Food Tastes Better When It's Displayed Artfully

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Dora Maar 1937

Food arranged to resemble a work of art tastes better than if ingredients are arranged neatly or tossed together on a plate.

Wassily Kandinsky – ‘painting #201’ recreated by Charles Michel

The research, published in the journal Flavour, looks at the impact of aesthetic food arrangements.

Scientists and a chef at the Crossmodal Research Lab at the University of Oxford created a salad which looks like Wassily Kandinsky’s Painting Number 201, a regular salad presentation and a salad neatly laid out.

Sixty people sampled the three salads in the lab and rated them for flavour and enjoyment. Overall, they rated the artistic salad as more pleasant and more tasty.

The authors say the way food is arranged on the plate affects our perception of taste and our enjoyment of a dish, a demonstration of how interlinked senses really are.

Chef and founder of Kitchen Theory Jozef Youssef and a team of BioMed Central designers had fun re-creating artworks on a plate.

Professor Charles Spence, from the Crossmodal Research Lab said: “Studying food presentation under the lens of psychology and sensory science promises to provide important insights into the art and science of plating.”

Keith Haring, Untitled 1984 (Heart). Recreated by Giuseppina Arciresi.

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