British gastronomic researchers have discovered an interesting phenomenon. No, not the chemical composition of haggis, rather that the weight of one’s cutlery influence the perceived quality and one’s enjoyment of a meal.
“Researchers from Oxford University gave 130 diners at a hotel restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland, identical meals of trout, mashed potatoes, spinach capers and brown ship butter; however, half of those experimented on were given cutlery that was three times heavier than the cheap knives and forks the other half received.
Those with the heavy cutlery said they liked their meals about 10 percent better and were willing to pay 15 percent more for that same trout dish. “It is likely that the positive or negative values that we attribute to the cutlery gets implicitly ‘transferred’ to our judgments of the food – a phenomenon that is often called ‘sensation transference,’” lead researcher Charles Michel, told Wired UK. Michel also said that using heavier cutlery may also make us more aware of the entire dining experience. “It’s interesting to think that the heavier weight of cutlery could be making us more mindful, without us realizing it.”
There are further avenues of research from here. From Wired:
“Working with designer and silversmith Andreas Fabian, who has a PhD in spoons, Michel is now developing eating and drinking vessels that could persuade people to eat more healthily. A spoon designed to be similar to a human finger could enhance how sweet or thick food is perceived to be, Michel explains, making low-sugar and low-fat dishes more appetising.”