No, you are not the masters of your taste buds

The tastiness of a food is dependent on whether you make it yourself or not, whether you’re up in the air or not, and whether you cook it using heat. Yes it is.

This collection of links was inspired by a fleeting conversation with Andy over a bowl of heart shaped sweets. “They should taste amazing because of their rounded edge form”, he told me.

He’s not wrong. How food tastes is influenced not only but shape, but also by colour and texture.

Finally, something that all good restaurateurs know: how we experience something is based on our beliefs about the history of that something. Why do you think we all care about the origins of our broccoli?

1. How colour, texture and environment influence taste perception

Rounder forms taste sweeter whereas angular forms, more bitter


2. Why sandwiches taste better when someone else makes them

Seeing food made over time and also repeated exposure, makes a food less desirable.

3. Why airplane food tastes so bad

Cabin pressure causes cotton mouth to set in. Nothing but ice cream can taste good. Shame:)

4. Why cooked food tastes better

The eponymous Maillard Reaction, named after Louis-Camille Maillard, occurs every time you heat a mixture of sugars and amino acids. Before Maillard, people just made educated guesses about how cooking works.

5. Paul Bloom’s Ted Talk about the Origins of Pleasure

“Why do we like an original painting better than a forgery? Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that human beings are essentialists – that our beliefs about the history of an object changes how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure (and pain) is.



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