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Tricks of the food styling trade

Whoever said you shouldn't play with your food? Enhancers, modifiers, short-cuts - whatever they're called, these are the little artifices that help food stylists make food ``camera ready.''

Here are a few of the professionals' secrets: Instant mashed potatoes:

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Used as a substitute for apple or berry pie fillings. Does not deflate under hot lights. Petroleum jelly:

Used for an infinite variety of ``fix-ups,'' one of which is to glue a crust back together. White sauce:

Ubiquitous canned white glop that is used to thicken runny sauces, or substitute for unphotogenic ones. Cotton balls:

Make great stuffers, when the actual stuffing doesn't have to be seen. Toothpicks:

Used for propping up wayward vegetables and positioning slippery items. Food coloring:

Using a food coloring palette, the food stylist can make items contrast better, and perk up for the camera. Vegetable preserve:

No different from that used by grocery stores, this spray keeps fruits and veggies from turning a rather unappetizing shade of brown. Paint:

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To make things really permanent, in the movie business food is sometimes actually painted on plates for food scenes. That way, the Duck `a l'Orange will still look the same in Take 1 and in Take 31.

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