Don’t Let Your Apps Ruin Your Main Course

Have you ever had a really great appetizer and then thought your entree was just…meh? You’re not alone, because as it turns out, that’s a “thing.” This post from Restaurant Hospitality details the phenomenon of really great appetizers changing the perception of subsequent entrees to just okay. Jacob Lahne, a professor at Drexel University, has been studying the phenomenon of “sensory perception of meals” and centered a recent study specifically around the context of how we perceive the quality appetizers and entrees. Whether restaurants are actually putting more effort and quality ingredients into their starters, or diners are just getting too full to enjoy their main course by the time they get to it, it appears that if an appetizer is above average, the main course is remembered as just mediocre. Lahne tested his study using two small groups of diners, and gave the first group a really fantastic bruschetta appetizer, using high-quality and fresh ingredients, before the main course of aglio e olio pasta. The second group also got bruschetta, but a somewhat more average version, using packaged ingredients rather than fresh. The fact that the first group (with the really great bruschetta) found the exact same pasta dish to be less appetizing highlights the importance of context in food perception.

Read the full article here: Sensational Starters May Overshadow Entrees

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