“There’s no disputing about taste”. Many find this indisputable. But in fact, preferences are not only disputed, they are even a subject of research! When tasting food, for example, pleasant or unpleasant sensations are not just determined by the sense of taste - all five senses are involved and can be influenced, confused, or cheated. A taste sensation can be changed by modifying the colour of a food without altering its taste. The texture of a food can cause it to be rejected or found attractive even prior to tasting it. The table layout has effects on our appreciation of food and beverages and on how well people feel. The type of music chosen for a meal affects whether it is perceived as good or not, and affects its duration. Many food art specialists are fully aware of this and loyalise customers by offering not only good-quality food, but also good service and a pleasant environment. But these findings are also used by researchers to tackle the pressing and yet unsolved public health issue of overeating.
In this documentary – which is an episode of Belgian TV broadcast Matière Grise (Grey Matter) – biochemists, neurologists, doctors and food art specialists were asked to demonstrate by means of scientific experiments how easy it is to cheat or influence the sense of taste.