Carved in Fruit

Yesterday I had to go to the mall to get new lenses for my glasses. I had to wait an hour for the lenses, so I went to the food hall and had lunch. I sat and ate a bowl of noodles at a little bench and watched a stall worker cut a cucumber.

Her cucumber cutting skills were prodigious. She carefully peeled the cucumbers, then chopped them perfectly in half, long ways. Then she proceeded to chop the ends and diascard them and then she got to work on dicing perfect cubes.

This got me to thinking about the guy I saw on the boat we took in Phuket to the Similan Islands who perfectly cut a watermelon on a speed boat in rough conditions. He had a technique of chopping that amounted to a perfect pile of appropriately portioned watermelon pieces with just enough rind for holding the melon piece. He also managed to do it without a chopping board while wielding a big knife.

I also thought about a story my friend told me about when she lived in a village for 2 weeks in Cambodia. One day she was chopping a mango and making mango below...

Controversial Mango Hedgehog
Mango Hedgehog.JPG

The villagers all came and stood around her and watched and laughed at her, teasing her about the way she cut a mango. It seems that in that village there is only one way to cut a mango correctly and everyone knows it. You peel it first and then slice of the fruit flesh into shards. You do not make a hedgehog.

When Hock first arrived in Cambodia he had an extremely difficult time convincing all his new staff not to carve the fruit and vegetables into elaborate shapes such as flowers and birds. It took many months for Hock to drum out their propensity for making carrot birds and tomato flowers.

So I was sitting there watching the girl cut the cucumber and although I don't want to make any gross generalisations, I thought, "man, what's up with Asians and fruit and vegetable chopping?"






    hahaha this post is so funny, the sydney opera watermelon kills me

    fruit carving not so prevalent in Japan, maybe because fruit's so bloody expensive!

    On 9 April 2009 at 18:06 Lexiradigan1996 said...

    this food looks so good

    On 9 April 2009 at 18:08 morganlandis said...



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