Creating countries from food: Noodles for China, tomatoes for Italy

Cartography never looked or tasted so good.

Artists Caitlin Levin and Henry Hargreaves have created a series of food maps inspired by their love of food and passion for travel. Each map is made up of food that represents that country or continent.

“In this series, we have taken many of the iconic foods of countries and continents and turned them into physical maps,” said Hargreaves in an email to The Times. “This project speaks to the universality of how food unites people, brings us together and starts conversation. Just as we hope these beautiful maps will do too.”

For some countries, the map displays how food has traveled around the world. For example, the two artists know tomatoes originated from the Andes in South America, but used the fruit to make the Italy map, recognizing that the country is known for its use of tomatoes.

PHOTOS: Food maps

The United States map was made with various forms of corn. The map of China is made of noodles, Australia is full of shrimp, France is border to border bread and cheese, Japan is made of seaweed, bananas and plantains were used to make Africa, and India is full of spices. You can see all 11 of the maps in the photo gallery above.


Each map took a day to make, and you can watch a video of the two artists working here.

“Who doesn’t know the saying ‘throw some shrimp on the barbie’ and not think of Australia?” said Hargreaves. “Who goes to France without eating bread and cheese?”

Levin and Hargreaves use food as a medium in almost all of their artworks, with other projects including gingerbread, Oreos, eggs and an entire series on deep-fried gadgets.

Want more quirky food news? Follow me on Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_


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