|It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a fish!|
There’s a Chinese proverb that says “Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time.” The point of it is twofold: a) you can’t sit around waiting for people to do things for you, and b) roast ducks can’t fly, duh.
Here we have a cooked fish leaping through the air from a river of toasted almonds.
At first you might think this is a tad ridiculous, because well, duh. But think about it from the food stylist’s point of view: the trout doesn’t appear to be suspended in any way; it really does seem to have been photographed mid-leap — and those almonds don’t do that by themselves. Therefore, someone had to rig a fish-flinging mechanism of some kind under the bed of almonds in order to shoot it through. But even when cooked, trout are somewhat floppy. So it probably had to be made stiff by the insertion of a projectile or stiffening agent of some kind. Lacquer, maybe. Glue.
The result is a rather dynamic leap off the page, sure — but does it have to be so brown?
Great Dinners from LIFE, Eleanor Graves, 1969
Also from this book: Great Dinners