Posts Tagged ‘soy protein’

It Just Has to Look Right

November 27, 2010

Here’s an interesting tidbit that we’ve always probably known, but now we have scientific proof for the fact: How a food looks is more important than how it tastes!

Now we’re not saying that you shouldn’t strive for great taste—you should. But we all know that the appetizing looking meal that gets photographed is the one we want to eat and that makes our mouths water even though we can’t taste the food or smell it. And the food that looks like something that has been left out too long, well even if it tastes great, we might wrinkle our noses at it when we first see it.

A New Study of Soy Bean Products Proves the Point

Soy beans are those miracle beans that are supposed to feed the world. They are used by a variety of industries for everything from making oil to making fake cheese and fake meat. In some countries, the use of soy is even being specifically encouraged in order to get people to eat more healthily.

However, what is interesting is that a new study, set to appear in the journal Food Quality and Preference says that while taste is important, looks are even more important in getting people to eat soy based products.

It Just Has to Look Right

We talked previously about a phenomenon where the TV show iCarly has prompted kids to start creating spaghetti tacos, putting spaghetti into a taco shell and eating it. However, we wonder, what if the idea had been say spinach in taco shells? Or something else that really just doesn’t seem to go. Maybe something that looks artificial and sickly green.

It wouldn’t have been as big a hit with kids because it wouldn’t look like it belonged. It turned out that the researchers in this study, who worked with a total of 93 volunteers who were non vegetarians, didn’t care so much about how the soy protein products tasted as much as how it looked. If they soy product looked like something that should be served in a meal, they liked it. If it looked like it didn’t belong in the meal, they didn’t want it.

An Important Lesson

This offers us as restaurateurs an important lesson, one that hopefully most of us learned in restaurant management courses or chef school – presentation is everything when serving your customers. Make sure it looks great and even if the food is only so – so, people will keep coming back for more. (But also make sure your food is more than just so-so!)