Monday, March 27, 2017
Decorating with Food
This isn't about garnishing. If a decorative element is a part of the dish and meant to be eaten, I heartily endorse it. I'm talking about tomato roses, radish sunbursts, and bell pepper tulips. Of course, with my so-so relationship with peppers, I would rather see them as decoration most of the time. Somewhat less offensive is watermelon whales or baskets, since you scoop out the insides. It isn't like a carved melon that isn't eaten, unless the back of that is carved out to put a light in it.
For some real fun with food that will never be eaten, check out this game I played recently. Almost all of the scenes are dioramas made entirely of edibles. You don't actually have to play the game to access the scenes, just look for arrows and hotspots.
I've also used bolted lettuce flowers as decoration, which is a much better use of the concept. The bunches smell like freshly picked salad (in this case, arugula), and are an economical way to make use of the plant before giving up and ripping it out. If you're growing broccoli, you can let some sprigs bloom for the same effect. If the plant is successful, you won't mind in the least if some of it goes to seed.
A food decoration should also make sense with what you're serving. For my senior culinary competition, I made tulips of bell peppers supported by asparagus stems reinforced by skewers. Both vegetables were in the dishes I made.