When we hear about enhancing a food’s taste, we think adding more seasoning, serving it hot, or plating it nicely. But there are other unique ways to do it.
Have you ever wondered why there’s music when you go to a full bar in Spring Hill, KS or anywhere in the world? Have you observed how you eat when you’re anxious and when you’re not? Do you notice that eating with other people can sometimes be more fun than doing it alone? Let’s take a closer look.
Listen to music
We know that sight, smell, and touch affect our perception of taste. When we see chocolate-draped strawberries piled on a luxurious chocolate cake, we automatically assume it tastes great. When we smell the sweet and bitter aroma of melted dark chocolate, our gustatory senses are activated instantly. If these three senses affect our dining experience, why not our sense of hearing?
This question has been the subject of study of some researchers, and here’s what they found out:
Maija Kontukoski concluded that the “sweet” and “sour” pieces of music affects how we perceive taste. When music playing in the background has the sweet and sour element, the eaters think their food is also sweeter or sourer. In other words, when you are eating chocolate while listening to “sweet” music, your perception of the sweetness of the chocolate could be sweeter. The same goes with “sour” music and sour flavors.
Rachel Guetta and Psyche Loui have a similar finding. In their paper, they concluded that there is a cross-modal association between sound and taste.
Some people eat more when stressed out because it makes them feel more relaxed. For some others, anxiety shuts down their desire to eat. If you’re one of the people whose appetite hibernates when stressed, then adding more seasonings to your pizza won’t cut it. This is because, for some, psychical sensations caused by stress such as nausea or headache make eating look like a chore.
So, if you want to enjoy your meals and make them taste better than they actually are, relax. Start by identifying what stresses you, getting enough sleep, and controlling your mind works. More often than not, anxiety ensues because your mind is not where it’s supposed to be.
Eat with someone
Eating while talking to your friends is always a pleasurable experience, especially when you are a social eater. In fact, eating with friends can make you appreciate food more. In addition, when you are with someone, you have the urge to taste more food variants compared to eating alone.
Other than getting more pleasure from eating, doing it with a group you like also reduce malnutrition. Pliner and Bell stated in their paper that adults, specifically those who are living solo, tend to lack the nourishment they need. This scenario is probably a result of a combination of loneliness and the lack of desire to prepare or buy a lot of food because they are alone anyway.
The next time you are out in a restaurant or a full bar, make sure you’re happy, there’s music, and you’re with someone you like having around.