Lets start by trying to define art. I think this may be one of the hardest things that wetry to accomplish. One of the things that makes art, well…. ‘art’ is that it is impossible to define. Art can be created through traditional means, like the stroke of a brush on paper, or it can come from more untraditional practices such as crystallizing alcohol and photographing the resulting patterns. But food? Can food really be artistic?
These photos confirm that art can be made to be amazingly visually appealing, but good art doesn’t just look good it also makes you feel something. I personally think that this is one of the ways that food can be immensely artistic.
Food is ahead of the game when it comes to our sensory intake, it combines all of our senses at once. Taste and sight (as shown above) are obvious, but the smell and feel (or texture) of the food are equally important. And as for evoking a response? I think everyone has at least one food that can always make them happy, and there are certainly foods that can make us unhappy (in my case, cooked broccoli).
While food ticks all the ‘artistic boxes’ when it comes to sensation, there is one problem. When you’re done the meal, it’s gone. There’s nothing left of it and you can no longer share it. For some people this may reduce food’s artistic-ness, but I think that it leaves something else, something that may be even more special. Memories.
While I don’t want to go all ‘psychology-nerd’ on you, it has been shown that memories that are tied to a strong emotional response are more likely to be transferred into long term memory stores. With strong sensations (a combination of taste, feel, smell, and sight) come strong emotions and therefore these sensations which food gives us can help us solidify beautiful memories. For example, I can tell you exactly where I was when I ate the best sandwich of my life (so far). Sandwiches-doesn’t sound like high class cuisine I know, but this one was amazing.
It was a turkey sandwich made with red pesto and a local cheese that I had while on vacation with my family. We were in Scotland and we had just finished touring Edinburgh Castle and it was pouring rain. My parents had given me the task of finding us a suitable lunch spot (because I am hugely picky) and I had used yelp and found this little cafe, which was totally out of the way, but warm and packed with people-luckily we managed to get a seat. Now I have to say that I absolutely do not remember even half of that vacation as well as I do that little snippet, and that is the magic that this one sandwich has given me. If that isn’t art I don’t know what is.
Let us know if you have any food-related memories, or leave us a comment if you have any opinions on food being a form of art!