Fruit and vegetable carving is a tradition that goes back centuries in Thailand.
Monsiri Baird learned to carve as a child in school in Thailand. All the students learned, boys and girls, to carve basic items like cucumbers. But Baird didn’t use her skills until years later when she was looking for a hobby.
“At university, I thought, I should do something that I like so I think of this,” said Baird.
She kept practicing and practicing in her free time. Now she teaches others to carve so that the skill will carry on in her new home in Wisconsin.
“I just want to expand this skill to some other people,” said Baird. “It’s going to die with me so I expand to other people – to my friends, to my community.”
Baird’s favorite thing to carve are watermelons because of the three colors of the rind and flesh. She carves for herself but also for community events and weddings.
“In Thai they say,” said Baird, “when you are eating, your tongue not only tastes, but your eyes have to taste, too.”