Edible Origami, or the Mandolin’s Telos

Thalia and I recently hunted for origami patterns of flowers, or similar objects, which would be manageable for someone who is not a paper-folding ninja, ie, us.  In the process, I found some projects which were not paper-based on this site.  The administrator makes all manner of foods, including a bunch of different garnishes.

Annnnd somehow the process of looking at a bunch of roses made out of very thin slices of vegetables necessitated a trip to Meijer for to obtain an odd selection of produce.  Once I knew I could make food roses with something besides bacon, how could you expect me to do anything else?
MandolinRolling a rose Potato rosesIce bathUnpickedHalved roses

More or less any thinly-sliced food can be rolled into a rose shape.  More or less any food CAN be sliced thinly if you have a mandolin handy, because that is, after all, the mandolin’s telos (which, of course, would be a Good Name For A Rock Band).  I tried it with a knife at first, but my slices were too thick as I have not trained at Le Courdon Bleu.  Fortunately, I’d acquired a mandolin in December for ratatouille purposes, and so gleefully spent an evening slicing away and rolling garnishes for a dinner I hadn’t made.

Radish rosesRadish rose

Strawberry petalsStrawberry roses
PSA: Mandolins (of the bladed variety, not the stringed lute derivative) can and will destroy your fingertips given the chance.  They will give you delicately thin slices of food but will endeavor to take your blood in so doing.  Please exercise caution (and/or these gloves) lest the tip of your thumb come off; you’ll need that thumb if you ever want to start a rock band.

Nectarine rose

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9 thoughts on “Edible Origami, or the Mandolin’s Telos

    • Awww, hooray! Thanks 😀

      I am wondering if my PSA should sound a bit more urgent. One of my friends literally lost the tip of her thumb to a mandolin and had nerve damage and urgh unpleasantness that I feel bad writing about because you’re smiling and I don’t want to ruin that.

      …right, I think I’ll add a helpful thing.

  1. BTW, what is the food product in the very last picture? I can’t quite tell. It looks like an apple—if so, did you dip it in lemon juice to hinder browning?

    Also, how do I get me one of these Joy-Ful Food Blossoms?

    • Oh! It is a nectarine. I considered buying apples and then thought “No, they’d brown and that would be vexing.” And, though it didn’t occur to me at the time, the nectarine has a far better structure for rose-rolling than apples do; apples are crisper and might break instead of curling so beautifully.

      I think you get Joy-ful Food Blossoms the same way I get Emily’s Homemade Naan…I’ll be sure and bring the mandolin with me next time I make the drive south, okay?

      • Huzzah!

        You are so right about the apples—I was thinking so much about the possible browning that I neglected to realize that they probably wouldn’t shape well.

        I’m amused at the thought of how hilariously disgusting and unsuccessful it would be to try to do that with bananas.

        Cucumbers, though…cool green roses!! What say you?

      • I say YEA! In fact, I bought a zucchini for the purpose, but it turned out to be too slender. The round slices were too small to wrap around each other, and slicing it lengthwise ended up not curling properly. Maybe a cucumber would work better.

  2. Is it not called a mandoline? I have bad luck with potentially finger-slicey utensils. It has nothing to do with being clumsy. Nothing at all.

    Beautiful food-flowers. Is that a potato-flower at the beginning?

    • You know, that does seem to be the case! Figures that Microsoft Word’s autocorrection would be wrong (and I should have taken a more careful look at the results on Google). Alas! I had made my peace with being autocorrected because it allowed for more puns. Siiighs.

      It is indeed a red potato flower ^_^ Once assembled, it gets popped into boiling water for 15-25 seconds (all the toothpicks keep it together in the pot), then popped into an ice bath (to stop it from overcooking, I guess, although I’m not sure whether that’s really a problem). Then one can salt-and-butter it to one’s content.

      • Auto-correct is at least entertaining. Honestly, I wouldn’t have known the correct spelling if I hadn’t had to look mandoline up. I’d never heard of it!

        Sounds lovely…

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