{24/09/2012}   Grated carrot, orange juice and fried eggs; it’s all in the preparation

Why does an apple cut into eighths taste better than an apple consumed any other way?  Why do oranges taste better as juice than whole?  A carrot grated is a totally different taste experience than chunks of carrot.  I expect there is some scientific or psychological reason for this, but, having just grated some cheese and eaten most of it, I am pondering this matter.

If I had in front of me plates with the same, for example, Cheddar cheese on each but on each plate the cheese were presented differently – sliced, cubed, grated – without hesitation I would go straight for the grated.  If, however, I was in possession of apple segments to go with my Cheddar, I would go for the cubed.  It seems strangely obvious to me.  I have a slight niggle not everyone feels the same, but I am also a teensy bit optimistic that at least one other person will agree with me on this score!

Cooked potatoes on plates – chunky chips, French fries, jacket, boiled, rosti, roast, mashed, cubed roasted – then it’s a little more difficult but I’d probably linger over French fries and cubed roasted.  Maybe that’s because they’re easier to pick at.  If the potatoes were to go with meat and two veg … yes, it would be cubed roasted.

A carrot snack would be carrot sticks over slices or grated, but for a salad, it would be grated rather than sticks or slices.  I’m not a big fan of tomatoes but the juice would be avoided at all costs and I would opt for small, whole tomatoes rather than slices or quarters.  As for a pear, I’d rather have that as juice than as a whole.  I’d rather have mango in chunks than as juice, likewise papaya and pineapple.

I could easily go on but I do find the psychology of eating a fascinating thing.  I don’t think all the above is just about presentation, I am sure that all these things taste differently depending on how they are served or prepared.

Another good example is eggs.                 Imagine being confronted by plates of eggs cooked in different ways (with only salt and pepper or sugar possibly added) – fried, poached, scrambled, boiled, omelette,  meringue – which would you choose?  I know people who dislike eggs but could eat and enjoy them scrambled, as an omelette or meringue.  For me, my favourite is probably fried, then meringue and poached.

It amazes me that such trivial things can prey on my mind, but it gives me immense satisfaction to air my niche thoughts on such matters.  However, I really am struggling to come up with a pithy and fascinating conclusion.

I think it’s probably safe to say that everyone has preferred ways of eating certain things.  Maybe it is purely psychological but maybe there are some more researched and scientific reasons as to why grated carrot tastes so different to chunks of carrot and orange juice so much more appealing than orange segments.  I am now rather fancying some apple segments with Cheddar cheese …


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