Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fruits used in Fruit Carvings

Fruits used in Carvings

The Art of Fruit and Vegetable Carving is very interesting and challenging, and the choice right Vegetables and Fruits will effect the decoration. Also important is the way the vegetables and fruits are prepared , stored and used before and after carving. This will effect the proper presentation and decoration of the art. In this post we will deal with the fruits used for carving.

Here are some useful tips and suggestions on selection of Fruits and vegetables for carving, and also special tips about preparation of these fruits and vegetables before carving to get optimum results.

Each kind of fruit and vegetable has its own unique characteristics, so keep these pointers in mind when choosing fruits and vegetables to carve. A brief description of each Vegetable and Fruit is given besides an Image provided for the benefit of those who are not aware of certain fruits and vegetables used for such carving.

Apples: These familiar round fruits are classified as eating, cooking, or all-purpose. They can be sweet or tart and come in various colors. Summer apples do not keep well, while other varieties keep all winter. Find out what varieties are grown in your area and become familiar with their attributes.

Blueberries: These are round berries with a firm, smooth skin. Similar round berries include saskatoons, elderberries, gooseberries, and currants.

Cranberries: These tart, bright red berries are grown in huge, sandy bogs on low, trailing vines. They are usually at their peak in October or November.

Grapes: Grapes of different colors and shapes can be used for Vegetable and Fruit carvings. Grapes come in a variety of colors (red, white, and blue) and types (seedless or with seeds, table grapes, or wine grapes). Concord grapes are the most common in farmers’ markets, and home gardens. These grapes are often used for juice, jelly, and jam.

Melons: are large, hard-skinned fruits with sweet, juicy flesh. They are part of the gourd family. Watermelon has the highest water content. Cantaloupe and honeydew are varieties of muskmelon. Shown above are some of the Melon varieties used for carving.

The texture of pears ranges from very soft, creamy, and juicy to firm and crisp. Colors range from brown to gold to green to red. Being crisp and hard they are good fruits to be used for carving.

Raspberries: Raspberries and other brambleberries (blackberries, boysenberries, mulberries) are soft fruits with tart, intensely flavored juice. They come in a variety of colors red, black, purple, and gold. They grow on canes with or without thorns. Their high liquid content and thin membranes make them fragile. Such soft fruits are used for decoration and lining.

Strawberries: The first berry of the season, strawberries are plump, sweet red fruits with tiny seeds dotting their exterior. There are two types: the traditional June bearing and the day neutral, which bear all summer long. These can be used very well to create great effects of carving, small roses, etc.

Peaches: Peaches are a round stone fruit with orange or white flesh and fuzzy skin. There are three main types: clingstone, with flesh that firmly adheres to the pit; semi-freestone; and freestone, with flesh that is easily separated from the pit. Other stone fruits include sweet or sour cherries, apricots, and plums.

Lemons are mainly used to be displayed finely diced, and decorated along the borders or on Glasses of Drinks as Wedges. Even full lemons can add color to a presentation if located ideally.

Pomegranates: These can be used either whole or seeded to decorate the base or even as a good shape, if cut in the desired pattern.

Pineapples: Pineapples can be used as slices, or a whole Pineapple carved very delicately, by using various patterns. Carving a pineapple is difficult as the "eyes" have to be removed delicately, and then the pattern has to be created.

Kiwi Fruit: One of the most beautiful fruits that can be used well if the Chef is imaginative. It has such a variety of combination to work on.

Persimmons: These squat orange-colored fruits are sweet and jellylike on the inside. Used well if they are combined with a fruit of contrast color like green apples, or Pear.

Oranges or Tangerines can be also used, but due to their loose seedling structure they are more difficult to slice unless you have a good slicing knife. As a whole fruit they add a lot of color to the decoration. Wedges can be amazing if you manage to get a good slice.

Guavas: Guavas can be used very well in carving especially the one that are pink or reddish on the inside. They can be carved into nice wedges and added to create a pattern.

Fresh Sweet Lime: Sweet Lime are mainly used to be displayed finely diced, and decorated along the borders or on Glasses of Drinks as Wedges. Even full lemons can add color to a presentation if located ideally.

Bananas: Bananas, one of the most freely available fruits can be used in different ways to create Fruit decorations. They can take various shapes, and even create cartoon characters if properly designed.

Papayas: Papayas are the most frequently used fruits for carving as they are very easy to carve, and peel. The color of the papayas also add to the decorative value of the presentations as the inside of the papaya are available in varied colors. Single piece carvings of Papaya have become the center of attraction of many centerpieces.

Rose Apples: Rose apples are rarely seen in the general fruit market, being seasonal, and can be used very well for carving as they are very soft. However proper preparation is required as they need to be crisp. You get Rose apples in variety of colors like Pure white, with tinges of green, even Pink and dark pink or red.

Mangoes "The King of Fruits" - is the best choice for a variety of carvings as they are available in various colors and shapes. Ripe mangoes as well as Green mangoes can be used to bring a variety of color to the presentation. Seen above are both the ripe and Green Mangoes.

Tagua Nuts: Tagua Nut carvings are a class of their own. It is a difficult art , and requires a lot of skill and practice. Sharp instruments are also required, while having a keen eye for detail. One such carving is shown here from the stage of the original fruit to the carved elephant.

We have seen above a variety of fruits that can be used for carvings, and new varieties will be updated as and when we get more information on the same. I am sure you will have a great time carving these fruits, and do look out for my next post which will cover Vegetables required for fruit carving.

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