“There's much to savour in this detailed research round-up."—Nature
“Spence has a light touch and a knack for framing research questions in provocative headings: 'What's the link,' he asks, 'between the humble tomato and aircraft noise?' It's a question worth pondering should you have the dubious pleasure of being served an in-flight meal, just as you'll learn here why the barista at Starbucks puts your name on the cup (hint: it's not really a memory aid for said barista). A sharp, engaging education for food consumers and a font of ideas for restaurateurs and chefs as well."—Kirkus
“If simply changing the name of a dish on a menu or the color of the plate on which it is served can dramatically alter our perception of taste and food quality, then everyone in the restaurant industry needs to read this and take a deeper look at the scientific secrets Professor Spence reveals in Gastrophysics.”—Larry Olmsted, New York Times bestselling author of Real Food, Fake Food: What You Don’t Know About What You’re Eating & What You Can Do About It
“Popular science at its best. Insightful, entertainingly written and peppered throughout with facts you can use in the kitchen, in the classroom, or in the pub."—Daniel J. Levitin, New York Times bestselling author of The Organized Mind and This Is Your Brain on Music
“Spence allows people to appreciate the multisensory experience of eating.”—The New Yorker
“Not many people are as ready to realize the importance of the senses as Charles Spence.”—Ferran Adrià, El Bulli restaurant, Spain
“Can’t fail to entertain, inform, and dazzle.”—Heston Blumenthal, The Fat Duck restaurant, UK
“A fascinating look at the science of food and how our perception is shaped by all our senses, not just taste.”—Sunday Times (UK)
“Gastrophysics serves up a mind-bending menu of fascinating insights.”—Observer (UK)
A ground-breaking book by the world-leading expert in sensory science: Freakonomics for food
Why do we consume 35% more food when eating with one more person, and 75% more when with three? Why are 27% of drinks bought on aeroplanes tomato juice? How are chefs and companies planning to transform our dining experiences, and what can we learn from their cutting-edge insights to make memorable meals at home?
These are just some of the ingredients of Gastrophysics, in which the pioneering Oxford professor Charles Spence shows how our senses link up in the most extraordinary ways, and reveals the importance of all the "off-the-plate" elements of a meal: the weight of cutlery, the colour of the plate (his lab showed that red is associated with sweetness - we perceive salty popcorn as tasting sweet when served in a red bowl), the background music and much more. Whether dining alone or at a dinner party, on a plane or in front of the TV, he reveals how to understand what we're tasting and influence what others experience. Meal-times will genuinely never be the same again.