MAGIC ON THE TABLE
Squash, protagonists of splendid, colourful masterpieces, are among the fruits that lend themselves best to the art of carving thanks to their size and compact pulp. They can be worked and transformed thanks to their particular shapes and bring life to colourful centerpieces with a spectacular effect. The different
varieties of squash – as many as 500 in nature – add a unique array of colours to your works. A “young” Delica squash was chosen for this bouquet. It is small and flat with a green skin and pale yellow pulp. The delicate white roses are made with a daikon, also known as a Chinese radish, which has a crisp texture and a strong, pungent flavour.
First of all wash the squash very well with fresh running water, rubbing off any soil residue.
Place it on a chopping board and cut it in half. With a spoon remove part of the inner pulp, and with a melon cutter collect the seeds and filaments.
The upper part must be cut into pieces and placed inside the squash and will serve as a base for the assembly of the piece. Make the bas-relief on the sides of the squash with a cutter used to carve the shapes of the leaves, then remove the pulp from the central area outwards to create the ribs. The leaves will have beautiful shades of green and yellow because the fruit is not yet ripe.
To create the central rose use a paring knife and make four semicircular cuts. Then proceed with a circular cut inside the pulp and remove the excess
and you’ll have the first corolla of petals. Repeat the same sequence to the central part of the flower. Remove the green peel residue from the petals. To create the roses of the central body, cut a squash into segments and cut cubes from the pulp. Wash and dry the daikon and cut several cubes.
Use an appropriately sized paring knife and make four semicircular cuts around the cubes. Continue with this type of cut towards the inside of the circle
and remove the excess part.
Repeat the operation until you reach the centre. The leaves with smooth edges placed near the roses are created by cutting the squash into segments.
Cut a slice from the skin and give it the shape of a leaf using a smooth knife. Once the form is complete, cut horizontally with respect to the axis of the leaf to
divide the large leaf in two. Take one of the two leaves made and divide it again. Repeat the operation on the other half as well to obtain four leaves of different colours. First cut the central rib with a V-shaped cutter and then continue with other small incisions from the outside in.
Once this procedure is completed you will have leaves complete with veins.
Skewer every single flower and leaf on wooden sticks and place them inside the squash. Carefully alternate the pieces according to their hues to obtain a work of art with balanced colours. Lay the centerpiece on a precious gold tray to bring out the work’s colours.
The work can be “dried” and stored to be used on several occasions, just cover it with a paper towel and then with transparent film. Store it in the refrigerator at a temperature of 4°C and avoid exposing it to the sun and air.