From glue to engine oil, advertises use a lot of wacky things to make your food look mouth-watering.
Advertised foods rarely look exactly like the real food they’re selling. The truth is, the delicious-looking food we see in print ads and TV commercials would be anything but appetizing if they were on your plate. Some of them aren’t even food! Check out what odd things advertisers use to make food look appetizing.
Glue (sometimes shampoo) for milk
Real milk tends to make breakfast cereal soggy and rather unappetizing in pretty short order. You know what doesn’t do that? White glue. Yogurt or shampoo have also been known to do the trick.
Deodorant to make fruits shiny
Fruit always shines in advertising. No special tools are required — only a deodorant spray to add shine to fruit. Some food stylists also use hairspray.
Engine oil for maple syrup
Pancakes absorb real syrup too quickly to photograph, so photographers replace it with engine oil. Another trick is to cover pancakes with a water-repellent spray that creates a protective layer.
Microwaved tampons for steam
It’s important for hot foods to look hot. The way to do that is to show steam billowing off. Instead of stopping every few shots to nuke the staged food, photographers will often soak one of these items in water, microwave it, and skillfully hide it in the shot.
Shoe polish on your hamburgers
Most of the time, meat products aren’t actually cooked because cooking can cause them to shrink and dry out. So items like steak and hamburgers are carefully seared with a blowtorch. Afterwards, grill marks are added with a branding iron and, as a finishing touch, some shoe polish or varnish may be applied to provide a nice, succulent color.
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