The mysterious connection between a recipient and its content

Have you ever noticed how a Leffe never tastes quite as delicious as it does in its very own chalice? Whether this is purely subjective or an actual physical reaction, a recipient truly does influence its content.

What would champagne be without a flute? Think how awful wine tastes in a plastic cup… Or just imagine if haute cuisine was served on paper plates, or if chips didn’t come wrapped in paper. It’s pretty clear that a recipient influences the flavour of its content…


Our subjective mind

According to a survey carried out by Oxford University in 2013, food eaten off a knife has a saltier taste than when eaten with a spoon or fork. Food also tastes more bland when it’s eaten with a thin plastic spoon. As unbelievable as this may seem, it can be ascribed to the inherent subjectivity of our perception.

So “even before the food has reached our lips, our brains have already formed an opinion on it, which influences our overall experience of food,” the British survey concludes.


Enticing the senses

Our combined senses tend to influence our judgement. Nowadays, our perception of food and drink involves multiple senses at once, i.e. not just flavour but also texture, aroma and appearance. We see the recipient, hear how it taps against the bottle, then touch the recipient and breathe in the smells…

All this information is then sent to our memory, from where it goes on influence our taste experience. “Depending on the shape of an object, the flavour contained inside is influenced entirely by our other senses: sight, touch and, of course, smell.

From then on, it only takes a second before the combination of content and recipient completely changes our perception of a food or beverage,” Charles Kaisin confirms, the designer behind the magnificent Leffe chalice (available since the end of last August).

To be continued next week…

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