How Our Senses Work Together To Provide A Complete Picture:
We often wonder how does vision affect taste? Have you ever noticed how a commercial or picture of food can get our mouth watering, even though we can’t touch smell or even taste the food? That’s because our senses work in conjunction with each other to provide a complete sensory experience. Whether you are eating a burger and feel the soft bun in your hands or if you are biting into a salad and feel the cool crunch of the lettuce, every one of your senses plays a huge role in how something tastes – or at least how we perceive it to taste. Our sense of smell is more closely related to how things taste than any other sense, but a close second is vision. Aside from looking fancy, there is a big reason why plating and presentation are such a huge part of our dining experience.
How Colour Affects Our Desire For Food?
Vibrant and glowing, vegetables are just about the healthiest things we can put in our bodies. Over time, we have evolved to the point where we can identify pretty well which vegetables and fruits are fresh and which are past their prime. A large indicator of a fruit or vegetables freshness is its color. This is why professional chefs ensure that only the brightest, most visually appealing vegetables go on a plate because our senses have evolved to the point where we tend to shy away from items we think are rotten or lacking nutrition. When a professional chef garnishes an elaborate dish with fresh, crisp microgreens, they do it for more than the flavor they provide; they also do it because our human brains trigger the taste buds and salivary glands to get working when food looks visually appealing.
How Colour Affects Nutrition:
Believe it or not, our brain knows exactly what nutrients our body needs and much of this is based off of color. There is a reason why not every vegetable is the same color and it is because they each contain a different combination of vitamins and minerals which result in a unique color. Red fruits and vegetables contain Lycopene which is crucial in warding off heart disease. Orange and Yellow vegetables are high in beta carotene and vitamin C which are natural antioxidants and disease fighters. White vegetables help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure while green vegetables are high in fiber. A good rule of thumb is to incorporate a food item of each color into your daily diet to ensure that you are receiving a healthy balance of vitamins and nutrients. Your body is very aware of what it needs in order to function or stave off infection. These needs trigger your brain to respond favorably to foods of a certain color.
Visual Appeal Linked With Perceived Taste:
One of the biggest contributing factors to how something tastes is anticipation. When you see a beautifully presented meal, even without tasting it, your brain is anticipating that it will taste amazing and provide your body with the sustenance it needs to continue functioning. If a meal is drab, shapeless and colorless, the diner will be less inclined to dig in with a positive expectation, which undoubtedly influences perceived tastes. Anyone (well, just about anyone) can grill a steak or prepare a side dish, but the differentiating factor is how the meal is presented. A common meal can seem 10 times more appealing with the proper garnishes, accents and even location on the plate. Five-star restaurants excel at providing meals that are not only flavorful, but visually appealing as well and the correlation between the two is too high to ignore.
The integration between visual perception and taste perception are linked at a near primal level, which is why it is important for chefs to pay close attention to the visual appeal of a menu item. The incorporation of bright pastes and vibrant micro greens, are crucial to enhancing the visual appeal of a dish. Consider spicing up your dish with new garnishes or plating styles – it could be just the lift it needs.
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