Some say that great chefs are artists who use food as their medium. Undoubtedly, there is great beauty in the foods we eat, often in their natural ways. What happens when an artist has an affinity for food? Meet our friend Zoe Joy Einbinder of Real Fruit Jewelry. Zoe makes jewelry (yes, jewelry!) out of real fruit and vegetables. Kiwi necklaces? Blood orange earrings? Rings made out of beets? Yes. Yes. And yes! Zoe’s creations act as an artistic tribute to the beauty of food, which we often don’t take the time to recognize. We sat down to chat with Zoe and learn about from where her love for food “stems.” 😉
What are your earliest childhood memories of food?
Being from an East Coast Jewish family, some of my earliest memories of food involve lox and bagels. I remember going to the deli with my grandfather on Sundays, where they had a plastic fish with a cigar in its mouth: a real “smoked fish.” We’d get bagels, lox, whitefish and oily olives to go and have brunch at the kitchen table while listening to Frank Sinatra with my mom and grandparents. For dessert, there’d be halavah or coffee-flavored ice cream.
From where does your love for food “stem?”
Growing up in an urban environment has given me exposure to all sorts of different foods. Over the years, growing up in the city, we had neighbors from Greece, Russia, and Palestine, who would always send over yummy homemade eats. Stuffed grape leaves, delicate pastries and Middle Eastern dishes flavored with delicious and unfamiliar spices were my favorites. I will say, also, that working at a health food store in my early 20’s really enriched my relationship with whole, organic, high quality foods. I worked in the cafe in the back of the store and was introduced to miso soup, kale, quinoa and various types of seaweeds.
What foods remind you of childhood?
My mom’s chicken soup and sautéed tofu, as well as fishsticks, Cheez Whiz sandwiches and chocolate milk, of course.
What do you think of the modern food world where Whole Foods and Boston Market encourage us to buy already-prepared meals?
Wow, I have such mixed feelings about the modern food world. As a busy entrepreneur, who works from home, I really appreciate being able to leave the home/office to grab something quick and usually healthy. If it wasn’t for Trader Joe’s frozen meals, I’d probably have eaten peanut butter crackers for dinner a lot this year. So I think there’s definitely a need and purpose for prepared foods. But I also strive to make homemade, delicious meals that I can share with friends and family. The crockpot is great for that!
What family recipes do you want to share with us?
I absolutely adore my mom Linda’s Pear and Butternut Squash Soup. It’s perfect for the cold winter seasons and always warms me up, which is what moms are supposed to do for their children, after all, right?
Zoe Joy Einbinder is a native Philadelphian, with a love for a diverse array of foods. She can get down with it all: from cheesesteaks and soft pretzels to macrobiotic and vegetarian delicacies and all things that involve melted cheese, fresh garlic and pesto. In addition to the taste of food, Zoe also appreciates the beauty of food, specifically fresh fruits and veggies. Zoe’s series of veggie photos, which she’s taken over the years, have been displayed at various markets. Zoe’s unique line of fruit based jewelry, Real Fruit Jewelry, is made from colorful slices of dried fruit that have been preserved with a clear resin.