Eating loudly isn’t rude after all, according to this study. Indeed, it would even be beneficial for the taste buds!
Notice to all misophones, this news will not make you happy. If you too can’t stand mouth noises, you are surely suffering from misophonia. This aversion to certain noises produced by others can be a living hell for you. Between the one who drinks his soup noisily, the one who chews his chewing gum with his mouth open or the one who annoys you at the cinema with his popcorn, all these situations make you uncomfortable and annoy you enormously. So you are one of those 15% of French people who suffer from misophonia. More than an annoyance, it can make you very angry, it disgusts you so much. A very disabling phobia for those who really have trouble hearing these noises. But this gross and unpleasant mania, called “slurping”, apparently has benefits for the taste buds.
According to a study, eating loudly makes food taste better. This investigation led by Josef Youssef, founder of Kitchen Theory (a design studio that creates original culinary experiences), and Charles Spence, of the University of Oxford, aimed to demonstrate that eating with your mouth open would accentuate the flavors in the mouth. They served 207 Western participants with vegetable soups. Part of the sample was presented with the soup in a bowl, the other part in a plate with a spoon and everyone had to eat the soup normally at first and then to slurp it loudly and write down the feelings. You can easily replicate the experience at home with one of these 15 soupsand take notes on how you feel tasting it!
“The study indicates that, in some way, eating while making noise improves the pleasure of the experience,” says Josef Youssef. Indeed, the research team noticed that for participants who drank their soup from a bowl, the “slurping” was more pronounced and therefore improved the taste. “The results reveal that the soup was rated as having a more intense flavor when they drank it while making noise.” But this observation is also valid for all other foods! Yes, you will finally be able to eat your spaghetti with your mouth open without having to apologize (well, decorum is still in order…).
The two researchers explain that the appreciation of food is not only a question of taste: all our senses are involved. Eyesight plays an essential role. Indeed, an unsavory dish would not make you want as much as a nice well-presented plate. And it seems that hearing also makes food taste better. The crunch of a biscuit, the sound of noodles between your lips… All these noises that can irritate you would in fact be beneficial for your next meals. So, misophone friends, you’re going to have to put up with the slurpings of others! You may even enjoy eating with your mouth open!