Tastes As Good As It Looks?


At Christmas, or any other time of the year for that matter, it seems that not a restaurant visit goes by without a few camera flashes that are capturing mighty meals, delicious looking desserts or cocktail creations; and whilst this is frequently a topic of discussion amongst others as to just how annoying it is, it is indicative of one thing, and that’s that we eat with our eyes first.

The Science Behind Good Looking Food

There have been many experiments into the effect of a dish’s appearance upon our taste buds, which each finding that good looking food tastes better. One such experiment involved the same dish being served to two groups of participants; one group were served up with the pasta dish coloured with flavourless red wine dye, whereas the other group where served the white wine based dish without the dye. Many of those in the former group used typical red wine descriptors, which suggested a solid link between how food looks and how we perceive it to taste.

Make Great Tasting Food Look Great

Making your home cooked dishes look beautiful needn’t see you signing up for a cordon bleu course, or thinking that presentation is for the restaurant dishes of tiny proportions only. Here we fill you in on our three essential tips for making your food look as good as it tastes.

Getting inspired
In many gastro pubs the presentation of dishes serves to not only make a dish look great, but the sauces and additions to the plate make for small touches packed full of taste.
Perfect examples include Brie served with rich apricot chutney; Salmon (and other types of fish) served with honey-roasted beetroot, vodka & lime crème fraiche and plum & balsamic chutney coupled with pates to create interest and a great looking rustic plate.
Check out some of your local Gastro Pubs’ menus to see how they work colour and interest into their dishes.

Throwing in some colour
Colour is vital within a dish. Even the otherwise greatest tasting casserole can look decidedly hum drum if its brown based isn’t lightened up with the addition of a colourful vegetable platter.

For those looking for a super straight forward way of introducing colour, why not look to some exotic examples that will serve as a talking point over the dinner table. You could add the tiny, tasty yellow berry of the Physalis to your deserts, or add one of the 42 flowers that are not only edible, but delicious (which helpfully come in every colour of the rainbow!).

Serving it all up in style
To finish off your now great looking and perfectly taste complimented dish, you now need to think about your plates, platters and side dishes.

A particularly sociable way of serving up your food is to have shared platters. This has the added benefit of guests feeling free to eat as much, or as little as they wish.

For rustic dishes, such as the classic roast or wonderfully fragrant shepherd’s pie, why not opt for a slate platter, and don’t forget a sprinkle of taste as well as appearance enhancing herbs.

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