Happy Halloween, friends!
To celebrate the holiday this year, my friend and I decided to put our Thai fruit carving skills to the test. What started out as a simple pumpkin carving party turned into a labor of love to carve the pumpkins you see above, but I think you’ll agree that the results were worth it!
We began with an assortment of pumpkins of various shapes and sizes. After doing a practice run, it became clear that the best pumpkins to use are the standard jack-o-lantern carving pumpkins. The skin of the others, like the acorn and spaghetti squash, was much more difficult to carve with a single fluid motion.
Although expert Thai fruit carvers can use nothing but Thai fruit carving knives to create works of art, we quickly learned that for beginners, it is much easier to use a heavier duty knife or a lino cutter to make precision cuts, and then use the fruit carving knife to shave the skin away.
I learned this lesson the hard way, and now have a permanently bent tip on my fruit carving knife!
Then we applied the same triangular leaf/flower petal shape that we used to carve watermelons to the pumpkins. This technique can be used to create something very simple, like my first attempt on the left, to something much more beautiful and complex, as shown by my friend’s amazing carving on the right.
As you can see, my friend is clearly the more skilled carver, but with a little practice, anyone can create something unique and beautiful.
As you carve, remember that the more you shave the pumpkin skin or scoop the pumpkin flesh from the inside, the more light will shine through. However, this will also make your pumpkin more fragile. If your pumpkin starts to dehydrate and wilt like ours did after a few days, try reviving it with a wet paper towel or even soaking it in water to perk it up.
We lit the smaller pumpkins with tealights and the larger one with a small pillar candle. And when we put all of the pumpkins together, the slight variations in pattern ended up complementing each other well. We’re pretty pleased with how they turned out, and have been enjoying the lovely ambiance they provide in the darkness of our respective patios.
If you’re interested in trying out a Thai-inspired pumpkin carving this Halloween, here are some consolidated tips that we learned along the way… Wishing you a safe and happy Halloween!