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Can our crockery and cutlery influence the taste and flavours of the foods we eat? -Grp Talk-14/8/23


I know this might come as a surprise to the majority of us, but studies report that the cutlery we use can effect the taste of our foods, the size of our bite, the speed at which we eat.


In 2011 a study discovered cutlery made of different metals tasted different. The results also detected cutlery of gold and chrome exhibited "the least metallic, least bitter and least strong-tastes" were-as zinc and copper exhibited "the strongest, most metallic, most bitter and least sweet-tasting."


An alternative study asked partakers to test sweet, sour, bitter, salty or plain cream from spoons coated in gold, copper, zinc or stainless steal, the blind test results revealed zinc and copper enhanced the taste of the creams, specifically the boosted bitterness.

Gold and stainless steel spoons didn't affect the taste at all.


In addition to the taste of the different metals, the weight of the cutlery can also affect our reaction to foods, for example metallic looking plastic spoon or a metal spoon, partakers graded a yoghurt as more enjoyable of an excellent quality using the heavier metal spoon.


The study results suggest that subconsciously the heavier weighted cutlery of the metal spoon leads us to believe "quality".


However to complicate matters another study resulted in participants suggesting yoghurt as more dense and expensive eaten off a plastic spoon, not a weighted spoon.


The size of the fork we eat off also affects our eating experience.


A study conducted in a restaurant where all the diners were given different size forks released results showing those who ate off smaller forks ate more food than those eating off larger forks.

However alternatively in a laboratory experiment the results were reversed.


When it comes to the crockery we eat from, the colour, size, weight and style can also affect the eating experience, from taste to the amount consumed.


A research study tasting salty and sweet popcorn served from four different coloured bowls revealed eating sweet popcorn from a blue bowl tasted saltier than eaten from a white bowl, and salty popcorn tasted sweeter from red and blue bowls than white ones (green bowl popcorn never was highlighted in the study).


Serving different coloured foods on different coloured crockery really affected the tastes of the food we eat. Scientists don't know precisely why the colour of our crockery influences our flavour perception, it could be a case of sensation transference.


We are all well aware the size of our crockery and cutlery can affect the size of our portions. A study revealed those given bigger bowls served themselves 31% more Ice Cream, and when using a larger spoon their serving size increased 14.5%.


The weight of crockery also influences our perception of food quality and taste.


A study revealed using three identical bowls in size and colour, but of different weights all served with the same yoghurt reported the participants rated the yoghurt in the heavier bowl as more dense, pleasant, intense and expensive, compared to the lighter bowls.


Not all study results agree, but it is safe to assume there are subtle affects on our perception of food, and it opens us up to the possibilities of other eating for example sitting on a chair at a table or on the floor, sitting on the sofa, the lighting, the visual and audio surroundings, the temperature, these all influence our food experiences and whether we enjoy it, and the quality we eat.


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