Shaped fruit offers exciting plating opportunities

Culinary students looking to up their fruit plating skills should look to the growing trend of shaped fruits. Fruits and vegetables can be shaped by attaching a mold around them during the growing process. The simple procedure can result in some truly remarkable produce. For example, Japanese farmers have begun to produce pentagonal oranges using this method. The resulting fruit produces nice five-side cross-sections when sliced. A Chinese farmer has taken this method to the next level, growing pears inside of a Buddha mold to create little statuettes from the ripe fruit.

Shaped fruit provides some interesting presentation options when creating dishes. No longer are chefs limited to the spherical shape of fruit. Now it is possible to create appealing geometric designs using fresh fruit without having to develop high-caliber carving skills.

Chefs interested in growing some of their own shaped fruit can find some exciting molds online. For example, the British company Sutton Seeds sells both a heart and a star mold perfect for shaping small- to mid-size fruits and vegetables. With the advances in 3D printing technology, the possibility of printing your own fruit molds from home may not be that far off.

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