One day, I was looking through some Snapchat stories, and I saw a story featuring food art. I thought to myself, "I wonder how hard this could be." A few days later, I was still thinking about it, so I decided to make some food art myself and find out.

I decided to make pieces that involved cutting/carving fruits and vegetables into different figures that range in difficulty from 1 (no-brainer easy) to 10 (basically Picasso). I found all of the directions for the pieces on YouTube. Here is what I tried:

Easy: Apple Swan

Difficulty Level: 3

Lisa Russo

The apple swan was super easy. Having something as big as an apple to work with makes this piece the easiest because the cuts are large and simple. However, my mistake was that I did not use a sharp enough knife, so my swan had some cracks in its appearance. 

Final Thoughts: This is a great piece to try as your first piece of food art because of its simplicity. Just make sure you use a sharp knife and a fresh apple for clean cuts!

Moderate: Strawberry Rose

Difficulty Level: 5

cake, rose, strawberry
Lisa Russo

When I first saw the strawberry rose, I thought that it would be difficult, but it was actually pretty simple. I made the rose from start-to-finish in about 3 minutes. The hardest part is not accidentally cutting off a petal. I will admit that one of my inner petals was severed, but it really is not noticeable in the end result.

Final Thoughts: This is definitely an impressive piece. I think it would look amazing as a quick garnish for a fruit platter. Plus, there is some leeway for messing up (like cutting off an inner petal) without it ruining the entire piece.

Moderate: Lemon Rose

Difficulty Level: 7

sweet, juice, citrus, citron, lemon
Lisa Russo
juice, citrus, lemon
Lisa Russo

The lemon rose is a little trickier than it appears. The first difficulty is slicing the lemon: getting the slices thin enough for them to bend and appear petal-like but thick enough to stay on the stick without ripping off.

Once all of the slices are on the stick, the next trick comes from arranging them. You really have to squish the slices together and rotate them just right to get it to look like a rose.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I am surprised at the deceptive complexity of the lemon rose. From the top (the first picture), it looks great when you are finished, but from the side, it is bulky and does not resemble a flower. It also has to stay on the skewer in order to hold its form. It would be great as part of a fruit-flower arrangement, but not as a garnish on its own.

Difficult: Cucumber Turtle

Difficulty Level: 9

vegetable, salad, spinach
Lisa Russo

The cucumber turtle is not easy. I was actually surprised at how tedious and tricky it was. I carved the shell with just my pairing knife, which took a while, and I almost accidentally cut myself a few times. Using a small part of the end of a cucumber also makes for an awkward, hard-to-hold shape for carving.

When it came to the turtle's body, I did not realize until it was too late that I did not make the neck long enough, so I had to add an extra, unattached cube on top of the neck for the head. The legs were the easiest part of this project because they were simple enough to cut out, and any mistakes could be hidden by the shell.

Final Thoughts: This turtle is difficult. It takes a good bit of patience and care to carve the shell without ruining it. Despite its cuteness, I do not think it looked impressive enough for a decoration because the head barely stayed on. Maybe with some practice this would be a fantastic piece of food art, but I will not be revisiting it any time soon.

In Conclusion...

Overall, my venture into the world of food art was an enlightening one. I learned that some food art is easier than expected, like the strawberry rose, which was my personal favorite. I thought the pieces would take much longer to make than they actually did. I would highly suggest trying some of these pieces or finding one that interests you to quickly dress-up some meals and impress your friends and family.