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Dim Lighting Might Affect How Your Food Tastes

Three people eating spaghetti and drinking white wine at a restaurant.
Yulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock

If you’ve been out to a romantic dinner with a partner and the lighting was dim, your food might have tasted a bit bland. According to a recent study, dim lighting can affect the flavor of food: the brighter the lighting, the better it tastes.

The Maastricht University School of Business and Economics in The Netherlands conducted the study on how lighting affects dining experiences and food. Its findings concluded that the better you can see your food, the better it tastes. But how did researchers reach this conclusion?

The study surveyed customers at fine dining establishments as they enjoyed seven-course meals. The only thing that changed was the lighting. After their dinner, diners were asked to rate the food and atmosphere.

While the lighting was rated high in both the dimmer and brighter scenarios, those who ate in brighter conditions found the food tasted more intense. This doesn’t mean the food served in the dimmer lighting conditions was bad; the taste just seems to have been more intense when the diners could see it more clearly.

So, next time you’re at a restaurant and the food tases a bit bland, maybe it isn’t the food at all, but the lighting.

[Via Martha Stewart]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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