Rituals Make Our Food More Flavorful

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“Do you always fold a New York slice in all its oily glory? Is a whole lobster best relished in this order: legs, claws then succulent tail? Do you eat Oreos middle first? Or dunked in milk?

Far from being mere quirks of personality, rituals like these may actually enhance how much people savor what they eat or drink, new research shows. Flavor is intensified. The meal is enjoyed more. It may be one reason why birthday cake is savored more than the stumbled-upon 4 p.m.brownie, because of the singing and candle blowing that precedes it.”
In our hurried world we have so few rituals around our meals anymore.  When I eat at my mom’s house she always sets the table, real napkins in our laps, all of the food in serving bowls.  It forces me and my granddaughter to slow down and enjoy the meal.  Something my mom has ALWAYS done.  Something we have started doing which fits this idea is pointing out all of the colors on our plate before we eat.  Having a colorful plate is so much more fun to talk about then “eat your vegetables” and it is a way to slow down and notice what is on our plates.  For kids, it is an easy way to help them add veggies and fruits without any talk about what is good for them.  A colorful plate is more beautiful.  I am going to try making a pattern on our plate with green beans this week and see what happens.  If we can have rituals with oreo’s (and who doesn’t eat an oreo in exactly the same way every time?) then we can also have rituals about a colorful plate, cutting up a watermelon, sitting down at a set table with napkins in our laps and a blessing of our food.  Let us hear about  the rituals that you love.  — Connie
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