The End.

I hope we have made you hungry as well as making you aware of how food plays such a big part in culture.  Having the knowledge of how certain dishes are important or even sacred in a culture can help bring awareness.  The people who have such strong traditions around food are artists in our minds. Not only can the food itself be art but the preparation and ceremonies.


“Absolute” a


“El Mundo de las Tapas”


“The New York Times” 2&fta

“Oregon Coast TODAY”

Bettles, Gordon. Steward of the Many Nations Longhouse, University of Oregon. Personal Interview on November 21, 2009.

Sushi Panda

Computer Made of Food


Puerto Rican Pig Roast

Many cultures have a tradition of roasting a pig on certain important holidays or events, including the Hawaiian, Philippine, and Puerto Rican cultures. In Puerto Rico, pig roast is part of their national dish and it has long been a tradition to have a pig roast for Christmas dinner. That tradition has extended to many small towns throughout the country who now serve the pig roast year round.

Puerto Rican Pig Roast

The pig roast is a huge part of Puerto Rican culture that brings together the community to celebrate their country and traditions that go back many years. The art in this celebration is found in the preparation of the pig along with the rich cultural significance.

Salmon Bake

The Native American tribes, such as the Klamath, have rituals around almost all food. The salmon bake is a culture rich ceremony. I consider this an art because of all the details surrounding the ceremony.

Salmon Roasting

A prayer is given before the fisherman go onto the river, to thank the creator for the salmon. The fish are caught and the first catch is held aside for sacrifice.

The first salmon is not eaten; instead it is burned whole in the roasting pit that will be used to cook the rest of the caught salmon. The first salmon is burned as a sacrifice to thank the creator for sustenance. The spirit of the salmon is said to be very strong.

The salmon are beautiful to the Native people because they can live in “two worlds.” They are born in fresh water and live in salt water only returning to the fresh water to spawn.

Salmon Bake

Second, the way they bake the salmon is art. You have to have knowledge of the fish such as the texture, weight, and fat content. You also have to have knowledge of the stakes and the ground that the stakes will go into in order to lace them properly.  The fish can be laced as a whole filet or skewered as a smaller chunk of fish.

Pit of Salmon

Before the food is consumed, thanks are given to the creator for the whole process. A bit of the food is set aside for the creator. None of the food is wasted; to waste food is to show disrespect.

A salmon bake is performed by tribal elders and tribal members. It is taught by the elders to the younger tribal members to ensure that the traditions of the tribe are passed down from generation to generation.

Arte En La Comida

The Spanish “tapa” is more or less an appetizer served in bars and restaurants throughout Spain. It is a small serving of food and is most always enjoyed with a glass of wine.


Tapas are very colorful dishes and the presentation at bars and restaurants is carefully thought out. Because the dishes often times are aesthetically pleasing, they can be considered art but what the tapas represent in the Spanish culture is the real reason they can be considered art.

Mas Spanish Tapas

The tapas bring people together to enjoy each other’s company and they are a huge part of the friendly, family-oriented culture of the Spanish people. Just as a work of art brings people together, tapas bring family and friends together enjoy the food, drink wine, and socialize. I have found two quotes that seem to fit perfectly:

“Spanish tapas is at the very heart of their lifestyle and culture”

“Tapas mean sociability, friends, and family”

Beauty in the Food

Amazing Cakes

The idea of the birthday cake was born long ago and is said to have started in ancient Rome when they would serve cakes at special birthdays.

Ace of Cakes Creation

Today cake making and decorating is an art form that is even chronicled in such television shows as “Cake Boss” and “Ace of Cakes”. New techniques are used to make the most tasteful and aesthetically pleasing cake for their customers. Birthday cakes are now truly an art form that celebrate the person having a birthday and express the person that they are.

Luau Themed Cake

Over the years, cakes have evolved in looks and taste. Today in America, cakes are most likely many layers with icing and can have different flavored fillings. Often times, there are personalized messages or pictures on top of the cake. As these changes have taken place there has been a general advancement in the way food is prepared, leading to many bakers and chefs specializing in the creation of pastries and cakes.

Happy Birthday Cake (Ace of Cakes)

Food Can Say It All

Lobster made of fruit

Food is art, plain and simple. There is an entire television network devoted to food. Seeing art in food is easy because of the beauty in nature and the creativity of humans. From bright colors in vegetables to brightly colored and extremely detailed cakes, food as an art is something we found interesting enough to explore. How do brightly colored cakes relate to culture? How do certain foods help to define and explain a culture?

Japanese Food As Art