There is no sincerer love than the love of food.
November 9, 2016 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Food Decoration Fails — when your meal looks worse than you feel.
posted by Johnny Wallflower (46 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
The coleslaw mermaid is pretty adorable, actually.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:50 PM on November 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Thanks. I was wondering what to have for supper, but now I have totally lost my appetite. Problem solved.
posted by charlesminus at 3:52 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Are you kidding?!? The fishship is awesome!!!!

It just needs a little sign saying "From Hell's heart, I stab at thee!"
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:08 PM on November 9, 2016 [49 favorites]


How are these fails???
posted by musofire at 4:16 PM on November 9, 2016 [30 favorites]


I needed that. Thanks for posting.

Thanks. I was wondering what to have for supper, but now I have totally lost my appetite. Problem solved.
posted by charlesminus at 3:52 PM on November 9 [+] [!]


Duh! Wiener faces on spaghetti!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:28 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Canned peas are never a good thing.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:37 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


The trio of hot little ladies with chicken wing legs and hard boiled egg boobs made me laugh out loud. Love this.
posted by Kangaroo at 4:37 PM on November 9, 2016 [14 favorites]


Too many peas. Too many hot dogs. Never enough chicken. Everything that has chicken is fantastic.
posted by janey47 at 4:38 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I started choking at the evil pink porcupine, and I never quite regained my breath.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:40 PM on November 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


The elephants are adorable! The swordfish ship is really cool! Most of these are horrifying!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:00 PM on November 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is exactly how I feel inside today.
posted by cazoo at 5:04 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Alive Vegetables section Is much cuter.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:14 PM on November 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


We have this Achewood up at our home for just this reason.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:19 PM on November 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


robocop is bleeding, I have a tab open with that same Achewood ready to link. Glad I previewed.
posted by potrzebie at 5:22 PM on November 9, 2016


I once (for what seemed, at the time, to be good reasons) made a meatloaf shaped like a fish. It wasn't nearly as weird as these.
posted by easily confused at 5:32 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Achewood URL ready to paste as well. Thees ees no so bad, oui?
posted by infinitewindow at 5:38 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


These are my new friends.
posted by queensissy at 5:41 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Perfect for our sumptuous candle lite supper.
posted by clavdivs at 5:42 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I LOVE it when food is shaped like something else. That's THE BEST. I want my wedding cake to be shaped like a fax machine with a face or something.
posted by blnkfrnk at 5:54 PM on November 9, 2016 [32 favorites]


No matter how many times I've seen that hedgehog cake, it always cracks me up.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:18 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The horrifying flayed skull is rather offputting, but the fish-ship is amazing and not at all a fail. I also find I am charmed by spaghetti dog if puzzled by chicken-potato rooster-fawn.
posted by jeather at 6:19 PM on November 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


I feel weirdly like the fish-ship is sort of insulting to the fish that's been chopped up to create it. I'm not sure why, though. It just struck me as undignified to the poor fish.
posted by PussKillian at 7:06 PM on November 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Yeah, there's something unusually grotesque about the fish-ship. As though it's not merely enough to kill and eat the fish, but that it must be conquered as well.
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:13 PM on November 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


It reminds me of the vintage food photography Flickr group, Gee, That Food Looks Terrible!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:39 PM on November 9, 2016


there's something unusually grotesque about the fish-ship

Tag added!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:52 PM on November 9, 2016 [4 favorites]




Russian Bento Why Not?
posted by unliteral at 8:10 PM on November 9, 2016


That head tho. Wow. It looks like an exhibit in that Human Body museum show.
posted by scalefree at 9:31 PM on November 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Those elephants actually look pretty tasty! haha
posted by bingtx at 9:34 PM on November 9, 2016


I don't think these constitute as a fail in my book... they're more like "slightly unappetizing looking but I'd eat it anyway but I'd also be sad eating them because they are cute" type creations.
posted by littlesq at 11:10 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would always be a bit hesitant to label anything a "fail" without knowing the intention of the artist, and perhaps the intended audience. That said, the bacon head/skull thing did kind of unnerve me a little. Pretty much everything else I could find something to enjoy in them. Thanks for posting!
posted by drnick at 2:28 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm sure I'm a little emotional today, but the lemon chicken head just made me laugh until I cried. Maybe it's the pony, I don't know.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 2:34 AM on November 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Fish frigate forever.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:43 AM on November 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think worst thing about fishship is skinsails.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:47 AM on November 10, 2016 [13 favorites]


It seems to me that collections like these are educations in what's necessary to make food look appetizing when you photograph it. Frequently what shows up are changing attitudes about lighting, or possibly changes in a photographer's ability to control for lighting and the natural tone of film. (When I took a photography class in the fading days of film, I remember being told that Fujifilm had a naturally greenish cast, while Kodak had a warmer one.) A big part of what's unappealing about these is their failure to make meat look cooked or vegetables look fresh. I think that just triggers what is probably a very old revulsion instinct in us. Weirdly, I feel the same way about amateur sext pics -- when I see some dude's wang and it's all greenish, I'm like "dude, at least put a filter on that thing to color correct, it's not hard to do."

Funny that you should bring in Sunset Magazine, Johnny Wallflower. I worked there as an intern in 2008, both archiving old issues and working with their photographer at the time. It's true, their archive is as much a catalog of the failings of color correction as any magazine presenting food while photography evolved. Their contemporary photography while I was there was vivid and mouthwatering, and I learned from the photog what it took to make it that way: Sharpies to make char lines on burgers, Windex to add gloss, toothpicks and cotton balls to prop things up and make them look perkier. As much lighting as a fashion shoot. Intensive selection processes to find a good-looking hamburger bun or lettuce leaf. My favorite part was learning that they did shoots a couple of times: first with "stand-in food," to arrange the shot (during which the butter started to sweat and the lettuce wilted), then with the "hero food" which would make the magazine cover.
posted by gusandrews at 7:34 AM on November 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


Sunset Magazine: Angry Red Meals

Ok was this a real magazine issue because if so I'm now obsessed with finding out what's in it.
posted by dnash at 8:12 AM on November 10, 2016


Is NO-ONE going to comment on the Ham Hippo? No-one?
posted by JenThePro at 8:21 AM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


the rotisserie chicken (with potato head) seems to be humping the potato deer (?). I wish I had drugs as good as whoever thought of and made that. . .
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:57 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the fiship is doubly horrific; not only because it echoes the industrial process that captured the creature in the first place, but because it looks possible to prepare it while the fish is still alive.

The baloniphants are just adorable though.
posted by CaseyB at 10:00 AM on November 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is food karaoke. Heartfelt amateur enthusiasm counts for a lot.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:33 AM on November 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


dnash, does this mean that you're still innocent to the ways of LiarTownUSA? Go forth, and cackle. Sean Tejarachi is my favorite photoshop artist of all time.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:51 AM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dnash, Sunset is real but that title is not. Sunset began as a promotional circular for the Southern Pacific Railway over 100 years ago, and is now sort of a Martha-Stewart-plus-travel lifestyle magazine that focuses on the western 13 states. For those of us who grew up in CA, its home state, it can be a kind of humorous shorthand for turning into a doily-domestic adult. I really enjoyed working there -- their travel writers, in particular, were wonderful, kind, thoughtful people beyond what you'd expect from such a superficial bunch of topics.
posted by gusandrews at 12:11 PM on November 10, 2016


Oh, I knew Sunset is real. My mom had a shelf full when she lived in the Bay Area, CA.

dnash, does this mean that you're still innocent to the ways of LiarTownUSA?

Yes, I was. Though I did figure it out shortly after posting my question above. But I'm quite happy to learn of it now!
posted by dnash at 12:41 PM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh god I just showed that Alive Vegetables link to my mom and we laughed till we were breathless.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:26 PM on November 10, 2016


I smiled while scrolling through these. Then reading the word "baloniphants" made me shoot coffee through my nose.
posted by bluejayway at 7:33 AM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


In a similar vein: 70s Dinner Party food - in pictures

I was especially baffled by the sandwich loaf. I think - it's like you take everything good about a sandwich, including the nice bread and it's single-serveness and the ability to eat it with your hands - and you throw that away. And you call it a sandwich loaf.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:05 PM on November 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


« Older "It's special to know that people I don't even...   |   From Ancient Times to Afghanistan Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments