Elizabeth Willing

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ScienceShot: Unexpected Cutlery Makes Food Taste Bad

Looking to lose weight? Don't buy low-fat products—just change your spoon. A new study reveals that the type of cutlery we use can have a dramatic impact on how food tastes. Researchers gave volunteers plain Greek yogurt and asked them to eat it with either a white plastic spoon, a darker colored plastic spoon, or a heavier plastic spoon that looked like the white one. Those using the white spoon said that the yogurt tasted better and more expensive. The others reported that the yogurt tasted bitter and less pleasant. Reporting today in the journal Flavour, researchers chalk up the reason to familiarity: When confronted with something unexpected—an odd color or weight—our brains translate an odd experience into an unpleasant one. Whatever the reason, it's certainly cheaper than going to the gym.

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