Food as Art: How the Aesthetic can be Incorporated into the Experience of Taste, Presentation, and Appreciation
The connection between food and art is often overlooked, with many people regarding the former as a merely functional activity while the latter is seen as a purely aesthetic one. However, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that there are numerous ways in which food can be seen as a form of art. In this essay, I will explore some of these ways, looking at how the aesthetic can be incorporated into the experience of taste, how particular foods can be seen as works of art in themselves, and how the appreciation of wine can be regarded as a form of aesthetic tasting. By doing so, I hope to reveal how food can be appreciated as an art form in its own right.
2. The Taste of Art: Incorporating the Aesthetic in Food
One way in which food can be seen as a form of art is in the way that the aesthetic can be incorporated into the experience of taste. This is something that has been explored by a number of artists and thinkers, including the famed French chef Auguste Escoffier who once said that “taste cannot be separated from smell or touch” and that “flavor must be felt not only with the tongue but also with all the senses” (qtd. in Rolland 8). For Escoffier, then, the experience of taste was not just about what we put into our mouths but also about what we see, smell, and feel. This emphasis on the multi-sensory nature of taste is something that has been taken up by contemporary chefs such as Heston Blumenthal who have sought to create dishes that are not just pleasing to the palate but also to the eye and nose. In doing so, they have managed to turn the act of eating into something akin to a work of art.
3. Food as Packaged Art: Aesthetic Considerations of Preserved and Processed Foods
Another way in which food can be seen as a form of art is in terms of its presentation. This is something that has been explored by a number of artists who have used food as their medium, including Miriam Elia who created a series of works using preserves and processed foods (Elia). For Elia, these foods were not just aesthetically pleasing but also had political and social implications. In particular, she was interested in how they spoke to issues of mass production and consumerism. By using these everyday items in her artwork, Elia was able to raise important questions about our relationship with food and highlight the ways in which it is often taken for granted.
4. Wine as Art: Gourmet Connoisseurs and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Fine Wines
Finally, I would like to consider the idea of wine as art. This is something that has long been debated by critics and connoisseurs alike but there is no doubt that wine can be appreciated for its aesthetic value. Indeed, many people take great pleasure in exploring different wines and trying to discern their various flavors and aromas. What’s more, there is a growing trend for wine lovers to invest in fine wines not just for their taste but also for their investment potential. This suggests that wine can indeed be seen as a work of art, one that can provide both pleasure and profit.
In conclusion, it is clear that food can be seen as a form of art in a number of different ways. Whether it is the incorporation of the aesthetic into the experience of taste, the presentation of food as a work of art, or the appreciation of wine as an aesthetic object, it is evident that there are many ways in which we can appreciate food as more than just a functional activity. As such, it is important to remember that food can be a source of both pleasure and profit and should be treated as such.