IMG_1343We know instinctively that decor, lighting, music, and ambiance all affect our dining pleasure. New research suggests that dinnerware, glassware, and even utensils impact the taste of our food. According to a recent study at Oxford University, our brains tally and maintain a database of experiences that send cues to our taste buds. Factors like quality, weight, shape, color, and texture of dinnerware and utensils influence how our food tastes! By serving food with higher quality, colorful, heavier weight dinnerware, we can cue the brain to tell our mouths the food tastes better!

Some interesting findings from the study include:

– People will rate the very same yogurt 15 percent tastier and more expensive when sampled with a silver spoon rather than a plastic spoon or a lighter weight utensil.

IMG_1467– Combining a heavier bowl with a heavier spoon will tend to make food taste better.

– Packaging or serving dishes that are more rounded, tend to emphasize sweetness.

– Angular plates, on the other hand, tend to bring out the bitterness in food, like dark chocolate or coffee-based desserts.

– People rate cheeses as tasting saltier when eaten off a knife, compared to a toothpick, spoon or fork.

– In general, foods tend to be perceived as more enjoyable when eaten off heavier plates, and with heavier cutlery.

IMG_1322This research confirms what I’ve always felt intuitively. That dinnerware and décor is an important component of a diner party or food experience. That’s why I was excited to work with Made in Washington stores this week, to select Artful Tableware & Decor for my dining tables at TheBrownLounge. com. I was inspired by Made in Washington’s eclectic collection of glassware, dinnerware, and decor, to create formal, casual, and al fresco table settings and menus. I paired Artful Tables with delicious menus. Like my casual Seattle Style Table and Seafood Menu, my colorful Formal Dining Table Featuring a Greek and Mediterranean menu, and my Al Fresco Fiesta Style Table and Menu. Get inspired with our recipes, menus and Artful Table Decor ideas for your next dinner party!

Learn more about The Oxford Study, the Made in Washington brand, and what’s trending in the state of Washington among artisans and wine.

Mike and Holly emailListen to Holly’s Radio Interview with Mike Mondello, President of Made in Washington

Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy Made in Washington products in your home with a 10% off discount online and in-store through October 31st, 2013. Simply use promo code TBLMIW when ordering, or print this downloadable coupon to use at any Made in Washington location.

Cheers – Holly Brown

Publisher, WebTV/Radio Host