Temp Tats Help You Wear Your Love of Cooking on Your Sleeve

Temporary Food Tattoos


Photo by: I Tradizionali on Instagram ©I Tradizionali

I Tradizionali on Instagram, I Tradizionali

Cooking from a recipe can be logistically challenging — going back and forth from your cookbook or computer to the food you're preparing while trying to keep several steps in your head and not lose your place. If you've ever found yourself yearning for a better way — and one that is far more fun — you're in luck.

Two Italian problem solvers, Marina Cinciripini, an interior designer who loves kitchens, and Sarah Richiuso, a product designer and illustrator, have created a collection of illustrated recipes in the form of temporary tattoos. Cooks can apply the tattoos directly to their forearms — or really, one supposes, whatever body part they choose.

Marina and Sarah called their line of temp tattoos, which can be applied in seconds using a damp paper towel and last about two or three days, I Tradizionali — in part because they see it as a new way of passing down traditional recipes from generation to generation. What's more, their website notes, having a recipe emblazoned on your forearm not only helps you remember how something is prepared, it also evokes "the common gesture of 'rolling up one's sleeves' before cooking." Poetry, right?

Originally conceived for a design competition, the Premio Lissone Design 2013, where it nabbed second place honors in the Ritual of Food category, I Tradizionali was hailed for putting "our bodies at the core of cooking." The product's creators have taken a seasonal approach to their recipes, available in English and Italian, incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into salads, pastas, drinks and desserts. Each of several thematic packages ($14 apiece) — some holiday themed, others tailored for those on restricted diets — includes four recipes.

"The project is a combination of our two biggest passions, cooking and illustration," Marina told NPR's The Salt. "The goal is to help people approach good food in a fun way."

After all, while I Tradizionali tats carry the benefits of being instructional and temporary (you can wash them off with soap and water), they build upon a long, proud tradition of chef's rocking tattoos of the more-permanent variety in the kitchen — from coast to coast, food related and otherwise. (Click here and here for some fabulously imaginative examples.)

James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock, whose brightly colored sleeve tattoo highlights his favorite heirloom vegetables (beets, leeks, radishes), says he finds his agriculture-celebrating arm ink "motivational."

"It's great to ... wake up in the morning and that be the first thing you see," the Charleston, S.C.-based chef has said. "It gets you moving in the right direction mentally ... There's no question what I do for a living."

Of course, thanks to I Tradizionali, even those of us who aren't pros can look and cook like them, and — at least temporarily — wear our love of fresh ingredients on our sleeves.

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