When you watch a TV commercial for your favorite restaurant the food looks so tempting.
The meat is always juicy and grilled to perfection, the desserts always have the perfect shape and color, and it seems like every detail has been arranged perfectly.
In fact, they have been. Food commercials are a huge part of the restaurant business, and the biggest chains pay giant sums of money to make sure their food looks absolutely perfect. That means spending hours making every meal look just right in the studio, and it can involve some really shocking tricks!
It's no surprise that the hamburgers you see in ads have been painstakingly crafted. We've all seen ads with delicious burgers and then been disappointed when the real thing looked like a deflated mess.
That's because the burgers we see on TV aren't really burgers at all. They have all the same parts - a patty, veggies, a bun - but they're each made individually, then held together with toothpicks and cardboard to give the burger that gravity-defying lift.
The actual burger is usually grilled on one side for some color, or served raw and painted with shoe polish. Then, everything is perfectly arranged to look tasty from the right angle. Sometimes the sesame seeds on the bun will even be individually placed with tweezers!
Unfortunately, the ads for your favorite desserts are just as tricky. It's common for "food stylists," the name for people who design these mouth-watering ads, to paint strawberries with lipstick so it's just the right shade.
No detail is too small to overlook: pancakes are sprayed with fabric protector so the syrup won't soak into the cakes. In fact, most of the time it's not really syrup at all.
Motor oil looks much nicer in photographs, so it's used as a syrup substitute in most ads.
Another food that's usually replaced is ice cream. Studio lights are too hot for this frozen treat, so instead mashed potatoes are dyed the right color and scooped up.
All this extra work may seem bizarre, but you have to admit the food looks really great.
You may never look at cereal the same way again knowing that ads use school glue instead of milk to get the perfect shade of white, but it's pretty impressive that some creative food stylist thought to try this.
We hope this post taught you not to trust the ads you see every day. Remember to look on the bright side: the next time you bake a cake if it doesn't look totally perfect, that's just because you didn't fill it with cardboard.
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