BE A FOOD TEXTURIST
I was invited by my teacher, Vjeko Sager as a guest for his HIT+RUN studio event, My inspirations were the sketches of food I missed a lot while I was doing my internship at Proef in Holland. The food items include uni (sea urchin) sushi, Vietnamese spring rolls (authentic ones made with rice paper), red bean pudding cake, Shanghai soup filled dumplings and steamed chicken thigh from Hong Kong.
There is an Cantonese word to describe this chewy, rubbery and sticky texture I like so much, but I found no English translation instead I found descriptions and expressions of different food and texture in other languages.For example, the Korean sensory concept of “kusu” is an important and desirable attribute in noodle flavour has no English translation. In Japanese, there are about 20 descriptions words just to describe the different variations of crispiness in food:
“karikari” – to describe vegetable that are chewy and yield reluctantly to the pressure of teeth
“shakishai” – fruit/vegetables that are crispy throughout like carrots and water-chestnut
(via “Food Culture in Japan” by Michael Ashkenzazi & Jeanne Jacob)
There is even a research done by the Ho Chin Minh City University of Technology, where they examined Vietnamese and French speakers and looked at the vocabularies they used in describing textural characteristics of different jellies.
If there is such thing as a colourist who focus on the study of colour, it just feels right to coin a new term, “texturist“. I decided to call this event “A Food Texturist Night”.
Here is what people drew to describe the textures they were experiencing in their mouth.
Here is a video clip of the event.