The activity of fruit carving involves shaping fruits (by cutting them) so as to achieve a desirable look, design or figure, for instance, that of an object, animal, and so on. It is not known for certain where fruit carving was first practised, but many people believe that it was stated by the Thai people about seven centuries ago during the reign of the Sukhothai dynasty.
Fruit carving techniques have developed and have been modified and improved over time. However, they can still be divided broadly into three categories: Chinese, Thai (Kae – sa – luk) and Japanese (Mukimono). Chinese fruit carving techniques are intricate and will most definitely leave you wowed and mesmerized. The Chinese have specialized in the art of carving nuts – especially walnut and fruit pit. Chinese fruit carving is not only geared towards making food appetising and pleasant to the eye, but it also has an aesthetic value to it. At some point in the past in China, it was considered very fashionable to adorn ornaments carved out of fruit pit.
Kae – sa – luk – the Thai fruit carving technique – is equally intricate and comes out best on the water melon. Using this Thai style, you can carve out several images from the melon, including but not limited to: a peacock, a basket, a swan, a heart, and so on. Other fruits that can be used include pumpkins, pineapples, cucumbers, carrots and onions. Kae – sa – luk involves the use of an assortment of knives of several shapes and sizes – usually up to five or more.
Mukimono fruit carving technique on the other hand is also as breathtaking if not better. Its techniques range from the simple to the complex, and are used especially on the cucumber. Indeed, the world ought to thank Asia for almost all the fruit carving techniques that exist today!