Joetta’s Project: Animal-Inspired Playful Eating Experiences

  • Idea: a handful of food experiences inspired by the creatures around us in Panama, using either the food eaten or the manner in which its eaten to bring this to life
  • Reality: two rough prototypes of interactions with edible materials inspired by animals (hummingbird and anteater) and limited to what I could find at the tienda and locally


  • Idea: fill edible flowers with nectar that people eat sipping through a small straw, like a hummingbird
  • Reality: 
    • Marzipan made with salted almonds from the tienda is an ugly color due to the skins
    • The humidity makes it nearly impossible to hold a structure with just almonds and sugar, cornstarch helped, as does lots of drying out in the fridge
    • Using the blender did NOT work—and then I realized there was a food processor
    • The goji berries mostly got blended in but there are some chunks
  • Supplies: 
    • Marzipan flowers: food processor, 2 snack packs of salted, roasted almonds, a bunch of powdered sugar, goji berries and algae (blue and green—thanks Elliot!) for color, cornstarch to try to deal with the humidity, some marshmallow fondant for the extra flowers
    • Nectar: the flesh of jobo fruits (spondias mombin, thanks Jorge for the ID!) gathered from the ground (thanks Sid for the idea!) boiled with sugar, water, honey, and cornstarch to create a nectar, then used the boiled fruit for the center of the extra flowers, and straws I took from the coffee shop at the Miraflores locks. 


  • Idea: create small “bugs” out of food from the tienda and have people eat them out of a fruit with a tongue made of a palm frond covered in honey 
  • Reality: 
    • In 2014 Hershey’s patented a chocolate that doesn’t really melt. That’s the chocolate they sell at the tienda, so I wasn’t able to coat the marshmallow fondant in chocolate to make ants. So…they’re larvae.
    • The original bugs were too big and heavy to be lifted by honey so I had to make them pretty tiny and shapeless.
    • I couldn’t really figure out the right fruit to put the bugs in, so I ended up chopping some green coconuts in half and using those to hold the “bugs.”
  • Supplies:
    • Palm fronds from Andy’s front yard coated in Dinacon honey
    • Bugs made from a combo of marshmallows pilfered from a bag of chocolate cereal and powdered sugar
    • Green coconuts pulled from a roadside tree


  • Be a hummingbird:
    • Grab a little straw and put it in your mouth. Sip some of the nectar from one of the flowers.
    • For advanced mode, flap your arms like wings the whole time. Ha!
    • Grab a flower from the plate as a sweet snack if you want.
  • Be an anteater:
    • Grab a palm frond and dab some honey along one side.
    • Put the wide end in your mouth and use it to collect some “bug larvae” from one of the coconut shells.
    • You can eat the larvae if you want—they’re very, very sweet. 🙂