Slaving over a hot stove to impress dinner guests may be a waste of time if you neglect two crucial elements.

The colour and weight of your cutlery will have a major  influence on what they think of your cooking, according to a study by Oxford University academics.

Lead researcher Vanessa  Harrar said: ‘Subtly changing eating implements and tableware can affect how pleasurable or filling food appears.’

 
Eating yoghurt with a light plastic spoon made eating a more luxurious experience, giving the food a dense and expensive taste and texture

Eating yoghurt with a light plastic spoon made eating a more luxurious experience, giving the food a dense and expensive taste and texture

Cheese seemed saltier when eaten from a knife instead of a fork or toothpick.

Yoghurt appeared denser and more expensive when served from a light plastic spoon.

When tested with coloured cutlery, volunteers rated white yoghurt as sweeter and more pricey than pink when eaten from a white spoon. But if a black spoon was used, the pink variety was rated as better.

 
Cheese appears saltier when eaten with a knife according to the new research

Cheese appears saltier when eaten with a knife according to the new research

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Meanwhile, a blue spoon made pink yoghurt taste significantly saltier than white. The report in journal Flavour suggests that we have an ‘emotional response to colour’  and experience builds up associations with a colour or food.

Miss Harrar added: ‘The colour of the food appears different depending on the background on which it is presented (plate or cutlery) and, therefore, tastes different.’

Psychologist Charles Spence, who co-wrote the report,  advised avoiding red as this has been shown to cut people’s appetite.

He added that an easy way to make a good impression is to use heavy cutlery.

‘Greater weight is associated with better food, and they will subconsciously think you are serving them the best,’ said  Professor Spence.

A previous study showed that drinks in glasses tinted with cold colours, such as blue or green, were rated more refreshing.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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