Fed2 Star - the newsletter for the space trading game Federation 2

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by ibgames

EARTHDATE: January 12, 2014

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by Hazed

I’m a big fan of cookery programmes on the telly. I like all sorts – from the basic shows that demonstrate how to cook the kind of food I’d eat at home, up to the competitions where high-end chefs compete to make the ponciest plates possible.

Those classy cooks often serve their food on square plates, or rectangular ones. Or black plates. Or pieces of slate or planks of wood. The most outlandish I have ever seen is food served on a brick. But it looks like this is a bad idea, because the shape and colour of the plate not only affects the way food looks, but also how it tastes.

A big round white plate is often the choice in those Michelin-starred restaurants where food is “presented” like a work of art because it provides a clean, neutral background that doesn’t distract from the food.

Researchers have now shown that the big round white plate provides the best taste sensation, too. An experiment run at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada looked at how people perceived the taste of cheesecake when it was served on a variety of different plates: round or square, white or black.

They found that the classic round white plate enhanced the judgements made. “Sweetness and intensity ratings were increased by white round plates but so were ratings of quality and liking,” says Dr Peter Stewart, assistant professor of psychology.

He thinks the reason might be because it’s familiar, but also because we’ve learned to associate the colour white with feelings of purity, brightness, or even cleanliness.

His conclusion, though, is not that chefs should always use round white plates for serving their food. He suggests they could play with perceptions. Using the knowledge that food presented on the classic plate will be perceived as sweeter, he says, could offer an alternative way to plate up a dessert. “If you want something that is quite sweet, to not taste too sweet then perhaps is should not be served on a white plate,” he says.

Food for thought!

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/0/24902469

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