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Vegetable carving is an artistic technique that involves sculpting vegetables to form centerpieces for table settings and other uses. Some vegetable and fruit carving may take hours to create, due to the detailed work that is involved. These carvings may be created with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Melons, pineapples, carrots, and pumpkins are some of the most popular foods used for carving. Vegetable carving is an ancient art, thought to be nearly 1,000 years old.
Many people consider vegetable and fruit carving to be a fine art. One technique involves making a fake flower bouquet by using various vegetables. The bouquet that is created may adorn a table for special occasions and holidays or given as a gift basket.
Some individuals take lessons or classes to learn the creative techniques of vegetable carving. In many cases, special tools must be used to achieve the desired effect. Many of these classes involve demonstrating the art to those interested in making vegetable carving a profession.
In vegetable and fruit carving classes, creating a tomato basket may be one of the first lessons taught. These baskets carved from firm tomatoes may be used to hold other pieces of vegetables and fruit. Carving firm tomatoes into rose designs is also popular.
Although fruit and vegetable carving has become popular in Western countries, it is said to have originated in Thailand. Many Asian countries have skilled artisans who create custom carved vegetables. These artists often use double-edged knives, as well as other common tools such as cookie cutters.
Some vegetables are carved to look like animals and flowers. Birds are a common subject in vegetable carving work. In elaborate creations, objects such as cars or even houses are created from carved fruits and vegetables.
Many restaurants and hotels feature vegetable and fruit carvings as centerpieces. Gift baskets featuring these works are also available from specialty shops. These can be ordered online or at local gift shops.
Various books and instructional videos teach the art of fruit and vegetable carving. Additionally, tool sets are sold for those who participate, either professionally or as a hobby. Such tools include knife and garnishing sets. Cutters come in various sizes for sculpting different fruits and vegetables. These tools are typically constructed of stainless steel.