make food taste better

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Make a Tiny Ceremony of It
Why do French kids eat everything? Because little pre-meal rituals (like breaking the baguette) abound in France, explains psychologist Kathleen Vohs, PhD, in a study she led at the University of Minnesota. And rituals improve taste (okay, butter does too). Vohs found that tasters told to snap a chocolate bar in two and unwrap each half individually rated the treat as more flavorful than did those who ate it without fanfare. Carrots were also tastier after a little to-do. And so might ramen be after you take its picture, or a store-bought cake after singing "Happy Birthday." Point is, micro-celebrations draw your attention to the food—and focus is a flavor enhancer.