When we traveled to Italy, we discovered that Italians seem to savor their food more fully than Americans do. They lingered over dinner for hours, with no particular need to rush.
However, in our lives, it’s not that easy to do. After dinner, I’m ready to clean up and move to the next task. When my kids were younger, we were lucky if we had time for dinner, between soccer, softball and assorted other activities.
Research published in the Journal of Consumer Research reported that food actually tastes better if you eat it while you are sitting down. It turns out that standing causes physical stress, which affects your taste buds. Investigators also found that people ate less while standing, but I wonder if this effect is temporary, leading to overeating when you do sit down.
I have often noticed that when I host company for dinner, the food I cook seems bland, but when we eat leftovers the next day, the meal is more flavorful. According to this research, it’s probably because I’m much more relaxed and less distracted.
Might we all enjoy our food more fully if we sat down and relaxed while eating it? If we derive more enjoyment from our meals, will we be less likely to raid the refrigerator?
I’d like to know more about this research. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue eating my meals while sitting down.