Did you know that the shape of food; the colour of the plate it is served on and even background noise will affect your customer's tasting experience?
Scientists at Oxford University have investigated the way the colour, aroma, texture and sound of food alters the way people experience flavour. And now there’s a menu to test it out on UK diners.
Along with Jozef Youssef, chef and founder of experimental dining concept Kitchen Theory, researchers have created a specialist menu which aims to alter people’s dining experience.
It focuses on the idea that different shapes, such as Kiki (a spiky star) and Bouba (a cloud shape) can affect the way your brain processes a taste.
Diners of this innovative menu will be fed ox cheek bao buns, associated with Bouba, contrasting with octopus & rice crackers, associated with Kiki.
How colour can trick the brain into different tastes
Findings used to create this menu also suggest that we can trick our brains into eating healthily, by using colours and textures.
In one study, diners who ate an identical red mousse off both a black plate and a white plate said the mousse was up to 12 per cent sweeter when it was served on the white plate.
Scientists now suggest that if you reduced the sugar in a dish but changed the plate or packaging it was served in, it could mean customers believe they are enjoying the same level of sweetness without all the sugar.
Jozef will serve a menu at various tasting events, to encourage diners to question and understand how they’re experiencing food.
He said: “We don’t manipulate or distract the senses. Instead, the Chef’s Table incorporates light, sound, aroma and even a projection mapped table to create a rich multisensory experience that works to support delicious food. Our aim is simply to heighten the guests’ mindful and sensory appreciation of our dishes and the flavours within.”