A touch of gastronomy

C. Spence, C. Hobkinson, A. Gallace, B. Piqueras Fiszman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The last few years have seen a rapid growth of research interest in the study of the role of touch and oralsomatosensation in the experience of eating and drinking. The various ways in which the sense of touch can be used to enhance the diner’s/consumer’s experience in both everyday eating and drinking, as well as in the context of experiential dining, is also gaining ever more attention from professionals in a variety of disciplines. In this review, we highlight the importance that everything that we perceive via the sense of touch, from the weight of the menu to the feel of the tablecloth, tableware, cutlery, and even the food itself, has on our eating experience and food and beverage-related behaviors. Everything we feel, be it the weight, the temperature, or the texture of whatever we happen to come across while eating appears to matter. In addition, we also highlight the relevance of oral-somatosensory cues to our sensory and hedonic perception of foods. A number of examples are given to demonstrate some of the many ways in which chefs, designers, and artists are now exploiting these findings in order to change and, hopefully, to enhance the diner’s eating experience in innovative ways.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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