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Food Photo Love: Hot Coals

by on July 6, 2015
 

A lot of the beauty in photography is being able to translate the touch and feel, and sometimes taste from multi-dimensions to 2 or 3-D.

This photo is one of my favourites ever. It features coals heating up on a stove-top burner, in preparation for ‘cold-smoking‘, a technique of infusing food with smoky flavours without sweating over a hot Barbie for hours.

I keep a bag of lump charcoal for this and other purposes. 

Charcoal is a light, black residue, consisting of carbon and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances.

Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen (see char and biochar)…The resulting soft, brittle, lightweight, black, porous material resembles coal; Wikipedia

I’ve never been confronted with more than a lump of wood when I dig into my stash, it’s never been more than sharp-edged chunks but this time, I pulled up two nuggets of charcoal, with the grain of wood from whence they came etched in lines and waves. 

And for the first time, it really made me think about where this came from. What kind of tree, what beauty it held. There was admiration and if I must admit, a twinge of sadness at this work of art being chopped down. There was also some gratitude at finding this, seeing it, glad it hadn’t been part of a huge stockpile gracing the half drum of my American Barbecue stand.

Anyhoo, I love this photo because it captures a range of colours in the flame, the texture of the charcoal and the promise of deliciousness.

Do you like it? Why?