Sometimes, as a blogger, I get to play with my food. Today was one of those days as I was prompted to make food art with black olives. When I was brainstorming, I immediately thought of pandas. They’re my favorite animal. Last year I closely followed the birth of the panda cubs at the Atlanta Zoo. Earlier this week I was excited to hear that pandas may be so smart that they fake pregnancies to get treats and special attention. Plus, they’re adorable.
Luckily, they’re black and white so using black olives was perfect. I often open a can of black olives and eat the whole thing. In one night. By myself. I’ve been a big fan since I was little. I always keep a couple cans in the pantry.
It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I thought to use them in food art when I made olive penguins. My baby doesn’t yet share my love of black olives but I have faith she will one day. When that day comes, I can make this for her inevitable panda themed party. It’s perfect finger food to sit out and have people pick at. Or, it would be easy to prep and pop into the fridge for a fun after school snack.
California Black Ripe Olives – I got jumbo, regular sized, and sliced
Mozzarella balls – this size is called “pearls”
There aren’t really any directions. I arranged the mozzarella balls (that look kinda like marshmallows – they’re not. I promise) into a panda head shape then used the black olives to make the ears, eyes, and body. I sliced up some cheddar for the sun and some cucumbers to make a bamboo-like plant.
Since I already had all the supplies, I decided to make more penguins, too.
Slice a baby carrot into a thin disk for the feet, then cut out a small triangle from the disk that you’ll use for the beak. Slice a black olive lengthwise and pop a mozzarella ball in for the body. Lay a black olive sideways on top of the body and secure with a toothpick. Simple.
Maybe in some happy world, pandas and penguins hang out together.