Food art or food science is the creative art of preparing, presenting and enjoying food in the most imaginative ways. Perhaps the concept of food art likely came up because of the amalgamation of various food cultures, resulting in myriad creative applications of foods and other ingredients. Thanks to more experimental food connoisseurs across the globe, you too can experience some lovely food art at home. All it takes is a good food setup, a bit of creativity and a few tools to give your food a paint-like appearance.
Food paintings date back as early as the Neolithic period. Artistic creations made out of plant matter have been found in tomb murals from around 40 thousand years ago. Neolithic artwork and other forms of artistic expression used in food preparations have also been found in caveman settlements as well as on tablets from the Egyptian era. At present modern kitchens and kitchen tools such as the kitchen pot and the frying pan have influenced the formation of how food is presented. The development of new materials and utensils such as the wok and frying pan has likewise altered the way food is presented and served.
From being a mere preparation medium, food art has evolved into a highly popular hobby and passion. Exhibitionists and food artists showcase their skills to an eager public. Most food artists use non-traditional methods to present dishes. Using modern equipment, they are able to create interesting and appealing presentations of foods with unusual shapes, textures and flavours. They are able to do this because of the technological innovations which have made possible the creation of suitable modern equipment for presentation purposes.
The evolution of art has been fueled by the need to create representations of things which cannot be tasted. It became necessary to portray non-tasting food because tastes have been suppressed through history. Paintings therefore played a major role in the process of changing food into something more interesting. In pre-historic times, painting and carving was done using natural materials, such as bone, antlers, shells, fish bones and even plants. As food became more varied, artists and their skills grew to include new materials, such as clay and other soft surfaces.
Food paintings or pictures were the first medium used by prehistoric artists as a means of preserving meat, fat and salt in the form of coloured ochre. Ochre is a type of baked clay that can be used for the creation of various kinds of artwork, including still life paintings. As non-toxic, it allowed artists to paint on it without fear of poisoning their food.
Paintings were also widely used in the Middle Ages as people were increasingly confined to their homes. The popularity of painting increased when the population began to divide into classes based on their wealth. As more churches were built around synagogues and religious buildings, painters were allowed to depict biblical events in an attempt to instill a spiritual meaning in people. Some popular images from the Middle Ages include the Madonna and Child with angels, The Nativity, The Last Supper and The Mona Lisa.
The renaissance and baroque period in the middle ages gave way to the depiction of Biblical stories in paintings, which included stories like the Garden of Eden and the Crucifix. Biblical stories depicted in still life artworks had a significant religious significance and helped artists portray the right kind of messages to those who would use them. Paintings and drawings from the baroque era also had symbolic meaning and artists used flowers and animals to convey messages.
Food paintings and drawings from the time of Leonardo Da Vinci to the present day still show a great interest in edible things and a desire to make them more appealing to humans. Through his art, he showed that eating is a pleasurable activity and not something that was forced or unnatural. In paintings, he tried to show how different food can make us happier, healthier, and more productive members of the society. Paintings in the Middle Ages helped artists create a more appealing and vivid picture of food. Through paintings, people started to understand that there are many ways by which they can express themselves through their food and eating. A lot of people appreciate this type of artwork when it comes to portraying foods, still life designs and other artistic endeavors.