Fruit Carving in Bangkok!

9 Jun

I had the wonderful opportunity to learn how to fruit carve while traveling in Bangkok. We met up with cousin Alicia and her boyfriend Christian; and cousin Maria and her boyfriend Donny while we were there. Christian was kind and grabbed a flyer for a cooking school one day when we were out walking about Bangkok. Although it would have been great to learn some Thai cooking, my eyes quickly found on their flyer that they also offered a fruit carving class. I was the only one really interested in it, it made sense though since I was in pastry. Plus it is hard to wake up for a 9am class that lasts five hours on vacation. So I see why the others didn’t feel my enthusiasm.

Although Alicia was sweet and tried to make it to class with me, but seeing as we all had a lot of fun the night before with some drinks and dancing it was hard to roll out of bed to use knifes. I too struggled to get out of bed after having 4 hours of sleep. I went back and forth but finally decided this would be an amazing opportunity and that I should go for it.

The school is called Ma-Sa-Man Thai Cooking School and if you ever find yourself in the Bangkok area it is definitely worth it. The class started at 9am and I quickly found out that I was going to be the only one in class that day. That didn’t bother me at all seeing as I could have one on one instruction.

Lee introduced herself and quickly started showing me some fruit carving books. After that we grabbed a basket and headed to the street market. After the street market we headed into another market that was tucked away inside an alley. It was a large area with a lot more vegetables and had meat hanging on hooks. It was a great experience. I was the only foreigner there but everyone was friendly. They chuckled at me when the tin roof started to rumble and my face had a look of concern. The rumbling turned out to be two stray cats fighting overhead. Once we finished at the market we headed back to the school.

Lee washed the veggies and explained the different type of tools required to carve. She showed me first how to make leaves out of cucumbers and carrots. I thought it was pretty easy so I was thinking okay, I could do a watermelon flower. Little did I know it got harder.

Using a large hot pepper and cucumber we made open flowers. It’s simple to do. It just takes simple designs and clean cuts to make them look good. My favorite was taking green onions, chopping off the root end and top part, and use the knife to slice each individual piece vertically. I then used the back of the knife to curl the pieces, like you would with ribbon. After finishing each design we put them in cold water. Now what that does is it makes them bloom even more.

Lee showed me how by peeling the tomato in just the right way, I could use the peels to make a rose. Using an onion I learned how to make a lotus, the quick way.

Lee said she was impressed and found that I was learning fairly quickly so we moved on to the flower. Now this is where it got tricky. I started out on a pumpkin, learning to make a rose with rounded cuts. Next I moved onto another flower with pointy, leaf like shapes. That one was very hard for me, mainly because of the angles and how precise one has to be. During this time Lee started to make what I thought was her lunch. I didn’t want to stare because I was starving already. She finished and brought it over to me, I was so surprised and over filled with joy. She then proceeded to make another one, but showing me how this time. Lee was making som tom salad. It is shredded green papaya, carrot, garlic, limes, green beans, soy sauce, spicy peppers and some coconut sugar. It was delicious, my favorite meal of the trip. My second favorite meal was the falafel we had at a restaurant, it was amazing.

Moving on. I did a full rose, on what I remember to be a green apple, where I learned how to add a leaf on the side. It was about time to stop (at this point I was at the 5 hour mark), but she was kind enough to show me how to carve soap into a rose before we ended the lessons.

After 6 hours I was finished, so happy to have met Lee and my new knowledge on fruit carving. She neatly packed up my work and sent me on my way.

I forgot to take pictures along the way, but I grabbed these at the end.

The website for the school is www.thaicookingschoolbkk.com, check it out! Or better sign up for a class or three while you are there in Bangkok.

For real life flowers, we came across this flower while in Bangkok while walking around:

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