How color affects our perception of taste
No matter how impartial we claim to be, every single one of us reaches into a bag of candy-coated chocolate bites and picks their favorite color because it just tastes better! But how can that be when they’re all really the same? Our brain is a tricky place where all of our senses work together to figure out exactly what’s going on in front of us. We’ve come to acknowledge that the colors of our foods have a significant impact on how we perceive taste.
If we are used to our foods being certain colors, we are usually immediately put off when our favorite familiar items are not the bright orange they usually are. How does color have such a stronghold on us?
It’s been said that red is the sweetest color. And most times, our brain will automatically assume that something is sweeter because it is red. We get confused when food has a taste we didn’t expect. We pick up a green piece of candy and expect it to be lime or apple. Our brain recognizes something familiar and assumes it knows what’s coming, and is instantly disgusted when it assumed incorrectly… even when that new taste isn’t bad. It wasn’t what we know, so we discard it as incorrect.
Bright colors like orange and yellow evoke freshness and life and energy. Many companies add color to lifeless food to make it seem fresher because our brains don’t want to eat a slab of grey salmon. They want to see that bright pink hue and picture the clear streaming water it came from. Vibrant colors bring life to our food…real, added, or imagined.
Our perception of taste is thrown off-kilter when we encounter unnatural colors. Blue is rarely found as a natural food color, so if we see a food item we recognize that has been colored blue, we slide that plate away as fast as we can! (Even though it’s a perfectly good plate of food!) In some studies, when sampled food was revealed to be blue, some tasters actually felt ill!
No matter how you think you can beat the system, color has you wrapped around its foodie fingers. A brighter, more vibrant red strawberry will always seem to taste better than a dull one. How we choose our food is an interesting ride! Here at the Chocolate Truffle, we like to bring you the classics and push outside the box with bright, fun, and tasty treats! No matter what your eyes see here, you’ll want to take a bite! Or two!