Ever noticed that when you eat out at a restaurant, the plates are usually a cool color? It seems that the color of your crockery can affect two things: how much we eat and how the food tastes. So, whether your kitchen cupboards are stacked with classic white dinner sets or mismatched plates, each with a story to tell, they could be influencing your eating habits.
The power of color psychology should never be underestimated. Given how the colors on the walls of our homes affect us in different ways, it makes sense that the same goes for our plates.
It’s often on a subconscious level and everyone has a unique reaction to color. We asked people in the world of nutrition and interiors for their thoughts. Sophie Elwood, nutritionist at Exante (opens in new tab) says it's the contrast between the color of the food against the plate that's key. ‘It’s thought that if the color of the plate contrasts strongly with the food, making it much more visible to the eye, it reduces the risk of over-serving.’
‘For example, a white plate to serve bright vegetables, rather than a yellow plate to serve pasta,’ Sophie adds. That makes sense, but are some colored plates better than others?
It seems it depends on whether it's sweet or savory. Rosie Axford from interiors brand Wicklewood comments that according to some studies, ‘round white plates enhance the taste of sweet food.’ In contrast, ‘black, angular plates can enhance savory foods.’ Rosie adds that ‘serving food on a red plate can reduce the amount of food we eat.’ However, given how often red is used in tableware in restaurants, we wonder if red could be a color that makes us hungry.
And are plain colors preferable to patterns on our plates? According to color expert, Momtaz Begum-Hossain, working in partnership with Essential Living, colorful designs could indeed jeopardize the taste of your meal.
‘Brighter colors are visually stimulating and sometimes if you are eating foods that are oozing with flavor, the stimulating colors from the plate can distract you from indulging the flavors in front of you,’ Momtaz explains.
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While bold patterns on plates might be too much for serving up home-made curry, black plates could make your speciality all the more tasty. Ultimately, if you love the look of your plates, you're probably going to enjoy your meal even more. If it gives us an excuse to buy more crockery, we’re not complaining.