The Cheesiest Thing You'll See Today

Artists and sculptors have found a new use for cheese – cheese sculpting. Cheese is an easy material to sculpt in, as it is firm and holds its shape well. 

The art of cheese sculpting is commonly used as a promotional display, for events, sports teams and famous landmarks. Cheez-it, an American brand of crackers, is one company that has produced a number of cheese carving displays to promote their products. The Cheez-it carvings mostly represent famous landmarks, US presidents and other scenes and characters from American history.

The Cheez-It cracker brand carved this orange cheese sculpture of the four American presidents as they are in the giant Mount Rushmore sculpture. They've included a baked crispy cheese cracker in the shape of the American flag to add to the patriotic nature of this promotional art. [source]
This life-sized cheese carving of former US president Abraham Lincoln was sculpted out of three huge blocks of cheese. Cheddar cheese is the cheeese of choice for carving because it if firm and can hold its shape well. [source]

The video above shows another of Cheez-It's promotional cheese-carved art works; a replica of John Trumbull's iconic painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, created from a one-ton block of cheese. [youtube]

Cheese can become edible art

To prevent the dairy-based carving from drying out, cheese carvers spray cooking oil on the finished artwork to preserve the cheese. Using cooking oil has the added benefit of giving the sculpture a glossy shine. By using pasteurized cheese, sculptors can be assured that their artworks won’t melt. However, cheese sculptures need to be kept fairly cool, because if they’re left for too long in the blazing hot sun, they will eventually begin to fall apart.
This skillful cheese carving boasts an acoustic guitar sitting among the petals of a delicate cheese flower. The cheese artist had to scoop out the cheese between the flower petals to create the finished art work. The shine is from a glaze of cooking oil. [source]
In England, one block of cheese became a tasty nativity scene for Christmas, depicting the birth of Jesus in edible art. The artist has added lights into the cheesy scene, a daring move considering the heat of the lights will soften and eventually crumble the cheese. [source]
This beautiful bird carving of a pelican perched on a pole is made entirely from tasty cheese. This cheese sculpture was made for a wine company's promotional display. Such promotions are a common use of food art, and it is where many food artists make their living. [source]

Food art that smells and sells

The color and texture of cheese sculptures, along with the tantalizingly cheesy smell, make cheese art pieces a popular attraction when displayed in a store front or on a buffet table. The size of cheese sculptures are limited only by the size of the blocks of cheese that are available. Even so, some cheese sculptures stand in excess of 10ft, an impressive height for a food carving.

In this cheese sculpture, 3D animation legend Shrek holds New York state close to his heart. You can tell from how the sculptor is holding it that this piece of food art is very heavy. [source]
Winnie the Pooh holds a piece of cheese instead of a honey pot in this cute and delicious cheese carving. Both Winnie the Pooh and the Shrek carving about were created by Sarah Kaufman to promote New York cheeses. [source]
In another cheese sculpture by Sarah Kaufman, Santa Claus wishes cheese festival goers a merry Christmas. [source]

Cheese as a claymation clay

Edible cheese sculptures can be a unique gift, or they can be used as a promotional item. They can also have personalized messages carved into the sculpture as a center piece for a celebratory dinner such as on Christmas or a birthday. Because the sculpture is edible, the cheese can be cut up and served with crackers, dips and preserves, but who knows if anyone ever ate one of the dozens of cheese sculptures of Wallace that were made while creating this stop motion animation:

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