The New Science of Eating
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A ground-breaking book by the world-leading expert in sensory science: Freakonomics for food
'Popular science at its best' - Daniel Levitin
Why do we consume 35% more food when eating with one more person, and 75% more when with three?
Why are 27% of drinks bought on aeroplanes tomato juice?
How are chefs and companies planning to transform our dining experiences, and what can we learn from their cutting-edge insights to make memorable meals at home?
These are just some of the ingredients of Gastrophysics, in which the pioneering Oxford professor Charles Spence shows how our senses link up in the most extraordinary ways, and reveals the importance of all the 'off-the-plate' elements of a meal: the weight of cutlery, the placing on the plate, the background music and much more. Whether dining alone or at a dinner party, on a plane or in front of the TV, he reveals how to understand what we're tasting and influence what others experience. Mealtimes will genuinely never be the same again.
'Truly accessible, entertaining and informative. On every page there are ideas to set you thinking and widen your horizons' - Heston Blumenthal, OBE
'His delight in weird food facts is infectious...fascinating' - James McConnachie, Sunday Times
'Gastrophysics is packed with such tasty factual morsels that could be served up at dinner parties. If Spence can percolate all these factual morsels to the mainstream, the benefits to all of us would be obvious' - Nick Curtis, Daily Telegraph
'Spence allows people to appreciate the multisensory experience of eating' - New Yorker
'The scientist changing the way we eat' - Guardian
Truly accessible, entertaining and informative. On every page there are ideas to set you thinking and widen your horizons Heston Blumenthal, OBE
Professor Charles Spence has spent the last two decades researching how people perceive the world around them, earning him the international reputation as the expert in multisensory perception and experience design. He has popularized the term 'gastrophysics', and leads the field in this ground-breaking area of science that is rapidly transforming the way in which we all experience what we eat and drink.
As head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University, Professor Spence studies how our brains process and integrate the information from each of our senses to form the extraordinarily rich multisensory experiences that fill our daily lives. He has consulted for many multinational companies, including Unilever, PepsiCo, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, P&G, Nestlé and Twinings, advising on various aspects of multisensory design, packaging, and branding, and has conducted research with a number of world-leading chefs, mixologists and baristas, including Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià.
He has been profiled in publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times and the New Yorker, interviewed on flagship news programmes across the media, is a regular on BBC Radio 4's The Kitchen Cabinet, and his research has been covered by publications from the Economist and the New Scientist to Glamour and In Style. In 2008 he was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for his ground-breaking work on the 'sonic crisp', demonstrating how a louder crunch makes a crisp seem fresher.
His last book, The Perfect Meal (written together with Betina Piqueras-Fiszman), won the 2015 Popular Science Prose Award. This is his first trade book.