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Oxford: New research suggests cutlery influences taste of food

According to recent research undertaken by Charles Spence and Vanessa Harrar at the University of Oxford and published in ‘Flavour’, our perception of how food tastes is influenced by the cutlery we eat with.
 
This comes as no surprise to the team at Les Trois Garcons in London’s Shoreditch, whose restaurant has been described as one of the most spectacular in Europe, and who insist on the most beautiful, often antique, silver flatware for their diners.
 
Fabien Babanini, the General Manager of the restaurant, says he has long understood that nothing tastes more delicious than when eaten with silver cutlery:  “There is no question that the University’s research is right – the size, weight, shape and colour has a big effect on flavour and the perception of flavour.
 
“We’re so convinced of the relationship, that even when we supply our regular customers with a picnic, I never let anything off the premises without a silver knife and fork wrapped in a proper napkin to accompany it so that they can enjoy Chef Michael Chan’s food at its best.”
 
He also believes that the beauty of the crockery and table settings makes a big difference to the dining experience.  “We use decorative antique candelabra, jugs, sugar bowls and teapots on our tables to enhance the ambience and expectation of good food.  As the research confirms, our brains make judgements on the food even before it goes in the mouth.”
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28 June 2013
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