'Popular science at its best' - Daniel Levitin
A ground-breaking book by the world-leading expert in sensory science: Freakonomics for food
Why are 27% of drinks bought on aeroplanes tomato juice? What's the effect of serving food on plates that are small or red or circular? Why do we consume 35% more food when eating with one more person, and 75% more when with three?
This is just a small taste of "gastrophysics", the new field of knowledge pioneered by Professor Charles Spence that combines disciplines including science, neuroscience, psychology and design. Using his two decades of research into the extraordinary connections between our senses, he shows how we can create more tasty, exciting, healthy and memorable eating experiences. Above all, to get the most out of every meal, we need to think about not only what's in the mouth, but also what's in the mind.
In his first trade book, Spence explores each sense, and the different kinds of meals we have, to show dozens of ways that "off-the-plate" elements affect our eating experiences: the weight of the cutlery, the placing on the plate, the background music and more. He reveals, based on his own work, how food companies and the world's top restaurants create cutting-edge technologies to do this, and how this is likely to transform the way we eat in the future.
Whether you are at home or in a restaurant, eating alone or with friends, Gastrophysics uncovers the hidden ingredients available to us all that can change the way we eat -- and the way we live.
Truly accessible, entertaining and informative. On every page there are ideas to set you thinking and widen your horizons -- Heston Blumenthal, OBE
His delight in weird food facts is infectious...fascinating
-- James McConnachie * Sunday Times *
Not many people are as ready to realize the importance of the senses as Charles Spence -- Ferran Adria, El Bulli restaurant, SpainPopular 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'
This is partly serious tome and partly an amusing guide for the layperson to a whole new gustatory world. Gastrophysics
is packed with such tasty factual morsels that could be served up at dinner parties
. If Spence can percolate all these factual morsels to the mainstream, the benefits to all of us would be obvious -- Nick Curtis * Daily Telegraph *
Spence allows people to appreciate the multisensory experience of eating * The New Yorker *
The scientist changing the way we eat * Guardian *
Spence romps around such factoids in the style of a Blue Peter
presenter . . . fascinating and provocative
-- Melanie Reid * Times *
A fascinating look at the science of food and how our perception is shaped by all our senses, not just taste * Sunday Times *
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'Wonderfully curious and thought-provoking
. . . brilliant -- Bee Wilson * Guardian *
Spence cheerily whisks the reader through the senses like a magician . . . a mind-bending menu of fascinating insights -- Nicola Davis * Observer *
Revealing, very interesting and well worth understanding . . . highly enlightening
-- Rose Prince * Spectator *
Spence takes a jovial pleasure in puncturing our perceptions and showing that there's a lot more going on in our mouths than what we think we're tasting . . . Spence has given us much food for thought
-- Julia Platt Leonard * Independent *
A chatty whirl through the latest discoveries and their real-world applications -- Rachel Laudan * Wall Street Journal *
I wanted to reach out and thank you for your absolutely brilliant
. As a thirty year restaurant veteran just venturing out on my own into the wild world of consulting, I found your research confirmed many of my long-held beliefs while adding tons of things I had never considered. -- Sean S. Reiter, Chief Synthesist, Sean Reiter Consulting
It can't fail to entertain, inform and ultimately dazzle
-- Heston Blumenthal, chef and owner of The Fat Duck, on The Perfect Meal