bagel snob, and I can already tell that I would complain that this bagel was way too flat when I picked it up. But when I realized it was actually a cookie with luxurious royal icing in place of cream cheese, I'd be OK again.
Those aren't the most convincing tortilla chips surrounding this nacho cake, but it doesn't matter. This really made me hungry...for nachos.
This cartoon quality ballpark dog is actually the Haute Dog from Dominique Ansel bakery. It's soft ladyfinger biscuits soaked in coconut syrup combined with raspberry cremeux, passionfruit curd, and shredded coconut. They even get the hot dog sweat right.
Who would want to eat a moldy orange? Well, maybe you would, if you're a fan of chicken liver paté glazed with mandarin jelly. Because that's what this moldy fruit is really made of.
Pizza is my favorite food, and cake is not my favorite dessert, but I have a feeling I would like this pizza cake. Just the sheer number of pieces of candy and the texture of the sweet toppings means this is a cake I want to take a bite of.
Bucket o' crabs
This dish gives a whole new meaning to the term "crab cake." Those big blue crabs look delicious, but they're not seafood. They're dessert.
This is maybe the most convincing picture on the list. I would totally believe that this is a melty cheeseburger. But in reality, it's a choux pastry bun with a chocolate-coated cocoa-espresso Rice Krispie treat patty. The melty cheese is white chocolate and blueberries, and the mushrooms are cinnamon-cayenne shortbread cookies. The fries are made of puff pastry, and the ketchup is cherry preserves. Yum.
This really looks like a gorgeous plate of sashimi, but it's really a dessert! A mix of boba and jellies and red bean paste and other yummy confections.
I knew looking at this that it wasn't a real pumpkin pie...but I still didn't know what it was. Turns out, it's a cookie! This would be fun to eat because you could pretend that you're a giant taking huge bites out of a regular-sized pumpkin pie.
Fries, ketchup, and mayo
These look like delicious, salty fries and sauces, but they're actually made of sugar-coated pie crust. The ketchup is raspberry jam and the mayo is real mayo! Just kidding. That would be disgusting. It's a whipped cream topping.
Chili cheese dog
This chili cheese dog is super convincing until you take a closer look at the bun and realize it's definitely a donut. The dog is also a donut — an apple cake one, to be exact — and the chili is really a delicious mix of caramel and pecans.
I wouldn't be ready to sit down to a nice, savory Italian dinner, if I were you. That's not ricotta-stuffed cannelloni topped with tomato sauce. It's baked custard rolled around chantilly cream and fresh basil, topped with red berry and mango sauce. The parm is white chocolate, the black pepper is dark chocolate.
Pop one of these cherries in your mouth expecting bright, tart fruit and you might be surprised at the taste...and texture. That's because they are actually made out of foie gras.
Tasty takeout container of lo mein? Not quite. There's a cupcake under there, and the noodles are made from colored vanilla buttercream. The broccoli, carrots, and bean sprouts have been carefully molded out of Tootsie rolls.
There are a lot of cakes and cookies that are made to look like tacos, but this one was weirdly convincing. Cookies, cake, buttercream, berries, and coconut do the trick here.
Massive medium rare T-bone that is actually made of delicious, moist cake. Just how I like it.
Eggs on toast
I love a good runny egg on toast for breakfast! But that's not what this is. It's vanilla pound cake topped with sweet cream and mango jelly. To be honest, I'd eat that for breakfast too.
These are wild mushrooms forages straight from the forest floor, right? Wrong. They're bao — steamed buns — designed to look just like wild mushrooms. And they are super convincing.
How is that something other than salad?! What could those be except for lettuce leaves? But it's actually a cake! And those leaves are edible wafer paper. People's creativity knows no bounds.
Salmon mousse mold
This haunts me. It looks exactly like the salmon mousse my grandmother used to make for every family get-together. But this one probably tastes much better, since it's made out of strawberry panna cotta and sits on a bed of leaves made out of sugar.
Soft-boiled eggs and soldiers
A soft-boiled egg with toast soldiers is a lovely breakfast for fancy people. But this? This is mango and coconut mousse covered in a chocolate shell with cake soldiers, and it's a lovely dessert for anybody.
Chicken patty sandwich and fries
This might be a cake, but it really does look like a fast food chicken sandwich (or one you might get in a school cafeteria), and honestly, it's making me hungry. Sometimes, you want that fake fast food sandwich.
This may look like bacon...or bacon covered in chocolate...but it's allll chocolate. Three different varieties, ribboned together in such a way that it looks like cured pork. What a world we live in, eh?
I love a good cheese and meat board, and I might be a little disappointed to find out the ham, brie, and crackers are all made out of fondant. What I'm saying is that if you get me this cheese board cake for my birthday, also get me an actual cheese board. Thank you.
Spaghetti and sauce is good, but ice cream made to look like spaghetti and sauce is better. This combo of vanilla ice cream, strawberry sauce, and grated white chocolate definitely counts as a meal.