What you see below is an actual ad for a Burger Chef hamburger (Mad Men fans, Burger Chef is a real company!). I think this is excellent; what you see is what you get. I’m pretty damn sure this is an accurate representation of the item. They didn’t even bother to strategically place the onions in a relatively even distribution. The burger is smaller than the bun. A lone pickle slice graces the nucleus of the burger structure.
Over 50 years later, fast food recipes have not changed all that much (save for much larger portions). But we DO have one secret ingredient that makes a monumental difference: PHOTOSHOP.
Enter the Burger King Whopper. Look at that flame broiled, juicy patty extending past the bun, residing under a veritable tower of fresh, shiny, crunchy produce. The edge of the tomato slice even has perfect little water droplets on it (has anyone EVER seen that in real life?)!
I find it fascinating that even FOOD is subject to the unrealistic ideals increasingly created/perpetuated by the media. It’s startling to view pictures of what was considered “attractive” just half a century ago, human or otherwise. There is an ever-widening rift between what actual humans and products look like and the fabricated hyperrealistic “paintings” that have taken the place of photographs (I was going to post some human examples, but you get the idea!).