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Looking good, food!

One of the key aspects of served food is the manner in which it is presented. This is because, when we eat, all our sense organs are stimulated at the same time to result in a distinctive perception of the food. Research by Nestle had found that mere images of food can subsequently affect our sensitivity andawareness of the same. As the way the food appears is the first connection that it has with the eater, the aspect of food presentation is as crucial to a dish’s success as its flavour and essence. This is because your eyes have to be tempted by the looks of a dish, such that you will want to go ahead and taste it, and embark upon a gastronomic journey with a pre-conceived favourable perception of its taste.So exactly can you assure that your food looks good to the person who is going to eat it?

Cleanliness and Appropriateness: You have to make certain that the serving dish or bowl is clean and appropriate for the food you are serving. For fun foods such as French fries or chicken nuggets for a kids’ party, you could choose a bowl with a fun, non-traditional design while for something like a biryani, you could use a bowl with a conservative design that might be reminiscent of the times of yore which is when this dish dates back to. And remember, a dirty bowl takes away from the taste of the dish, no matter how mouth-watering the flavour is.

Timing and Garnish: The way in which a dish is presented or its visual appeal is tied in many ways to the time in which it is served. Food supposed to be eaten hot should not be served cold or vice versa. The most important aspect here is to wait till the temperature of the food is just right and only then, go forth and serve it. Almost as important as when the food is served is how it is garnished. This is where the element of colour becomes important. A little bit if green thyme swimming in a bowl of creamy white soup or tiny pieces of orange carrots and red peppers beside a juicy brown steak can make all the difference by adding that extra zest to the connoisseurs’ mind even before he starts eating.

Textures and Portion size: A crucial aspect of the visual appeal of a food is the contrast of textures of the food that is served at a time. Variety is the key as the perfect combination of a hard food such as a celery with soft food such as a creamy dressing is crucial for the balance of textures on a plate. Another important aspect of how food is presented is how the size of the portion of food is matched with the size of the plate in which it is being served.  While a tiny plate will give the effect of appearing clutteredand congested when piled high with food, a plate too large with a tiny portion will appear too scant and bare.

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