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Publisher's Summary

The science behind a good meal: all the sounds, sights, and tastes that make us like what we're eating - and want to eat more.

Why do we consume 35 percent more food when eating with one other person, and 75 percent more when dining with three? How do we explain the fact that people who like strong coffee drink more of it under bright lighting? And why does green ketchup just not work?

The answer is gastrophysics, the new area of sensory science pioneered by Oxford professor Charles Spence. Now he's stepping out of his lab to lift the lid on the entire eating experience - how the taste, the aroma, and our overall enjoyment of food are influenced by all of our senses, as well as by our mood and expectations.

The pleasures of food lie mostly in the mind, not in the mouth. Get that straight and you can start to understand what really makes food enjoyable, stimulating, and, most important, memorable. Spence reveals in amusing detail the importance of all the "off the plate" elements of a meal: the weight of cutlery, the color of the plate, the background music, and much more. Whether we're dining alone or at a dinner party, on a plane or in front of the TV, he reveals how to understand what we're tasting and influence what others experience.

This is accessible science at its best, fascinating to anyone in possession of an appetite. Crammed with discoveries about our everyday sensory lives, Gastrophysics is a book guaranteed to make you look at your plate in a whole new way.

©2017 Charles Spence (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story

High promise, poor execution.

Unfocused book. The author was trying too hard to make the term 'gastrophysics' stick, which makes this book feel repetitive. He seems to care about name dropping more than really exploring the aspects of the chapter he's exploring. There is an odd focus on an obscure movement that really doesn't add anything to the book (No, I don't care that they may have come up with certain concepts first). The actual science he discusses is limited and I found myself wanting more. The narrator was excellent though, which made listening to this more entertaining.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good but felt redundant

There was a lot of good information in this book. The book felt like it could have been shorter though. It seemed like I was listening to the same information again and again but presented with a different study.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Awful narration.

What would have made Gastrophysics better?

I could not get through the first chapter, the narrator whistles every S and T. Unbearable. Returned.