Thai Fruit Carving  手藝『泰』厲害

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2016/01/19 第246期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份直接訂閱


Thai Fruit Carving  手藝『泰』厲害

by Daniel Howard

The craft of turning fruit into art.

  Sometime in the early 1800s, the Thai royal family began the practice of carving fruit into elaborate patterns. According to legend, it was one of the king’s favorite concubines who started the practice as part of a festival. She added small fruit carvings to traditional lanterns so that she could make her lanterns more beautiful than all the other concubines’. This legend has little basis in truth, but it doesn’t change the fact that fruit and vegetable carving has been a part of Thai tradition for around two hundred years.
  Thai fruit carving began as a decoration for the tables of the Thai royal family. Since then, it has spread throughout Thai culture. The fruit is often carved into the shape of flowers, which are frequently stylized in repeating patterns. Little carved animals such as swans are also common. Table centerpieces are usually made from larger fruits like melons. Watermelons are especially popular as their white rind and pink flesh make a perfect contrast, but so are pumpkins and pineapples. For smaller garnishes on plates, a chef might use smaller fruits and vegetables, like lemons or even ginger.
  As Thai cuisine spreads across the globe, high-end Thai restaurants are using more traditional garnishes like carved fruit. It is a difficult skill to master as it needs very precise movements, and there is a set of specific tools for making the most complex patterns. These tools include small knives, scoops, and peelers. The best Thai fruit carvers, however, use only a single small knife to turn fruit into works of art. It’s a delicate art that doesn’t last for long, which may be why Thai fruit carving is so valued.

1. Who invented the art of Thai fruit carving, according to legend?
(A) A Thai monk.
(B) One of the king’s concubines.
(C) Some people at a festival.
(D) Fruit vendors in the Thai capital.
2. What is true about carvings for the centers of tables?
(A) They are more complicated than smaller carvings.
(B) They always include a piece of ginger.
(C) They are usually made from larger fruits.
(D) They can only appear on tables of the royal family.
3. Why are watermelons popular to carve?
(A) Watermelons have a cultural significance.
(B) The colors work well to make the patterns.
(C) They are the largest fruit that can be carved.
(D) They are the king’s favorite fruit.
4. In what way are expert fruit carvers different from regular carvers?
(A) They only use one specialized knife.
(B) They exclusively carve watermelons.
(C) They all work for the Thai royal family.
(D) They work for an elite cooking school.


practice n. 習俗,慣例,常規 & vt. & vi. 遵循,信奉,實行;練習
concubine n. 嬪妃,妾;情婦
lantern n. 燈籠
stylize vt. 使格式化;使程式化
centerpiece n. 置於桌子中央的擺設(尤指鮮花)
rind n.(橙等水果的)外皮
garnish n.(食物上的)裝飾菜;裝飾品
high-end a. 高檔次的

  1. add A to B  將 A 添加在 B 上
    衍: add to…  增添……
    add A and B  A 加 B(算術)
    You should add some wood to the fire to keep the room warm.
    The fancy dress added to Wendy’s charm.
    If you add two and three, you get five.
  2. be made from  由……製成(原料的性質改變)
    比較 be made of…  由……製成(原料的性質不變)
    Can you believe that this T-shirt is made from recycled tires?
    你能相信這件 T 恤是廢輪胎所製成的嗎?
    The baseball bat was made of the finest wood.

Sometime in the early 1800s, the Thai royal family began the practice of carving fruit into elaborate patterns.
sometime adv. 某個時候(之後一定要與明確的過去或未來的時間並用)
衍: some time  一段時間
sometimes adv. 有時
some time ago  不久以前
Let’s meet sometime next week to discuss the details of our plan.
The tycoon has been trying for some time to buy out his partner.
When performing their duties, policemen sometimes have to take strict measures.
Some time ago, my family and I came to this town on vacation.

  1. carving n. 雕刻物;雕刻圖案
    衍: carve vt. 刻(圖形或字母);雕,刻(成某物)
    The diplomat gave a precious wood carving to that country.
    Environmentalists are unhappy about tourists carving their names on tree trunks in scenic spots.
  2. elaborate a. 精緻的;精心製作的 & vi. 詳盡說明;闡述(與介詞 on 並用)
    The celebrity showed up at the awards ceremony with an elaborate hairdo.
    *hairdo n. 髮型,髮式
    The vice president refused to elaborate on his reasons for resigning.
  3. pattern n. 圖案,紋路;模式,方式
    It is difficult to draw mandalas because of their complex patterns.
    *mandala n. 曼陀羅
  4. decoration n. 裝飾品(可數);裝飾,裝潢(不可數)
    衍: decorate vt. 佈置,裝飾
    decorate A with B  用 B 裝飾 A
    Beth purchased a lot of fun decorations for the party.
    Mom decorated the new house with hand-made artwork from Turkey.
  5. swan n. 天鵝
  6. flesh n. 果肉;蔬菜的可食部份;(人或動物的)肉
    The flesh of young male camels is a delicacy for Arabs.
  7. contrast n. 對比,反差;對照;差別
    衍: by contrast  相較之下
    The photographer likes to show the contrast between the rich and the poor.
    This restaurant is wonderful. By contrast, the one I went to yesterday was awful.
  8. precise a. 精確的;確切的
    We must take precise measurements of this area.
  9. complex a. 複雜的
    同: complicated a.
    Dolphins have a complex communication system.
  10. peeler n. 削皮器;削皮刀
    衍: peel vt. 剝去,削去(蔬果)的皮 & n. 果菜皮
    The electric potato peeler should be cleaned before using.
    I think it’s rather troublesome to peel grapes.
  11. elite a. 精英的 & n. 精英份子(集合名詞,故不可數)
    The government sent in an elite fighting unit to wipe out the rebels.


1. 根據傳說,誰發明了泰國水果雕刻這門藝術?
(A) 一名泰國和尚。
(B) 國王的其中一位嬪妃。
(C) 節慶中的某些人。
(D) 泰國首都的水果攤販。
題解:根據本文第一段,相傳,開始將此習俗當成節慶一部份的人就是國王的其中一位寵妃,故 (B) 項應為正選。
2. 有關餐桌中央所擺設雕刻品的敘述,何者是正確的?
(A) 它們比較小型的雕刻物更為複雜。
(B) 它們都會包含一片薑片。
(C) 它們通常由較大的水果所製成。
(D) 它們僅會在皇室的餐桌上出現。
題解:根據本文第二段,餐桌中心的裝飾品通常以像是瓜類等較大型的水果所製成,故 (C) 項應為正選。
3. 為什麼西瓜是熱門的雕刻物品?
(A) 西瓜富含文化意義。
(B) 其不同顏色很適合雕刻圖案。
(C) 它們是所能雕刻的水果中最大型的一種。
(D) 它們是國王最愛的水果。
題解:根據本文第二段,西瓜尤其熱門,因為它的白色瓜皮以及粉紅色果肉形成完美的對比,故 (B) 項應為正選。
4. 專業的水果雕刻師與一般雕刻師在哪方面與眾不同?
(A) 他們僅用一把專門用刀。
(B) 他們專門雕刻西瓜。
(C) 他們全部都為泰國皇室效勞。
(D) 他們都在一間菁英烹飪學校工作。
題解:根據本文第三段,這是一個難以掌握的技巧,因為它需要相當精確的動作,且有一組特定的工具來製造最複雜的樣式。這些工具包含了刀子、球形勺以及削皮器。然而,最優秀的泰式水果雕刻師僅用一把小刀就能將水果轉變為藝術珍品,故 (A) 項應為正選。

答案: 1. B 2. C 3. B 4. A


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