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The Art of Vegetable Carving

Historical records show that vegetable carving was first begun almost 800 years ago in Thailand and China, where local artisans often dazzled the royal court with beautiful centerpieces made with, and inspired by, nature itself.

Humble and familiar root crops like carrots, radishes and turnips - along with and other vegetables like peppers, tomatoes and squash - took center stage as they were magically transformed into exotic birds like parrots or peacocks, or delicately carved into roses, daisies, and other flowers.

As the years past, vegetable carving along with decorative fruit carving reached the level of pop cult status throughout Asia, and became a traditional feature at restaurants or family gatherings.

Today, vegetable carving is no longer a feast fit ONLY for kings, and has been adapted by other countries and cultures as a sophisticated way to 'wow' guests with special garnishes, or to add humorous touches to the home table.

The resurgence of vegetable carving's popularity is now often seen at festive dinner parties, where the everyday veggie-and-dip dip tray becomes the evening's highlight when carved into a colorful display of flowers or birds.

What's more, any get-together can be an occasion for showing off a new-found carving skill. In addition to Halloween pumpkin carving other holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas or Valentine's Day lend themselves perfectly to a beautiful centerpiece made entirely of vegetables and leafy greens.

For kids' lunches or dinners, sides of nutritious vegetables can be magically turned into a fun feast when presented as cartoon faces or other comic shapes.

Due to incredible interest in the topic, has also prepared a special Web supplement to this page, Vegetable Carving for Beginners that offers more than 30 fast, easy vegetable carving projects in a downloadable e-book available for US$10.95.


More about vegetable carving around the Web:

How Stuff Works - How to Garnish - Complete tutorials on how to carve or prepare professional vegetable garnishes using cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, and more.

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