New Year’s revelers will be heading out to all kinds of parties tonight, and chances are a good percentage will be tempted by the presence of a chocolate fountain—just a teensy bit of indulgence before those resolutions kick in. Perhaps those with a scientific bent could find themselves pondering, just for a moment, the complicated physics involved in all that chocolaty goodness.
Ever notice how you tend to feel fuller from a thick fruit smoothie than from straight fruit juice? It’s not your imagination; the thickness and viscosity of a beverage can greatly influence your levels of satiety, or feelings of fullness, and help suppress hunger.
I noticed this when I switched from mayonnaise in my tuna sandwich to using guacamole. I’d feel full/satisfied for at least an hour more when I used the guacamole, aside from better health/nutrition. People see my sandwich, wonder if I ground up the Hulk…
What about the water? J. Kenji López-Alt from SeriousEats (and previously Cook’s Illustrated) wrote about performing a test concerning the effects of water on pizza crust. They used multiple bottled waters, with different levels of dissolved solids as well as NYC tap water in the introduction of his new book. His panel of judges weren’t able to detect a significant difference between any of the crusts made with the different waters. At this point, I think it’s safe to say this is a myth or at least a very large degree of self-induced bias.
Norovirus is famed for sending cruise ships scurrying back to port to unload hordes of violently ill passengers. Aside from its brutal symptoms—vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and a general sense that death would be a fine option—the virus is famed for how easily it spreads. It has generally been assumed that the vomiting portion of the symptoms scatters small particles of liquid that carry the virus to new surfaces.
“Sound is the forgotten flavor sense,” says experimental psychologist Charles Spence. At his lab at Oxford University in England, he manipulates sound in ways that transform our experience of food and drink, making stale potato chips taste fresh, adding the sensation of cream to black coffee, or boosting the savory, peaty notes in whiskey.