Food Rituals Make Stuff Taste Better

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Geo Beats
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People who have set ways of eating certain foods - like ice cream from a particular bowl, or breaking donuts in half before taking a bite – have been found to enjoy them more.

People who have set ways of eating certain foods - like ice cream from a particular bowl, or breaking donuts in half before taking a bite – have been found to enjoy them more.

Researchers have observed that employing rituals before feasting brings greater satisfaction to the experience.

This was learned through a series of experiments conducted by the University of Minnesota exploring the influence the actions surrounding eating have on the act itself.

A link between ritualized behavior and greater feelings of enjoyment was made in the first experiment where a group of people were given chocolate bars.

A group of people was given chocolate bars. Half were told to follow specific eating instructions, and the other half was encouraged to just relax and go for it.

Those who carefully followed the prescribed ritual reported liking the chocolate more and also assessed a higher monetary value to it than the group who went about eating in a less purposeful manner.

Optimal consumption enjoyment also depends upon participation. People who watched lemonade being made didn’t report enjoying it nearly as much as those who went through the preparations themselves.

Finally, for the ritual to yield optimal results, it must in some way delay the gratification of eating.

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