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Table settings affect perception and enjoyment of food served

Table Setting 74. Photo © Didriks, via Creative Commons and flickr. www.didriks.com

“I’m setting out the small dinner plates,” Nature Boy announced the other evening as we prepared to welcome guests. “It will help pace us through the meal.”

Nature Boy recently assumed responsibility for setting the table for evening meals. With meals round these parts typically being the quick and informal sort, the choice of dinnerware rarely receives much thought.

But the task becomes more complicated when, as with the evening in question, guests are expected, menus encompass multiple courses, and appetites must be managed throughout the evening. Such occasions call upon Nature Boy to tune up his geometry and social-engineering skills. It’s not just a matter of how to seat so many people around a limited dining surface, but (he asserts) incorporating the latest social and neurological science into the effects of the setting—and the setting of the table—on the perception and enjoyment of the food served.

Nature Boy’s efforts at table landscaping have climbed to new intellectual and socially manipulative heights.

The studies Nature Boy called on when he selected smaller plates determined that plate size affects how much food people serve themselves and how much they think they’re eating….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

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