Beyond the Farm Gate

Beyond the Farm Gate

Beyond the Farm Gate - Chestnut Brae

Many of you will know that Linda and I own a chestnut farm in Nannup in West Australia. In November a book was launched that features 30 farms in the region that were doing something unique.

This coffee table book included our farm, Chestnut Brae.

It is wonderful that we have only had the farm for two years, when we purchased it, it was a rundown farm and know it is featured in a book of unique farms in the region.

Food Revolution

The Emirates magazine for December 2015 had an article on the food revolution taking place. This was based on the work being done by Charles Spencer, the author of The Perfect Mall and a Professor at Oxford University. Charles specialises in neurogastronomy, the study of taste and flavour. He reveals that 90% of what we perceive as flavour is based on smell.

Lessons for consideration are…

Music played can enhance the experience of taste. For example, Haagen-Dazs have now introduced a “Concerto App” on their ice cream that lets the consumer scan the QR code and enjoy a two-minute concerto while eating their ice cream. Ben and Jerry are developing soundtracks for each or their flavours.

Curves rather than rectangles enhance the in-mouth perception of melting which is why some new chocolate bars are curved.

According to Charles the biggest changes will be in restaurants, he says leading chefs will be “thinking about the minds of their diners and not just about the sourcing of food, preparation and presentation of food on the plate.”

This is not a new thinking process, Heston Blumenthal at his restaurant in Bray in the UK has been serving seafood as ‘Sound of the Sea” since 2007 when he introduced seagull sounds and pounding waves when serving the meals. The result were consumers believed the food was fresher and saltier. The sound comes from an Ipod in a conch shell when served.

The main food trends in enhancing experience are:

1 Play with Light

Red brings out sweetness or fruitiness, green brings out sour and freshness. Whilst according to the University of Arkansas blue helps you lose weight by tricking you into eating less.

2 Play with Shape

According to research by Crossmodal Research Laboratory, sweetness is matched with roundness, bitterness with rectangularity and sourness with angular and asymmetrical shapes.

3 Play with Smell

Taste comes from smell. One easy way of enhancing taste is to cook at the table. Some restaurants are wrapping cutlery in herbs around the handle.

 4 Play with Plates

Research by El Bulli’s in Spain found that strawberry mousse on white plates was perceived as sweeter than when it was served on black plates.

Round accentuates sweetness and heavier plates enhance the perception of flavour.

5 Play with Cutlery

Heavy cutlery enhances the perception of flavour and research by Spence’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory in Scotland found customers were prepared to pay 15% more for food when heavier utensils were used.