Food Art – Vegetable Carving as an Art Form

It is hard to say exactly when food art, vegetable carving and other artistic ways of presenting foods first started.  The origins of vegetable carving are disputed: many people believe it to have begun in Thailand 700 years ago.  Others  believe that vegetable carving originated in the time of the Early Chinese Dynasties, notably the  Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906) and the Sung Dynasty (AD 960-1279).

food art

Image credit: Pinterest

Food Art is Very popular Right now.

Some fans also credit Japan as the root of the art of fruit and vegetable carving, called Mukimono in Japanese.  According to Wikipedia,  Mukimono’s origins began in ancient times when food was served on unglazed clay pottery. These rough platters were covered with a leaf before the food was plated. Artistic chefs realized that the cutting or folding of the leaf in different ways created a more attractive presentation.

Whatever way food art and vegetable carving originated, it is now known and practiced worldwide. Vegetable carving is flaunted in many different Asian restaurants, cruises, hotels, and other various places.  If you have an interest in the art, this book from Amazon gives a lot of ideas.

The Decorative art of Food carving

As is the case with any creative practice, the results are often picked up by social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook.  If you have a look at your news feed on Facebook during the summer months, you will likely find many interesting examples of food art.  People seem to love to look at images of vegetables that have been carved into artistic shapes. This appealing owl was all over Facebook this week.  It shows just how creative the process can be.

The owl pictured above has a cantaloupe head, and lettuce for a frill and wings. Zucchini and spring onions make up the tail feathers, as well as a sprig of red peppers.  My guess is the legs are made of broccoli stems perhaps. I’m sure that with Halloween coming, we’ll see lots of pumpkins carved into all sorts of creative images. Have you ever tried food carving?  I once had a not so successful go at radish flowers. How did your efforts work out?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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