All photos courtesy NEFF.
Home appliance manufacturer NEFF, renowned for its passion for cooking and intuitive kitchen appliances, has partnered with UK-based ceramicist Reiko Kaneko to create a unique set of plates that enhance the flavor experience with a richer taste sensation.
The inspiration for this collection was taken from Professor Charles Spence’s groundbreaking research into the field of gastrophysics. Looking into various elements that contribute to a memorable eating experience, Spence has partnered with NEFF to uncover how the colour, shape, texture and even weight of crockery can intensify the flavour perception of food.
“Our brain plays tricks on us about what our taste buds are tasting,” says Spence. “There have been experiments showing that eating popcorn from a blue bowl tastes saltier than from a white bowl. Similarly, when it comes to shape, an asymmetric, angular plate can bring out the sourness and acidity of food much more than a round plate does.” Spence explains that working with NEFF to apply some of these principles to Reiko Kaneko’s plateware has been a really interesting challenge and opportunity to see the gastrophysics insights used as inspiration for plateware design.
The exclusive plate collection consists of three plates that have been specially designed to heighten the taste of each stage of a meal, for an ultimate dining experience. You can see the development and process behind each vessel below.
The Starter Plate
Influenced by the energy of the sea waves, the Starter Plate is a fine bone china plate is designed to intensify the taste of seafood-based starters. Reminiscent of the world under the sea through the white and blue glazing and bearing a rough, fish scale-like texture, this plate heightens the perception of saltiness through its angular shape.
The Main Dish
The angular, black stoneware of the Main Dish bowl enhances the sensation of spiciness. The rough, sandpaper texture of the bowl heightens the taste of spicier ingredients like ginger, making it ideal for serving up dishes like Thai green curries.
The Dessert Bowl
Inspired by the shape of a raspberry, this Dessert Bowl is designed to bring out the fruity flavor of desserts. The pink color boosts the perception of sweetness, whilst the outer, rounded, raspberry-like texture triggers associations with the fruit.
Reiko Kaneko, the ceramicist behind the creation of this set of plates, has been fascinated with the dimensions of taste since she discovered Spence’s work. “Playing with colour, shape and texture with the goal of ultimately influencing how diners will taste food has opened up a lot of creative avenues, which are reflected in my design,” she states.
Maria Beltrán, Head of Communication NEFF, says “Gastrophysics has opened our eyes towards a different world of ‘ingredients’ that come into play well after the food has been cooked: the elements that impact how food tastes when it’s being served. We hope that our plate collection inspires passionate foodies out there to be even more adventurous with their flavor experiments.”