Gastrophysics by Charles Spence
The New Science of Eating

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Gastrophysics is equally entertaining. In it he tells us exactly what makes food pleasurable, and some meals unforgettable, and why feeding the mind satisfies appetites better than merely feeding one’s mouth.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

The science behind a good meal: all the sounds, sights, and tastes that make us like what we're eating—and want to eat more.

Why do we consume 35 percent more food when eating with one other person, and 75 percent more when dining with three? How do we explain the fact that people who like strong coffee drink more of it under bright lighting? And why does green ketchup just not work?

The answer is gastrophysics, the new area of sensory science pioneered by Oxford professor Charles Spence. Now he's stepping out of his lab to lift the lid on the entire eating experience—how the taste, the aroma, and our overall enjoyment of food are influenced by all of our senses, as well as by our mood and expectations.

The pleasures of food lie mostly in the mind, not in the mouth. Get that straight and you can start to understand what really makes food enjoyable, stimulating, and, most important, memorable. Spence reveals in amusing detail the importance of all the “off the plate” elements of a meal: the weight of cutlery, the color of the plate, the background music, and much more. Whether we’re dining alone or at a dinner party, on a plane or in front of the TV, he reveals how to understand what we’re tasting and influence what others experience.

This is accessible science at its best, fascinating to anyone in possession of an appetite. Crammed with discoveries about our everyday sensory lives, Gastrophysics is a book guaranteed to make you look at your plate in a whole new way.
 

About Charles Spence

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Published June 20, 2017 by Viking. 335 pages
Genres: Cooking, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Gastrophysics
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Kirkus

Good
on Apr 17 2017

“What’s the link,” he asks, “between the humble tomato and aircraft noise?” It’s a question worth pondering should you have the dubious pleasure of being served an in-flight meal...A sharp, engaging education for food consumers and a font of ideas for restaurateurs and chefs as well.

Read Full Review of Gastrophysics: The New Scienc... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Richard Cytowic on Jun 20 2017

Gastrophysics is equally entertaining. In it he tells us exactly what makes food pleasurable, and some meals unforgettable, and why feeding the mind satisfies appetites better than merely feeding one’s mouth.

Read Full Review of Gastrophysics: The New Scienc... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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