We all love food, no matter what it is. When your stomach is calling for it, all food is good food! BUT, have you ever been thrown off with how your food looked no matter how hungry you are? Yeah, me too. I’ve often said, “What is that green stuff” just like any other kid. Not guilty this time.
We often find ourselves in a dilemma when we “want something nice” or “something that will lift my mood”. These are occasions often more about how delectable the food looks and how amazing it smells, and very less about how delicious it tastes. This is one of the many reasons why mommies will have smiley face sandwiches packed for their kids and have ‘pakoda’ fragrance streaming the house on a rainy Sunday for the family.
Presenting food, not necessarily in a stylish way, is as important as the taste. Even at restaurants, the same food is always more enjoyable at a particular restaurant because the presentation is very attractive. When we talk of presentation, we also take into account the cleanliness of a place and the inviting staff. The colour and the plating of the food itself always comes in second. In recent times, restaurants are making a special effort to make their food presentable and controlling their portions as well. Technology has also been used in making food presentable, such as molecular gastronomy which is basically breaking down carbohydrates and protein to make the food taste in a particular way and also look posh when presented. A non-expensive way for restaurants, especially bakers, is to make use of colours such as the unicorn or rainbow theme. They use colour combinations that make the food exciting to the eye. It also gives a dying business a good boost.
The act of eating is a sensuous one, it has to appeal to all sensory elements – it has to look good, smell good and then taste good; in that order. It is also necessary to consider that where you eat and with whom you share your meal also contributes largely to how your eating experience is. Mind you it affects your taste too, in a big way. Remember, how your parents made you eat or most parents make their kids eat food? The birds are invited for a bite, while a threat of the policeman coming by to take away your food is also made. This is also a way of creating an enjoyable environment for you to eat your food and make it taste better. Because who likes baby food anyway!
Food presentation and the use of appealing colours is also a scientific study in progress. Though, they are yet to figure out about the “green stuff”. Either way, it is proven in many studies that the look of your food truly decides how much you will enjoy and for how long it stays in your memory. The taste is almost the last factor in any eating experience. There have been numerous experiments carried to prove that you enjoy food far more on a clean table than on an untidy one. While you do enjoy food at work, the same food is more appetising while you are out with friends. That’s why a break during work to see a friend outside of work is always a good stress buster, that is if you are allowed!
So next time you are hungry, make your food look more presentable and perhaps eat by the window. You can also have your own experience by observing how good a time you had with friends while you ate at a restaurant or cafe. With this, you know which friends and family you enjoy the company of and what food is making your tummy happy!
If you have had an experience of this sort already or have any comments please free to let us know.
A special thank you to Ajay Khot for providing us with such wonderful and mouth-watering pictures.