Study finds a good appetizer could make your main course less enjoyable


An excellent or fair appetizer has the capability to significantly alter the way the major route is appreciated, based on one Drexel food scientist.

Jacob Lahne, PhD, an assistant professor at the middle for Hospitality and Sport Management, recently discovered a relatively very good appetizer could make individuals like the main course less than if it had been preceded with a fair appetizer.

Lahne examined and examined subjects’ hedonic (liking) answers to a principal dish of “pasta aglio e olio” (pasta with oil and garlic ) once they had a great or moderate bruschetta appetizer. The fantastic bruschetta was created with additional ingredients such as balsamic vinegar and lemon zest, in addition to fresher and better quality ingredients, such as extra virgin oil and fresh ginger when compared with the mixed olive oil and dried peppermint at the fair bruschetta.

The outcome? The fantastic bruschetta was judged better than the fair bruschetta, but the pasta dish has been enjoyed more when preceded by the poor appetizer. One potential explanation for this outcome is the nature of this appetite-whetting initial dish sways the user to compare it with all the following classes, into the latter’s possible detriment.

“It’s always worth remembering that our experiences are contextual–that is, what we like and don’t like, or taste and don’t taste, is not objective, but related to the environment, our state of mind, and many other variables. If you have a fantastic appetizer and then the main seems lackluster, that could be because of this type of contrast effect. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fantastic appetizers!” said Lahne.

Lahne specializes in sensory analysis, or the component of food science devoted to understanding human sensory reactions to foods (among other products). He says there was little study on how liking a single dish may be affected by other successive foods at the meal before this research. Together with his co-author, Debra Zellner, PhD, a professor at Montclair State University, that he published the findings from this research “The Great is the Enemy of the Good: Hedonic Contrast at a Coursed Meal” at Food Quality and Preference.

The research investigated if the hedonic value of an aide influenced the hedonic value of this subsequently eaten main course at a real life meal setting (because hedonic comparison is normally analyzed laboratory configurations ). The analysis was analyzed on clients from the Academic Bistro, the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management’s student-run, culinary-training restaurant. Dishes and components were selected depending on the experience of Chef Richard Pepino, executive chef of the Academic Bistro.

“I’ve always been interested in trying to understand the food choices people make, so doing research in Drexel’s Academic Bistro as a unique study space seemed like a natural approach,” Lahne said.

In accordance with Lahne, the analysis was targeted at chefs along with other manufacturers rather than consumers. He intends to keep on exploring the structure and limitations of hedonic contrasts between meals in real life meals to better notify chefs, the food business and home cooks.

Source: Drexel University
Journal: Food Quality and Preference
Image Credit: Jacob Lahne

Categories: Eat Life