Fascinating recent research suggests that rituals associated with food and drink enhance the enjoyment of what is consumed.
Writing in the journal Psychological Science, Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota suggests that such rituals – clinking glasses of wine, shaking a little pack of sugar before adding it to coffee – ensure that people are paying proper attention to the food or drink when they get to it, which makes it taste better.
Naturally Professor Vohs turned to chocolate to test her hypothesis, and had her subjects unwrap a bar in a systematic manner before consuming it. Those who performed the ritual spent longer consuming the chocolate, appreciated the flavours more, and were willing to pay more for the bar, than those who had not performed the ritual.
Less interestingly – to me at least – similar results applied when the subjects were retested with carrots rather than chocolate.
The findings prompted me to examine the rituals that I unthinkingly employ when eating good chocolate bars.
Read the whole story: The Telegraph