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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Eat Your Art Out

On a recent trip to the National Palace Museum in Taipei, I discovered its most famous objet d'art is a head of cabbage made of jade.

It's true.

The "Jadeite Cabbage with Insects" belonged to a consort of the Emperor Kuang-hsu during the Ch'ing Dynasty (late 19th century) and was kept at Yung-ho Palace in Beijing's Forbidden City. By that time, the cabbage and insect motif had become an auspicious symbol and was a recurring theme in a variety of different art forms.

And now you can add culinary arts to the list.

The new Silks Palace restaurant at the National Palace Museum features an Imperial Treasures Feast that includes dishes that resemble some of the treasures in the museum's holdings, including the Jadeite Cabbage.

The artwork is re-created with baby bok choy (the larger version takes too long to cook) boiled in a a broth of chicken and ham. The kitchen staff trims the leaves of the selected cabbages to make them appear similar to the the original art. And the insects are recreated using dried shrimp.

The Imperial Treasures Feast consists of eight courses and costs $100USD, plus a 10 percent service fee.

Other featured dishes include:
• The Meat-shaped Stone is made with pork knuckle, which is marinated for several hours in a mixture of sugar, soy sauce and scallions, then carved perfectly to mimic the artwork it represents.

• Chicken Wing Stuffed with Glutinous Rice. The wings are drizzled with vinegar and maple syrup, dried, then deep-fried to a golden crispy brown.

Classic Desserts in Chinese Curio Box include snacks such as Red Bean Pastries, Bird’s Nest Egg Tart, Donkey Rolling (red bean and glutinous rice snack), Wan Do Huang (yellow soybean snack) and more.

Fruity Mao-kung Ting. Ice sculpture is used to recreate the “ting” cauldron, which has a wide, flared mouth, a linked ring motif decorating the rim, upright handles and three hoofed feet.

1 comment:

photoshop restoration and retouching said...

Great art works! Thanks for sharing.