Taste

Mukimono, The Must-See Japanese Art Of Fruit And Vegetable Carving

Stunning.
03/06/2017 11:56am ET | Updated March 6, 2017

Growing up stateside, the primary motivation to eat our vegetables is that we’re constantly told they’ll make us healthy. But in Japan, the motivation comes in the form of art. An ancient Japanese practice known as mukimono focuses on the art of intricately carving vegetables into unusual shapes, and it would easily inspire us to eat our veggies. Who wouldn’t want to chow down on broccoli when it looks like this?

A post shared by 岳 (@gakugakugakugakugaku1) on

Or bite into a peppery radish when it comes with this beautiful design on it?

A post shared by 岳 (@gakugakugakugakugaku1) on

Or a carrot, when it comes with a beautiful rose in its center?

基本ですねー

A post shared by 岳 (@gakugakugakugakugaku1) on

Or when it comes looped into this chain-link puzzle?

Mukimono has been making waves on the internet because of Instagram sensation and mukimono artisit Gaku, but it has been around for centuries. Some say the practice dates back over a thousand years, but that it really became popular in Japan during the Edo period from 1603 to 1867. China and Thailand have similar produce-carving traditions.

The art of mukimono is often times served as a garnish, intended to bring a level of excitement and appeal to a dish. For the most part, as long as it’s been handled sanitarily, the design is entirely edible. And mukimono is not just for vegetables ― fruits are also a big part of the art. Look at how beautiful it is on an apple.

Or displayed on a melon.

And when the two colors of a watermelon are brought into the design, the result is simply stunning.

A post shared by Oscar Trujillo (@oscardtc96) on

We know what you’re thinking. Looking at all this beautiful produce art makes you wish you could carve something up. First, you should know that speciality knives exist for this art. Peel zesters, pairing knives and melon ballers are also useful to have on hand. Now, see how it’s done and take some notes:

Suggest a correction