Adding some kind of ritual to eating food appears to increase enjoyment and awareness of flavor, according to new studies reported in the New York Times:
The researchers found that even simple rituals, which they defined as "a series of behaviors that are seemingly irrelevant to the act that follows," like scraping wooden chopsticks together or tapping a soda can before pulling the tab, raised participants' interest in what they subsequently ate or drank. And rituals appeared capable of enhancing the enjoyment not just of treats like chocolate or lemonade but even baby carrots.
What food rituals do you have? Do you twist your Oreos apart? (My oreopraxy is quite loose, but I'm religious about nibbling off the "bound" edges of a Fig Newton before eating the entire cookie.) Do you enjoy fixing a cup of coffee as much as the consumption thereof?
Do you say grace before you eat?
I've gotten out of the habit of saying a blessing before eating, but it's one I should bring back. Just a quick silent moment to clear my head and remind myself, eating, that's what we're doing now.
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