We’ve all probably seen a cooking competition show once or twice in our lives, if not more! These shows pit chefs against one another to prepare meals that will be judged on several different factors, including taste, texture, use of ingredients, and often most importantly, presentation.
While it seems evident that professional chefs pay attention to the plating of their food, it’s not usually something that the average home cook cares about. Between buying the ingredients, learning the recipe, and actually cooking the meal, cooking at home can be a hassle enough as it is without having to worry about how you plate your food!
However, the way that food is served and presented actually makes a pretty significant impact on the human psyche! Sure, many chefs plate their food to be aesthetically pleasing, but doing so can also help with how people interact and view the food. In particular, food plating techniques can help overcome some eating challenges and make food fun for everyone!
In this article, we’ll explore some of the science behind food plating and why you might want to start paying attention to how you serve your food in the future. So, grab your silverware, pull up a placemat, and get ready to learn about the ins and outs of food presentation!
Pleasing On the Eye and Stomach
You might be thinking to yourself, “wait, does it really matter?” and we don’t blame you! Food plating and presentation takes time and conscious effort, making it challenging to keep up with on a day-to-day basis. That being said, the way you see your food can impact several aspects of your dining experience!
On a fundamental level, how our food looks can influence how appealing we find the food! For example, imagine you were given two plates of food. The food itself is identical (let’s say it’s pasta with vegetables), but the plating is different. If the first plate looks like the result of a food fight, while the second plate is neat and tidy, which one would you prefer?
Most people will probably choose the second plate, despite the food being the exact same! In part, this is thanks to human’s natural biases. Even if we don’t think we’re judging how a meal looks, how we see our food will influence how we believe the food will taste.
For many people that are considered “picky eaters,” a big issue with food is how it is served and presented. A widespread form of this is disliking when foods touch. For some picky eaters, it’s a simple dislike, and for others, it can be a full-on phobia, but the fact remains the same; there are a lot of people who won’t eat food that is touching other foods.
In these cases, food presentation is incredibly important! One solution that has shown success is the idea of a deconstructed plate. A concept that can also be found in fine dining, deconstructing a meal simply separates out all the individual aspects of a dish. Doing this can help picky eaters adapt to new foods, adjust their tastes, and practice various food explorations!
Deconstructing dishes can also ease feelings of guilt or shame for picky eaters, as they can pick and choose which ingredients they want to eat and which they wish to avoid.
Think About Your Food
Trying out new food presentation ideas can also help you develop a healthier relationship with food! This theory draws on the concept of “mindful eating,” which is a psychological practice meant to help people wanting more control of their eating habits. In short, mindful eating aims to make you more aware of your food, how it is nurturing and feeding you, and how it makes you feel.
If you pause to think about it, how often do you take time and appreciate the meal you’re eating? Most of us would probably say once in a blue moon, but then again, what does it mean to truly appreciate the food and not just enjoy the taste? These are the types of questions that guide mindful eating, and to help you answer some of those questions, you can try a couple of different plating methods!
For instance, you can try experimenting with different portion sizes to change how you view a meal. A larger or smaller portion than you are used to will make you stop, and think about your meal, even if it’s just for a second! However, by taking that slight pause, you are engaging with your food in a new and different way than before.
Creativity At Its Best
When you start thinking about how food is served and presented, you can begin to see new opportunities and ideas to try out. Though you can try any of the above techniques to address a specific food-related issue, you can also practice food presentation for the fun of it!
Why should fine dining have all the fun, right? You never know, making your food into works of art might be a fantastic outlet for creativity that you never thought to try! From edible flowers to unique plate sizes, there are so many accessories and choices you can make when it comes to the art of food presentation. Even if it does nothing more than make you happy, then it’s achieved its goal.
Making Food Fun For All
Here at theEATbar, we know that food can be a struggle for some people. Whether it’s due to a selective palate, difficulty in physically eating, or simply a lack of interest in food, overcoming eating challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming.
That’s why we designed theEATbar to be an easy-to-eat, melt-in-your-mouth treat that everyone can enjoy! Chock full of essential calories and made with a unique meringue texture, consider theEATbar to make eating fun again!