The world of food-related hobbies is broad. We have cooking and baking, of course. And nearly everyone loves eating. But there are also folks with less hands-on food pastimes like collecting vintage cookbooks, or gettin’ knitty with it.
And then there are the people whose hobbies fall into the “unusual” category. The Asahi Weekly, a bilingual newspaper published in Japan, profiles Chika Takai, “the foremost collector and culinary critic of tinned foods in Japan.” Takai, who serves canned food at her live music club, loves her some canned food. Aside from publishing two books in Japan on the subject (Canned Foods Adventure and Canned Food Maniacs), she also has some interesting things to say about the art of the can:
‘The whole thing is an objet d’art,’ she says. ‘It can be stylish or kitschy on the outside, and you have no idea how it will actually look or taste.
They fill you with a sense of expectation, and once you open them up, they hit you with raw impact.’
Uli Westphal sees art in unusual places as well. Serious Eats alerted us to the otherworldly photographs of the German artist, whose Mutato Collection immortalizes misshapen produce, or, as he puts it, “non-standard fruits, roots and vegetables found at Berlins farmers markets.” The pucker-up-and-kiss-shaped peppers and phallic carrots shot on a spare, white background seem like an artier, more adult version of Joost Elffers’s work, but they also may have something to say about our desire to buy only the most perfectly shaped fruits and veggies.