Many of us were taught from an early age that it is not polite to eat with our mouths open, so we have adopted a smaller, socially acceptable chew. However, an expert from the University of Oxford encourages us to disobey the teachings of our parents and take the biggest bites we can.
This is because the compounds that give our food flavor are better able to reach the back of the nose when chewing with your mouth open. So it looks like we’ve been doing it all wrong. Parents instill manners in their children, extolling the virtues of chewing with their mouths closed.
Improves sense of smell
However, chewing with your mouth open can actually help release more VOCs, which contributes to our sense of smell and overall perception.
Meat, fruits, and vegetables contain volatile organic compounds such as esters, ketones, terpenoids, and aldehydes. These make up the characteristic aromas of foods and contribute to their flavor. When they hit the back of the nose, olfactory sensory neurons are activated that connect directly to the brain and heighten our experience of eating.
But the sound of chewing also plays a role in maximizing the pleasure we get from the food we eat. When it comes to sound, we like loud foods, like crunchy or crunchy. Both French fries and apples are rated as more enjoyable when the crunch sound is amplified. To better hear the crunch of an apple, crispy potato, carrot stick, cracker, crusty bread, or handful of popcorn, we should always throw off our manners and chew with our mouths open.
Use your hands instead of cutlery
To disappoint our parents even more, the expert also says that we could also improve our dinners by eating with our hands. This is because research suggests that feeling food can make us more appreciative of the palate. Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and Noma in Copenhagen, have experimented with a number of dishes designed for eating with your hands.
Our sense of touch is also vital in our perception of food on the palate. Feeling the smooth, organic texture of an apple skin in your hand before you bite into it whole is likely to contribute to a greater appreciation of the juicy, sweet crunch of that first bite.
This can extend to the feeling of grains of salt sticking to your fingers when eating potato chips with your hands or the sugary residue of buttercream on a hand after picking up and biting into a slice of birthday cake. While licking your fingers after eating with your hands is never recommended in polite circles, research suggests we should consider ditching the label for maximum sensory enjoyment. Or we just consider how nice it can be to scrape your finger across the bowl when making cake mix at home.