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Día de los Muertos Tabletop Avo Skulls: Carving How-To

Día de los Muertos is a widely celebrated holiday, not just in Latin America, but also in the U.S. The holiday demands preparation of all kinds, from cuisine and costumes, to decorations and dancing tunes, to prayers and parties. The season tends to bring out traditional harvest foods, like maize, pumpkins, and colorful beans dried on the vine, but have you ever thought of including avocado carving in your holiday crafts?

Yes, you read that right, avocado carving! You only need a few simple tools and ingredients and you can use this ancient Mexican fruit to make your very own Day of the Dead-themed skull carvings.

What you need:

  • Avocados From Mexico (one per skull) and a lemon
  • an X-Acto knife or other small blade
  • a marker or food-safe pen
  • a wooden skewer or toothpick

The pattern is simple and the results are stunning. If you use all food-safe ingredients, you can even turn your carving into guac later and get all that wonderful avocado nutrition as well.

For this project, you’ll want relatively firm avocados. If you’re buying your avocados ahead of time, here are some tips you need to know about how to keep your avocado fresh and ready to carve. Just pop it in the fridge and it will keep well for up to 5 days, and longer if it is extra-firm when you bring it home.

Now, here’s how to make those skulls!

  1. Draw two very large eyes, an upside down heart for a nose, and a long rectangle for the mouth. The eyes should take up the entire half of the largest end of the avocado.
  2. Using the X-Acto knife, cut out all the marked areas of skin.
  3. Now, cut out the eyes, on an angle inward, all the way down to the pit, so the inner part of the eye holes where the pit shows through is smaller than the opening. Remove the chunks of avocado from the holes.
  4. Cut out the nose straight down, without an angle, again all the way to the pit.
  5. Now, cut only the skin off the mouth area, peeling it away to reveal the avocado beneath. Then, use the skewer or toothpick to draw the teeth inside.
  6. Finally, squeeze the juice of a lemon (or any other acid like vinegar) to keep the avocado flesh green. This technique works well not just for crafts, but for all kinds of avocado dishes! For other options, check out this video with tips for keeping your guacamole green.

When you have your finished skull, don’t hesitate to decorate it! Add some lace trim around its neck, or put a fancy hat on top. If you don’t intend to eat it, you could even paint it for more color and flare.

By Avocados From Mexico October 15, 2018

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