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Jun 27, 2013 07:44 AM

Food that looks like a Rock

I am trying to create an art project. I recently discovered the art of Bonseki - a Japanese art of creating semi three dimensional landscapes using black lacquer trays and white sand. I want to try doing something like this using edible products - salt, sugar, etc. What I still need to figure out is what I can use that looks like rocks.

What food / edible item would look like a rock. Preferably grey tones (fits with the black and white theme). Rock candy came to mind, but it is a bit crystaline, and usually bright colored. Potatoes seem too brown. Any other ideas?

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  1. There are candy rocks (and seashells) sold at many candy stores in New England; don't know where you are, but they're also buyable on amazon. I'll attach a pic.

    Also, don't know if hard/soft consistency matters, but were I to use potatoes, I'd tint them with food to start.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pinehurst

      I am in New England, but have only seen those at one or two places. Then again, I dont frequent candy stores, and very well could have mistaken them for rocks. That might work well for my needs.

      1. re: pinehurst

        I want to do this as a project to show other people how to make. The more I think about it, the more I am leaning towards a desert type of thing. I will have ot hunt down some sea foam and see if I can color that. Someone also suggested I get some jello, make it thick, and make rocks out of chunks of that. Sounds like a weekend of exploration!

        Thanks for the suggestions - keep 'em coming!

        1. re: cloudship

          Here's a recipe link for the seafoam candy:

          If you make it yourself, I would imagine you could add the coloring agent from the get-go and not have to worry about coloring after the fact. Caveat: candy-making is not something I have a lot of experience with, so I have no idea if a few drops of coloring would upset any *delicate balance* or whatnot. (Yes, I'm a little intimidated by working with molten sugar, but a friend makes this candy all the time and assures me that it's pretty easy.


          Another thought, if you are going the dessert route: marzipan could probably be your best friend. I'm a bit of a rock hound, and this has me thinking of all the spectacular agates one could form out of marzipan...hmmm....

      2. Grape nut cereal looks and tastes like rocks. Can you figure out an edible way to "glue" the cereal from small clusters to larger ones?

        Otherwise, small to large onions could be transformed, turnips to be cut into block or odd shapes, or big pieces of raw coconut. Some of the larger whole nuts in the shell or even whole nutmeg could be transformed.

        1. I found this link that looks interesting. Don't know how big they are, and they're expensive.

          Also there is the hard licorice "coal" candy, but it's jet black and pretty shiny. Maybe you could use fine sandpaper to rough it up.

          1. What a fun project! A few things popped into mind:

            - I get balls of konnyaku from an Asian market. Some are dyed, but some are the natural black-speckled gray and have, to my eye at least, a very rock-like appearance. Weird jelly-like rocks, but still. I simmer konnyaku to get some flavor into it and it does take on the color of the simmering sauce, so that might make the whole thing too *brown* - but if this project is for looks>flavor, it might be an option for a smooth, water-washed rock look.
            - Seafoam candy always reminds me of sandstone or some lava rock. Sure it's beige, but I wonder if lightly spritzing (airbrushing?) it with some food dye would work (or just make it gooey? maybe powdered dye to shake it in?). Great texture, though...might be worth a glance.
            - A lot of boudin noir reminds me of conglomerate rock. Might be an option.
            - Finally, I saw an episode of a Bourdain No Res. show in which he was served a dish of roasted potatoes (IIRC, perhaps roasted in ash?) that looked exactly like stones. I can't for the life of me remember the locale of the episode; maybe someone else has a better memory than I do.

            I hope you'll post some photos of your end result!

            1. Bart Simpson would say lemons look like rocks.