It might be a lot like yours (or not at all)

beauty in food

In Apartment Cooking on December 2, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Do you know what the pic below is? Looks like a beautiful rose bud…

But it’s actually a celery heart at the base of a celery stalk…where the ends of the lighter colored sprigs meet…in my opinion, it’s the area with the best taste.

I wanted to take a moment to just reflect on the beauty of most, if not all foods. In my kitchen, on my cupboards, I have an artistic photo on each that captures the beauty of a few of my favorite vegetables: onion, garlic, pea, artichoke heart, and a mushroom. I love food art, not still life painting necessarily, but artistic food photography that reaches beyond just the “here’s the dish” pix (that I take haha!)

I would have to make an exception with meat and fish…because aside from actual seafood and sushi…I don’t find meat and fish, especially the pre-cooked stages, to be at all beautiful.

But with fruits, veggies…the beauty of food really is a journey from start to finish. The beauty starts with the way it looks in a garden hanging off a vine, or with just green sticking out of the earth, hanging from a tree…

Then you see them in the market, piled with more of its kind. Each variety has it’s own shape and color, almost it’s own personality. Lemons are tart, but cheerful…apples seem royal, yams are not as lovely on the outside as they are on the inside…and so sweet, proving that what’s inside really counts. But some produce really is beautiful on the outside too…artichokes, avacados, citrus fruits all come in a gorgeous package. And many fruits and veggies don’t hide what’s inside…the berries look as good as they taste…and curly and spiky herbs warn of intense flavors–what you see is what you get.

After you take your fruits and veggies home, there is beauty found in the prep process…where you peel, chop…looking at the insides of the veggie…the tree-like rings on a carrot, the spongy unique insides within the dark shiny skin of the eggplant. Seeing the fruit or veggie in a new shape or angle is refreshing. Sometimes we puree, steam, bake, fry and the produce takes on a new form, a new consistency, and many times, a new color.

Cooking, for those who see this beauty, is more than just the creative process, the working with the hands, the tastes, smells, and sounds…it’s also like viewing a gallery of fine art each time–cooking is one of the most multi-dimensional passions I’ve had…it continuously occupies my need for change, variety, and stimulation.

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