Vegetable and Fruit Carvings
Carving is the act of shaping an object from any material by scraping the substance with the removal of extra unwanted portions. The application of carving can be used on any soft material which can retain the shape. Generally carving is making of sculpture using clay and melted glass. It can be molded into different shapes while it is soft and pliable so that it attains a definite shape on hardening. Vegetables and fruits are also used for carving. The most commonly used fruits are water melon, apple, pine apple and vegetables like carrot, radish, cucumber, beet root, pumpkin and tomato. Fruit and vegetable carving is a old tradition which has been passed through generation. It is an ancient art, used in making food offerings for gods, monks, guests, weddings and even royal funerals. Before carving a fruit, it is important to collect all materials.
Equipment used for carving
Designs of flowers and birds are used in vegetable carving. The designs could be simple or complicated. They are mostly used as a decoration for garnish.
Pen: is used to outline the carving
Carving Knife: is used to intricate the design
Peel Zester: is used to peel the pericarp of the fruits
Melon Baller: is used to scoop out various fruit balls. Normally melon and other soft fruits are scooped.
Types of Carving
There are two types of carvings
In this type of carving the outer skin is removed to obtain the inner pulp which is of another colour. A unique carving can be made using both the skin colours.
Three Dimensional Carving
In this carving, fruits are cut so that it reveals a three dimensional effect. Mostly f lowers are created using this technique. Before carving the outline of the pattern has to be drawn on its surface. It requires more time and concentration. Selection of right fruits depend on the type and purpose of carving. Before displaying, it should be refrigerated to get firm textured materials.
Things to remember before carving
☆All the fruits and vegetables must be thoroughly cleaned before carving.
☆Always use stainless steel knives for carving, iron knives cause discolouration.
☆While carving, the fruits and vegetables should be delicately carved with minimum nutrient loss.
☆The designs selected for carving should meet the theme of the occasion.
☆All those vegetables which need to be dipped in chilled water or sauces should be finely chopped according to need.
☆Right selection of vegetables according to the dish is needed.
☆Extreme care should be taken, while carving to prevent spoilage to the fruits and vegetables.
Selection of Fruits and Vegetables for Carving
All fruits and vegetable have their own unique characteristics, so select them according to its nature.
☆Carrot should be firm in touch, straight, dark colour and any size.
☆Radish should be fresh, firm, and round without any blemish. Always use medium size radish.
☆Cucumber should always be green, as it is suitable for carving straight, firm, and medium sized.
☆Tomatoes should be of firm uniform round size with no blemishes.
☆Pumpkin must be thick, firm with rough surface
☆Cabbage and Chinese cabbage should be fresh and heavy. Always use medium sized cabbages for carving.
☆Papaya should be straight, pulpy. Always use semi ripe papaya as it is the best variety used for carving.
☆Watermelon should be fresh round in shape with no bruises on its surface.
☆Apple should be shiny red and fresh with no cuts.