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Author Topic: QotW - 12.08.09 - Will your choice in cutlery alter how your food tastes?  (Read 7296 times)

Offline thedoc

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We find out if the type of cutlery used to prepare and serve food can alter its flavour? And does it really change, or is it just our perception?
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« Last Edit: 06/08/2012 09:33:40 by chris »


 

Offline Don_1

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Does cutlery composition affect food flavour?
« Reply #1 on: 02/11/2011 16:38:44 »
While some foods will react with some metals, generally speaking the food isn't in contact with the cutlery long enough to have any effect.

But then, if you can afford caviar, you can afford to waste money on dedicated eating implements.
 

Offline chris

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What about if the cutlery comes into contact with a bit of dental instrumentation, like a filling? Will the ensuing intra-oral electrolysis produce ionic species that make for an interesting flavour sensation? I seem to remember that sucking my magnesium-bodied, steel-bladed pencil-sharpener (don't ask, I was little and at school) did something similar...
 

Offline cheryl j

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I thought you meant does cereal  taste different if you eat it with a fork, or is Chinese food better with chop sticks. I like some drinks better with a straw, like milkshakes.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Coke tasted better in those green bottles.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Well the fact that some old steel knives will discolour in a few moments after cutting acidic fruit does make me think that perhaps something is going the other way too; but that's not science its guesswork.  I think a lot of the sensation is to do with the touch on the lips and/or tongue.  If anyone wishes to test the taste sensations of fine food via posh cutlery or plastic spoon can I volunteer to be a taster please?

Grab some strawberries - have your mum, partner, wife/husband slice half up with a silver knife and half with a plastic spoon, then have your dad, friend, child pass them onto you for tasting in a fairly random selection of pairs.  Mark which of each pair you prefer....
 

Offline Geezer

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Another piece of incontrovertible anecdotal evidence:

When I grind steel and get some of the particles on my hands, I can actually smell the steel. What I'm smelling may be a consequence of a reaction between the steel and the sweat on my palms, but if we can detect the presence of metals this way, I don't think we should have any difficulty detecting reactions with metals by taste.


 

Offline FuzzyUK

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I think it is more to do with the texture of the eating implement. The tongue detects this and the brain alters the experience of what the food taste like accordingly.

A metal knife is cold, heavy and smooth.
A plastic knife is smooth and light, and has a property suggestive of thermal insulation.
A wooden knife would have a light but rough texture.
 

Offline RD

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When I grind steel and get some of the particles on my hands, I can actually smell the steel. What I'm smelling may be a consequence of a reaction between the steel and the sweat on my palms

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19225754.400-ancient-human-hunters-smelt-blood-on-the-breeze.html
 

Offline evan_au

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One psychologist suggested that the weight of the cutlery affected the perceived quality of the food.
Metal tends to be denser than plastic....
 

Offline evan_au

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Update: The Neurogastronomy expert was Professor Charles Spence, of Oxford University.
The interview with Dr Karl can be found here: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/media/s3494891.htm
The segment on airplane food begins at 27:20 minutes, and runs for 2 minutes.
In the same interview, he suggests that "metallic" is an actual taste sensation, but a minor one, unlike the usual 5 flavours.
 

Offline evan_au

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It is said that a souffle mixed in a copper bowl will rise better.
This is because during the short period of mixing, the copper reacts with conalbumin from the eggs, to produce a compound which sets at a higher temperature, so it can rise higher before it sets.
 

Offline acecharly

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Does this have something to do with temprature? A metal spoon will conduct heat differently to a wooden spoon. A cold beer tastes different to a warm one, the only difference being its temprature. Maybe a good experiment here would be to use the same cuttlery on dishes at different tempratures.
 

Offline Don_1

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It is said that cutting green leaf veg with a knife has an adverse effect on the vitamins. I don't know if there is any truth in that, but 'er indoors insists on cutting greens, after cooking, by leaving them in a colander and using the edge of a saucer to cut it.

When she first said that's how she wanted it done, I made the mistake of using a calender. Made a heck of mess of February.
 

Offline Indusha

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I'm wondering..if you eat with a metal fork doesn't your food some taste kind of metally (is that even a word?) but if you eat with plastic it kinda tastes normal? If you get what I mean? ;)
 

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