Food Rituals & Flavor
I read a really interesting article today that I thought I would share with you all.
Do you have a quirky little way of eating something? Do you, for instance, cut your sandwiches into quarters, peel an orange a particular way, or unwrap a granola bar in a certain fashion? Well, these “food rituals” may provide you with some benefits.
Psychologtical scientist Kathleen Vohs of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota preformed a study to test how ritualistic behaviors may influence ones perception of food. The study separated participants into 2 groups and each participant was given a chocolate bar. The first group was instructed to eat the bar a certain way (Break the bar in half before opening, unwrap half and eat it, then unwrap the other half and eat it) while the other was told to simply relax and eat the bar at their leisure.
Results: The participants in the group that had particular eating instructions gave the chocolate a higher rating, savored it more and were willing to pay more for it than the group with no instruction. The basis behind this is that when you preform a ritualistic behavior you will be more focused on what you are about to eat, which will cause your senses to be heightened and allow you to savor the flavors.
Vohs preformed other studies in relation to her findings. One showed that only repeated, fixed behaviors caused this increase in flavor perception, not random movements. The second showed that there must be personal involvement in the actions. For instance, if you watch someone else preform a ritualistic behavior, such as seeing someone stir lemonade a certain way, it will not have an effect on your flavor perception.
This would be a great little trick to try at all of those holiday gatherings that I know all of you part animals are going to. Try it with a decadent dessert or an indulgent glass of wine any you may just find yourself satisfied with less!
Have a wonderful, relaxing Friday everyone!