Carving fruit, also called food art, is commonly practiced in Thailand and Japan. Food art makes fruit appear more attractive to eat. Since fruit such as bananas insides are soft, they are easy to carve into designs such as flowers, birds, fish or other animals. Bananas with peels are also carved and hold up longer thanks to the protective layer, which keeps the fruit fresh. While food art is fun, it can take hours to complete a carving and get it looking just right, according to Chiff.com.
Choose a good knife. Thai carving knives, hand paring knives or carving tools are best tools for the task. Use knives with stainless steel or bronze blades. Sharpen any knives before using. Dull blades are more likely to slip and cause injury. Alternately, carve bananas using cookie cutters instead of knives. Cookie cutters can easily shape animals or flowers for fruit baskets or centerpieces.
Choose the right banana. Squeeze the banana slightly to make sure you are working with bananas that are not too ripe. The banana should be white, not brown. A brown banana or soft banana will fall apart when you carve it. Buy bananas that are green and yellow so the fruit will stay fresh longer.
Carve a centerpiece. Slice a banana up as you would do for cereal. Cut into bitable slices. Line the banana up along a plate. Stick a toothpick into each slice of banana. Add a grape on the toothpick on top of the banana. Cut a strawberry into long strips. Carve a heart into a strawberry strip using a cookie cutter or knife. Place the strawberry hearts along with blueberries on the toothpicks with bananas. Carve banana hearts to top off the toothpicks.
Carve a banana octopus by opening the peel of a whole banana half way. Take out half of the banana. Cut peel into eight tentacles. Add black pepper seeds as eyes using toothpicks.
Create a banana dog by carving four feet into a banana with peel. Carve the peel into feet without cutting into the fruit. To make your dog’s head, open the peel of a second banana in two or four sections. Cut out half of the banana. Cut off two sections of the peel using a knife so there are only two sections of peels for ears. Hold the banana right-side up so that the two ends of the peel flop down like ears. Attach the head to the body of the dog you created with the first banana using toothpicks. Attach black pepper seeds as eyes also using toothpicks. Wrap the remaining banana peel around the banana you cut out to create a dog bowl.
Use other fruit to decorate. Use toothpicks or pieces of toothpicks to create eyes or attach other pieces of fruit to decorate your carving. For instance, blueberries can make good eyes, cherries can be used for noses and pieces of pineapple can be applied for hair or fish tails. Do not be afraid to make a mistake. The worst that can happen is you wind up eating your mishap for lunch.
Knives with steel blades may cause discoloration of the fruit, according to Asia Recipe.
Put some lemon juice on your carving to keep it fresh longer.