Food is in architecture.

Monday 20 April 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Food



Food and Architecture

Food and Architecture


So I am in no mood for recipe writing. Instead I feel like talking about food. I remember my class “principles of design” with Prof. Ostwal. This post is a dedication to that class.

 Food-we buy, cook, and consume it in many different public places designed to accommodate, even enhance, these activities of daily life. Much of the urban streetscape is composed of just such places: the market, the grocery, the pub, the café and the restaurant, as well as the supermarket, fast-food outlet or takeaway. Likewise, architecture is in food. Chefs design dishes that resemble works of art but which must also stand up and be eaten. And architecture is like food. Each is fashioned from raw materials into a cultural product. We depend on both to meet ordinary needs and to celebrate special events. Architects and cooks alike manipulate color, texture and shape to tantalize our senses.

Dessert should maximize visual design and flavor to delight the audience at least many of us think that way. I was just wondering today what I should make new and not many thoughts are coming at the moment. Monday Blues? Well I can’t really say that -keeping in mind I work 7 days a week. So to shake of the blues…I do what my friends say I am addicted to Google. I think I Google everything…try it you will find solutions to half your problems in life. Since I was thinking cheesecake –I ” googled ” Xangos. When I see the pictures of these Xangos (pronounced: ch­an’-gos), rich creamy cheesecake…wrapped in a pastry tortilla…fried until flaky and golden, then dusted with cinnamon sugar, I am reminded of the ancient architecture of Stonehenge to some extent.

Stonehenge is definitely one of England’s greatest icons. I hope if I travel in June , I get a chance to see it. Its original purpose is still somewhat unclear, but some have speculated that it was made for worship of ancient earth deities. Stonehenge’s plan is centralized-disposed around a vertical axis-and longitudinal, developed along a horizontal axis set into the central plane. The structure was part of the landscape, yet set off from it. It was an enclosure, isolated from the world by successive rings of stone, yet open to it through the stone screens. The great and ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is one of the great wonders of the world. What we see today are the substantial remnants of a sequence of monuments erected earlier. Each was a circular structure aligned around the rising of the sun at the midsummer solstice.  

Stonehenge is basically a structure of sandstone monoliths arranged in a horseshoe, and formerly joined by a common roof. The construction is highly accurate for the period. The engineering required transporting, shaping, raising and connecting the stones and the accuracy of their positioning.

Xangoe’s starts with a frame just like a picture that demands attention, creating both the compare and contrast level. The arrangement of the Xangos in a hap hazard position is what makes it similar to the arrangement of the stones in Stonehenge. Then we do have the contrast of the wedge shaped Xangos, giving them a slope and a different shape than the stones. The individual pieces that comprise the entire piece vary between the dessert and the landmark, with the uncut Xangos having a more cylindrical shape, while Stonehenge is constructed of cubical or organic shaped stones.       

Use of no more than three colors in Xangoes makes it simple and elegant. Had there been excess in this area it could have drawn the eye away from the dessert, which is after all, the main event. Xangos are more of warm colors, having a welcoming and moving effect. The golden, crispy color on the top makes it firm and, thus, shows the bold effect. As far as Stonehenge is concerned, its colors are more earthtones if I may say so. Just wondering is earthtones a word??? Having a green environment around and the blend of grays and earthy colors gives it a calming effect.

 The size, being one aspect for comparison, is also a valid point to talk about. Stonehenge is a gigantic structure. But we are not comparing the physical measurement in real terms. It’s more that if these Xangoe’s were made larger, lets put it as family size, then the comparison could have been better. They have the same pattern, though, giving the overall composition a lot of resemblance. Both things, when compared, do have some symmetry having different scales and proportions. The fallen Xangoe’s do create an anomaly to the big standing stones. 

Texture plays an important role in image analysis and understanding. Talking about the texture, Xangoes have a soft mushy center giving it a tender look inside achieved by the smooth filling. Temperatures–hot, cold, or a combination of these variables-also play a vital role in achieving textural interest. The pale yellow color gives it a warm tender feeling. Crisp crust contrasted with soft cheesecake, provides an element of a soft, creamy and buttery flavor giving the product a good “mouth feel”. The texture of Stonehenge is more hard and rocky due to big boulders.

There are many qualities that make food and architecture similar. They are both masterpieces, ones that the designer, or chef in cases of food, work hard to perfect.  They are usually stimulating to the eye, evoking a sense of awe from the on-looker and consumer.  Their duty is to satisfy.  While Xangoes and Stonehenge have many differences, their main purpose is to please the eye and to fulfill the cravings of adventure and curiosity. Now I am craving Xango- but may be I will have to do with just a Mango. Lunch time…catch you guys later.

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