Instagram Is In Total Awe Of These Decorative Trees Made Out Of Food

If you follow any lifestyle or food accounts on social media, you're likely aware of the current trend that is aesthetically pleasing eats. Whether it's a gorgeous charcuterie board, an over-the-top cupcake, or a cocktail worthy of Pinterest, how something looks can be as important as it is how it actually tastes. But leave it to Martha Stewart to really go the extra mile in terms of edible aesthetics. The cookbook author and magazine founder recently shared a slideshow of photos of trees made of food on her Instagram — and fans were understandably impressed. 

What's the story behind these food-themed trees? They aren't something new or something that Martha dreamt up. Rather, it turns out they have a deep-rooted history — and are a longstanding tradition in French cuisine. Here's what you need to know about the edible towers also known as croquembouches. The word means "crack in the mouth" in French and, according to MasterClass, is a traditional French wedding cake that consists of a tower of cream puffs held together by a caramel coating. It was invented in the 1800s by a French chef named Marie-Antoine Carême and remains popular today.

These aren't your traditional croquembouches

Martha Stewart alluded to the name of these food towers in her post: croquembouches. (She even has a recipe for croquembouche on her website that you can make at home.) While croquembouches are traditionally made of cream puffs, some of the creations Martha shared on Instagram were a twist on the classic. Yes, the original tower she posted was straight out of a French patisserie, but she also added pictures of croquembouches made of "pommes de terre" (potatoes), "choux de Bruxelles" (Brussels sprouts), mushrooms, turnips, and more. As the French might say: tres creative! "Holy smokes. That is perfection in confection!" one person commented on the picture of an especially stunning dessert tower spotted at the elegant Hermes dinner Martha was attending, while another said, "Wow. I love this idea! Gorgeous." One person even said, "Looks like something that would be found on Tim Burton's holiday table. Strange, but beautiful." Some didn't exactly understand the "point" of the croquembouches but were impressed nonetheless.

The croquembouches on display at the Nine Orchard hotel in downtown New York were put together by Laila Gohar (@lailacooks on Instagram), who is a chef and designer in New York City famous for her quirky culinary installations around town.