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How colour psychology influences your dinner party guests

How colour psychology influences your dinner party guests
The colour of your dinnerware has a big impact on how your food tastes. Here's how to use colour psychology to your advantage at your next dinner party
After spending hours cooking and preparing the table setting for your guests, you hope that everyone has a lovely time and enjoys your recipes.
But it's not all about the quality of the ingredients and the skills of the cook—the dinnerware is also an essential element to give the diners a unique perception of the food.
"Psychological reactions to colours can bring the right balance you are looking for in flavours"
Great presentation makes all the difference—you've probably heard about it on all the TV cooking shows. You should consider details such as size, shape, usefulness and especially the colour of your dinnerware.
Whether it is a plate, a glass, a bowl, a tray or a cup, colour makes a significant impact in the minds of your guests. Psychological reactions to colours can bring the right balance you are looking for in flavours.

How it works?

The colour of the crockery unconsciously impacts your senses, starting with your sight.
After that first impression, the brain integrates the visual information and affects perception, making you think that the same food is excellent, good or average.
Thus, the goal for dinner parties is to ensure that the food looks pleasing to the eye, so your guests will think it tastes as good as it looks.

Colours for picky eaters

Food served in a blue bowl can taste saltier for choosy eaters
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth revealed in a 2022 study how the perception of food changes for some people. According to the results, bowl colour influenced the desirability of food for picky eaters, as well as altering the perception of saltiness.
Picky eaters tend to perceive meals in red and blue bowls as saltier compared to white. And they are more reluctant to try new food in a red bowl.
So, if you have a few demanding guests or if you want to present innovative food, you may want to choose the colour of the tableware first to keep everyone pleased.

Introducing new food to children

If your guests are children, the rules may change slightly. Chromatic dishes—red, yellow, blue and green—are preferred by children under the age of ten, with yellow being the least preferred by all, according to a 2018 study.
"Red, yellow, blue and green dishes are preferred by children under the age of ten"
For children over the age of 10, when tastes are changing, they tend to choose white dishes, behaving more like adults, says the research.
These facts can help you introduce your family to new foods or make your children's gatherings a success.

The multifaceted white dinnerware

You can never go wrong with a white plate; it makes the natural colours of the food stand out and keeps the presentation clean, elegant and vibrant. Just avoid them when the food served is pale, as some people might think it is too plain.
For desserts, white is ideal because it intensifies flavours and enhances sweetness, according to a 2013 study.
Meanwhile bitter-tasting savouries improve on a white bowl or plate—this dinnerware shifts the perception of the taste by adding a hint of sweetness.

Elegant black tableware

Serving food in a black bowl can increase perceptions of its saltiness and portion size
These dark plates are just as minimalist as the white ones, but the result can vary a little. While white dishes provide a sweet touch, black dishes can appear salty. These plates give the impression of larger portions, too.

Orange and cream for a delicious hot chocolate

To serve the best cup of hot chocolate, check your recipe and the colour of the mug.
"Chocolate tastes better in orange and cream-coloured cups"
According to a study from the University of Valencia Polytechnic and Oxford, chocolate tastes better in orange and cream-coloured cups compared to white and red.
Study participants detected more aroma, creaminess and sweetness depending on the mug colour.

Bring out the freshness with green and blue

A blue-coloured glass can make a drink feel more thirst quenching, Lindsay Nixon says in her podcast Shortcut to Slim.
Using blue, green or earthy tones for salads and seasonal ingredients is a good strategy to eat healthier and increase the impression of freshness of food.

Bright colours

To bring extra aesthetic appeal, creativity and to highlight foods lacking in colour, you can serve your meal on bright plates.
But be careful—food should only look more vivid depending on the meal. Similar ingredient colours to the tableware make everything fuse together and your guests think they have less food.
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