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Food Tattoos

Now that l have fully reached geezer status, it is time for a tattoo. Cheese may be prominent in my thoughts but open to a lot. Photos and where the deed was done would help as well. One thought now was on the door at Betelnut in San Francisco when they opened, which was a wedge of Swiss cheese with holes with the ubiquitous red circle around it and the red slash through the circle. All help appreciated.

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  1. Forget what the tat is, where are you planning to put it?

    2 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      Two current locations are vying for the winner. On the anterior ankle, thus facing out. The other is Tong style on the bottom of heel with large circle around it. What you do want, am a retired podiatrist.

    2. how about a cheese knife? I'm thinking one like this:


      Scroll down to #17 -- shows off your profession, but a little badazz, too -- and just obscure enough to only be immediately recognizable to cheese freaks.

      (now I'll be watching when I'm in the markets in Paris...looking for the cheese-knife tat)

      1. dh and the boyz are fond of butcher's diagrams. i've seen some beautiful large scale produce tats and backpieces, too.

        assuming this will be your first tattoo, one thing to bear in mind (hoping the folks from the "just answer the bleepin' question" thread don't come after me with flat whisks): picking your tattoo artist is a lot like picking a caterer. shop around and familiarize yourself w her/his work, look for someone who runs a clean shop. some artists will specialize in portraiture, others in marvel-comic style illustration, others in ed hardy type styles, etc. choose the best fit for your concept. again, as with dealing with caterers-- you may think you know just what you want, but a good artist will expand and enhance your design-- don't think of your tattoo artist as a paper-to-skin zerox machine, like a talented caterer, s/he can enhance your "menu." if you want something large-scale, like a mycological fantasy backpiece, or a humorous cartoon of a roasted james beard being served to a pig wearing a tuxedo. . .don't be afraid to ask your artist to draw it up. go in with books and photos. like a good caterer, a good tattoo artist will work off of your ideas and create something custom for you that may be even better than you imagined! :)

        good luck! oh-- imho, price should be among the last things discussed-- don't bargain hunt, this will be on your skin the rest of your life. more expensive/experienced artists will also be quicker, cleaner and less painful/shorter heal time, like surgeons. tip tattoo artists generously, particularly if they draw up custom work for you-- i'm sure you know this, i'm just sayin' to say it, for the thread. again, best of luck.

        2 Replies
        1. re: soupkitten

          Soupkitten is right on the nose on all points, not the least of which is the last paragraph. Good tattoos are never cheap; Cheap tattoos are never good.

          My daughter is a tattoo artist of some repute. She told me recently of someone who came in for a consult and didnt like her price. The client had the nerve to ask my daughter if she could recommend someone who would do the work any cheaper. My daughter told her to try prison. Prisons are LOADED with inexpensive tattoo artists.

          1. re: Fydeaux

            I've heard the same from a BBQ pitmaster "good food ain't cheap and cheap food ain't good".
            "you get what you pay for" generally holds true for tattoos as well.

            With that said, I was in Belize last winter and had a ceiba tree tattooed on my forearm for the equivalent of $100USD (incredibly inexpensive). The artist was a Seattle ex-pat who recently opened a small parlor near the beach. OK, monochrome, little shading, and not extremely detailed, but still, I am very pleased with it and a bargain to boot (I tipped him well).
            This is definitely an exception to the "get what u pay for" rule...

        2. Ooooh, timely! I've had a tattoo of a previous Siamese cat of mine on my hip for 15 years, but acquired a 10-12" scar (inverted V) across my abdomen 2 years ago. I'd thought about a tattoo around it and just started thinking about it again. Grape Vines? Cherry Blossoms?

          I love the idea of a cheese related tattoo, maybe a melty wedge of brie? Dripping Grilled cheese sandwich?

          10 Replies
            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              okay the combination of 'cheesemonger' and 'podiatrist' just BEGS for something with stinky feet. An angel with smelly tootsies?

              1. re: sunshine842

                Thanks for the image of toe cheese just before breakfast....

                1. re: Veggo

                  no, no -- years ago, on one of my first forays into a Paris fromagerie, I instinctively wrinkled my nose when I walked into the store (it can be a little overpowering...)

                  The lady looked up, chuckled, and remarked "ah yes -- cheese -- like the feet of an angel" It cracked me up -- I had a great time and bought a lot of cheese that day -- and the saying has stayed with me ever since.

                2. re: sunshine842

                  Did you look at my avatar ? And the story goes when Charlemagne first tried Brie de Melun he said' It smells like the feet of God'

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Or the smelly, black mercedes? {;-/)

                      1. re: porker

                        Blue, not black. Almost got smelly for the tag on my other car

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          You shoulda. Cool tags. Even better side by side.

              2. Theres a timely article in Culture called

                Cheesemongers who love what they do have the tats to prove it, maybe check it out here


                for a few idears.

                Having slid somewhere between hipster dufus and geezer myself, I try to get a tatoo when visiting interesting ports of call...

                soupkitten's pointers are spot on, echoing the concerns about "answer the fuc&ing question" thread, I will suggest this:

                get the tattoo where you can see it, whats the good of not enjoying it yourself, I think.

                Skill varies GREATLY from artist to artist (something that did not occur to me when getting my second), so ask around. Plus word of mouth recommendations go a long way.

                Finally, as a committed hound, report back with a photo!

                BTW, I've been thinking of something like this for awhile

                3 Replies
                1. re: porker

                  ROFL -- some of those are pretty cool -- and come out MUCH better than I thought a cheese tattoo would look.

                  And I *swear* I hadn't read that when I combined "cheese knife" and "badass" in the same sentence.

                  1. re: porker

                    Thank you for that link, porker. What a wonderful portrait of cheesemongers!

                    1. re: porker

                      I agree with everything you've said on this thread porker, and especially the point about getting it where you yourself can see it. i got mine at 40 (also skirting the edge of geezerhood), not food related, but i had a picture of it for a few years before i got it done. Mine is on my upper right calf, but slightly to the right - not exactly on the side of the leg, definitely on the fleshy part and not on the back - about an inch below the bend. i can see it whenever i look down from a sitting or standing position without having to crane.

                      is this too (pardon the pun) - cheesy? http://www.fotosearch.com/IMZ001/jba0...

                        1. re: escondido123

                          ..chasing a trail of cheese crumbs...

                        2. Probably the best restaurant in my area gives free french fries for life if you get a pre-approved 'food is important' tatoo. http://www.foodisimportant.com/

                          1. I hear tattoos don't work very well on the heel. Apparently, like on the palm or the side of the hand, tattoos on the heel tend to fade quickly. How about lower neck? Ankle is good too.

                            I think you should do something that alludes to your favorite cheese, not cheese in general. I know it's hard to pick one, but I think the words Constant Bliss (funny!) or Delice de Bourgogne or St. Agur, perhaps in the exact font/logo of the cheese would be fantastic. These of course are my favorite cheeses, you are free to choose!

                            I have not yet reached "geezer" status, but I recently got a tattoo the likes of my avatar :)

                            1. During one homemade tex-mex dinner, most likely after a few margaritas, I blurted out "I love queso. Queso is the one thing I could get a tattoo of because I will never stop loving it"

                              I can't imagine orange/yellow looking great on my skin, but I do dream of a tattoo of one of those mexican style dip bowls filled with queso, tipping just enough for a nice big glob to pour over.

                              Good luck with your tattoo! I'll also echo the sentiments of others in that the lower half of the foot is a bad place for a tattoo that you want to look good in just a couple of years. Make sure to report back with picks!

                              1. Aloha, Delucacheesemonger:

                                Whatever you get, I recommend that it (a) be something facing future as well as commemorative; (b) not have its meaning(s) be completely transparent to others; and (c) be put onto your skin by someone who has taken the time to get to know you.

                                The ancient tattoo traditions of Polynesia all honor the idea of "kaona", or hidden meanings, beneath the symbology and surface meaning(s). The deeper levels are there to actually be *lived up* to, and may not be revealed even to the wearer until much later in life.

                                Choose carefully.


                                5 Replies
                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  All great replies, but kaleokahu's is REALLY good. I waited until I was thirty to get one, and now, a decade or two later, I'm even happier with the symbology. It's not a food tattoo, but it pointed to the direction I was headed in my life and was a bit prescient - I knew more then than I thought I knew.
                                  Have you gotten it done yet, DCM?

                                  1. re: mamachef

                                    Not yet, not as prescient as you perhaps.

                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                      Hi, DLC:

                                      You're going to do fine. The subject you are considering for your uhi is obviously already a long-term, big part of your life, not a whim. Just as this can be underthought, so can it be overthought.

                                      Kakau are about *significance*, and as the kahuna say, you don't just put anything on. Their reasoning is more genealogical, but the principle is the same. There is value in keeping some of the significance hidden.


                                    2. re: mamachef

                                      Symbology? Someone's been reading Dan Brown :)

                                      1. re: Lizard

                                        Eeek, no. I just know lotsa big words, plus I'm a showoff like that. :)

                                  2. My best friend (who went to culinary school and its where she met her husband) has the Morton salt girl tatoo'd on her leg. Its well done and not as obvious as getting, say, salt, on her leg. (though maybe I can call my freckles pepper?)

                                    Also, a guy at the meat dept at Whole Foods in DC has a side of beef tattooed on his forearm. I was asking him about what to cut to buy, and he pulled up his sleeve and showed me, on his tattoo, what part of the cow it was from. I think I bought whatever I was holding because I figured a man with a side of beef on his arm better know what he is talking about!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: DCLindsey

                                      I'm sure those are fine tattoes, but I hope they don't think they are novel. It's amazing how many times I've seen them posted online.

                                    2. I think if more people understood how ubiquitous tattoos were they might really reconsider the whole idea. I was at a 7/11 type store last week and realized I was the only one WITHOUT a tattoo. My sister observed I must have been there because I was buying cigarettes again--she was right.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: escondido123

                                        Why would ubiquity be any reason to reconsider getting a tattoo?

                                        I'm reminded now of something someone once said to me:

                                        You know the difference between people with tattoos and people without them? People with tattoos don't care if you have one.

                                        That said, always good to be aware of the bad choices a person can make: http://bad-tattoos.tumblr.com/

                                        1. re: Lizard

                                          OK, now rethinking the strawberry one.

                                          1. re: Lizard

                                            "Why would ubiquity be any reason to reconsider getting a tattoo? "

                                            If it was once done to show how different and unique and edgy you are, it is no longer any of those things. Tattooing just ain't rebellious anymore - boomers and soccer moms and frat boys and geeks all have them. In many demographics (in my experience, big city, west coast, ages 20-45+) the ink-free have become the minority.

                                            If those are not among your motivations, ink away.

                                            1. re: babette feasts

                                              Hi, babette: "[I]t was once done to show how different and unique and edgy you are, it is no longer any of those things. Tattooing just ain't rebellious anymore."

                                              Maybe you're right about rebellion if your slice of "once" started in 1940 and ended in 1980. And perhaps there is an aspect of conformity now--in reaction to that period of puritanism.

                                              One thing that tickles me about the whether-or-not debate is that those without ink oftentimes impose on the inked not their mores, but their own fear of risk or regret. It frequently comes out as ageism (Oh, she'll regret *that* when she's 90 and wrinkled!", or "How long with that fad last?"), but it's as if the judge is judging his/her own utter lack of certainty about certainty. And that's not what tattoos are about.

                                              The conformity of nonconformity may be a way to see it, but another way to look at it is a recognition of the fleeting natures of life and its significance, a fearlessness in the face of time. I think it especially unfortunate that people who ink later in life are castigated for finding that fearlessness. Better late than never, right?


                                            2. re: Lizard

                                              When I see a whole group of people and they all have tattoos, it really makes me doubt that they don't care whether other people have them. I believe it is a "badge" that is more or less required to be part of the group. Just like blond hair if you're an OC Housewife, piercing if you're a Goth, hair that covers your face if you're young and live in Portland.

                                              1. re: escondido123

                                                My daughter is young and lives in Portland and the only hair on her face is her eyebrows.

                                                There seems to be an awfuls lot of condescension and judgement taking place here. Like I said above, my daughter is a tattoo artist. In Portland. I've been hanging out with people who not only have tattoos but are big in the tattoo industry for decades. As of yet, I do not have one, and NO ONE have ever made me feel like I am not worthy of their company.

                                                Deluca asked for advice about what tattoo to get, not whether or not to get one. I suggest respecting that, and if no suggestions are forthcoming, move on to another discussion.

                                                1. re: Fydeaux

                                                  I am sorry to have made such broad generalizations. The subject of tattoos makes me kind of crazy since I live in tattoo country and the bad choices that people make about what to have inked onto their bodies amazes and shocks me. I'm sure that will not be true of Deluca so I will just hold my tongue.

                                          2. Chef Sean Brock from Charleston (husk and Mccrady's ) has my favorite food tattoos! He has said his sleeve took 90 hours to create! It is beautiful.


                                            I dont have any tattos myself but they don't bother me.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: LaLa

                                              Thanks for the video, heirloom carrots are now in the running.

                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                i ran into him not long ago and it is even more beautiful in person.

                                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                  did you notice he has a sfa hat on too!

                                                2. re: LaLa

                                                  there are tattoos that you have to appreciate for the skill and talent of the artist -- and those qualify in spades. Gorgeous work.

                                                  1. re: LaLa

                                                    That is one seriously awesome tattoo!

                                                  2. Here's my two cents....

                                                    Don't stress about it too much or you will never decide - you will never find one image that represents all of your love and passion....so think about it and it will come to you, you'll know when you see it.

                                                    I got my second tattoo last year and had every intention of getting a food related image, but at the very last minute changed my mind and I know it was the right decision....

                                                    I got my first tattoo when I was 19, it's a flower, I wanted a fish... this was before tattoos were "ubiquitous"... so I got something more generic - the flower means nothing, but i don't regret it... wish I'd had the guts to get a fish, but it's still representative of a special time in my life.... it's just a picture - it was the act of getting it that was important.