It’s the last thing you might want to do to these, but hell, they sure are something to look at!
These plates(!) from a cook book from yore that was found in a flea market in Brussels, set a standard in food preparation that leaves me awe struck.
Duck is served in a pond accompanied by a flotilla of her young. What on earth can the ducklings be made of? Sea food served up in a symbolic heart? A salad clock? Fish in livery? A clog cake? How about an omelette embellished with encrusted symmetrical swirls? Is this the same foodstuff that I plopped from the pan onto a plate as flat as the proverbial pancake and cut into the rough shape of a face to encourage a fussy toddler to eat ? That’s the closest I’ve ever come to the pictorial food arts on display here. OK, that and a few amateur birthday cakes. Many started with a theme such as boat or train or caterpillar but fell into the family speciality volcano because of a few problems with consistency.
I love these images. Gaudy and unappetising they might be, but they warm the heart. A++ for effort and care from cooks and illustrators. Compare them to images from contemporary cookbooks where the natural look (as unattainable, in fact) is all the vogue. Rather insipid, actually.
Eat your heart out food stylists of the day.