Culinary molds have been used in cooking and baking for centuries. Made of metal, clay, or wood, each mold is crafted with skill and reflects the artistic and historical aspects of its culture. In Chinese cooking, wooden pastry molds are commonly used to make moon cakes, rice cakes, and new year cakes in the celebration of festivals and other occasions. Nowadays, most of the molds are made by machines, and only a small group of skillful masters are dedicated in handcrafting these beautiful works of art. We have found one master in Taiwan who is devoted more than 30 years in making wooden pastry molds, and through his hands and collection we have witnessed how an exquisite, delicate, and beautiful mold is made.
食品模具在烹飪及烘培已經使用了好幾個世紀. 不論是金屬, 陶土, 或是木製, 每一個模具都是經由技術雕刻製成並且反映出當地文化的藝術跟歷史. 在中式料理當中, 木刻餅模經常用來製作月餅, 米粿, 糕餅等在節日及其他場合來慶祝. 現在大部分的模具是由機器製成, 只有一小部分有技術的師傅致力於手工雕刻這美麗的工藝品. 我們在台灣找到一位具有超過30年木刻餅模資歷的木刻師傅, 透過他的巧手和收藏, 我們見識到一個雕工精細美麗餅模的製成.
There are four wooden culinary molds in Taiwan – Gui mold (粿模), Gao mold (糕模), Bing mold (餅模), and Tang Ta (糖塔). The general description is as followed,
- Gui is made of sticky glutinous rice skin wrapped with sweet or savory fillings; and then it is molded, steamed, and served.
- Gao is made of powdered rice flour mixed with powder sugar and ground peanuts or mun beans. Then it is pressed into a mold, and served once it is released from the mold. Sometimes steam is required depending on the recipes.
- Bing is a baked pastry made of flour, lard or vegetable oil, and sweet or savory filling. Moon cake is commonly known as a type of Bing.
- Tang Ta is literally called Sugar Tower. Hot-boiled sugar syrup is poured into the wooden mold and released once it is cool.
在台灣有四種基本木製食品模具, 粿模, 糕模, 餅模, 還有糖塔. 簡單敘述如下
粿 – 用黏糯米作成的皮包上甜或鹹的餡料. 然後成型, 蒸熟後食用.
糕 – 用米粉與糖, 花生粉或綠豆粉製成, 壓入模具, 脫模後即可食用. 有些糕則需要蒸過.
餅 – 主要用麵粉, 油, 甜鹹餡料烘培製成, 月餅則是最為人所知的餅類.
糖塔 – 滾熱糖漿倒入木製模具, 冷卻後脫模完成
粿,糕和餅常在不同場合中見到, 從節慶到儀式, 從結婚到出生到祭祀, 而且每個地區的形狀大小也不同. 糖塔則是主要用在祭祀神明.
囍或雙喜的紋路的糕餅則用在結婚或訂婚喜, 象徵新人的龍鳳在囍的兩邊, 代表新人永遠幸福, 永浴愛河.
By capturing these skillful and delicate works of arts with a camera, we have realized that we are surrounded by the beauty of everyday objects from generations to generations, and that is the essence of culture.
藉由相機拍攝這些技術純熟細緻的藝術品, 我們了解到這些日常生活物品的美一直代代相傳的在我們身邊, 這就是文化的精髓.
Many thanks to Yuan Feng Food Mold Company for providing these beautiful molds for us to photograph.