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Tips for the Perfect Dinner Party

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Publisher's Summary

Off Menu is a charming, fun-fact-filled deep dive into the little-known science of food and dining: why we eat what we eat, the nuances of our experience of taste and flavor, and the tiny, easy hacks and tweaks that, when mastered, can make a huge difference in our diets, meals, and relationships with food and drink. 

Have you ever noticed that a café’s coffee tastes better in a mug than it does in a to-go cup? Or that hearing the sound of a cocktail being prepared - the sloshing of the liquid in the shaker, the clink of the ice as it’s stirred - makes you enjoy it even more? In Off Menu, journalist Nell McShane Wulfhart explores the facets of food science that you’ve probably never thought about - lighting, background music, the brain’s reaction to the ping of a microwave - but have nonetheless played a role in how you’ve experienced a meal, a drink, or an entire night out. 

This lively, accessible audio project distills cutting-edge research into lessons on everything from what quick fixes can cover up your mistakes in the kitchen to what meal to serve when you’re planning to break up with someone. It’s the perfect listen to devour as you’re strolling through the farmer’s market, washing the dishes, or planning your next dinner party.

©2020 Nell Wulfhart (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator

Nell McShane Wulfhart is a journalist and author. She is a former New York Times columnist, and her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, the Wall Street Journal Magazine, and T Magazine, to name just a few. She’s passionate about food and drink, and is always searching for new ways to make every meal better. To learn more about her work, visit: nellmcshanewulfhart.com (http://nellmcshanewulfhart.com/) or follow her on Twitter:@nellmwulfhart (https://twitter.com/nellmwulfhart).

About the Performer

Katie Schorr's narration credits include Kim Michele Richardson's acclaimed The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (an Audible bestseller), Sally Thorne's The Hating Game, We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out, Voice Arts Award-nominated Zootopia, Crying Laughing by Lance Rubin, Ginger Zee's Chasing Helicity series, and K.A. Tucker's Be the Girl (for which one attentive listener noticed her Canadian pronunciation of the word "project"), among many others. Katie has written for McSweeney's and Mother.ly and is currently completing her MFA in Fiction at Hunter College.

What listeners say about Off Menu

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Excellent secret weapon... life hack!!

This book is an easy listen; it’s smart, entertaining, and manages to educate you on a wide variety of life hacks under the guise of listening to appreciate food and wine. You will come away with a tips on life that you didn’t know was possible. Here are examples: Hotels and airlines spend $$$ on proprietary scent in an effort to enhance your experience and recall. Did you know that many overweight individuals have poor taste receptors? Or that many lean individuals have high smell receptors? I had NO idea that music type, tempo, and decibel level can 1) impact how you perceive the taste of certain foods and wines or that hip-hop does a better job of aging certain types of cheese vs classical or jazz? Me either. Did you know that when it comes to air travel, you are better off (more satisfied) ordering an entree that is umami or tomato based? True story. Give this book a listen, it’s impossible to come away feeling like you didn’t learn something new, fun, and unexpected. Have fun, I did.

20 people found this helpful

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Wrong narrator. Good book.

Like trying to enjoy fine food with head banger music in the background, the narrator is shrill and consistently pronounced the overused word “satiety” incorrectly every single time. The book itself is really well written and very interesting.

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really interesting

I learned a lot listening to this book. I look forward to experimenting and putting some of this into practice. Great narration as well.

3 people found this helpful

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Actionable info

This book presents ideas you can use to improve the dining experience in your home.

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A guy speaking in a woman voice

Great book. But I have to say it is very confusing that a guy is telling the stories in a woman’s voice. LOL

2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely fascinating, even if you’re not that into “food nerd” stuff

The subject matter of this book is presented in a way that made it a very fast and fun listen. And even my husband (who doesn’t really care about food more than how it tastes) found the info I told him about to be very interesting. I liked how the book referenced other books and even podcasts that I have listened to (as a self-proclaimed Food Nerd). And I especially enjoyed that there was new information that I’d never known before (I listen to a LOT of food and drink content, so there is often overlap and sometimes it gets a bit repetitive) The only thing I didn’t like was one thing about the narration: the narrator was overall very easy to listen to, but she mispronounced certain words. It was very jarring each time and there was even once (the word “nigiri”) where it took me a second to even figure out what she was referring to (she pronounced it with a “j” sound instead of a hard “g” sound). Overall, though, I definitely recommend this book.

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Deliciously delightful!

Full of fun facts on the subtleties of flavor and perception and how enironment modifies them. I need some kind of cribsheet from this to use all the tips for my parties. Narrator Katie Schorr overall good but can’t pronounce words like “satiety”, “bolognese”, “nigiri.” How hard is it to pick up a dictionary and look up the words to get them right?

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Off menu review

This is a fun and a very informative book. It peaked my curiosity about future events!!! I enjoyed this book!!!

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loved it.

Lots of great information and reference materials to find and follow up on. great book.

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fun and informative

interesting advice on how to improve your food experience with consideration of all the different aspects which most people are not aware of.

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  • Alan L. Brunton
  • 11-18-20

excellent

What a wonderful exploration into the popular science surrounding what we eat and why. Covering things like how sound, light and smell, and how they all effect the concept and enjoyment of food. Why oh why can I not now but this as a book, to keep as a reference?! I went straight on Amazon to buy a couple of copies as I know a couple of people who would love this. Please make it available as a paper book!

4 people found this helpful