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Potentially Offensive Habits YOU Can Acquire: Making Noise While Eating with Your Mouth Open

David Hammmond | Jul 6, 200202:42 PM

Circa 1975. Patoriq and I are in my house in Hyde Park, and we’re eating (of course!). I notice that my dear friend is not only eating with his mouth open, but that he’s emitting an intermittent low-decibel hum. Curious, I inquire, and he tells me that “food tastes better if you make noises while eating with your mouth open.” I tried it. As has been the case so many times in the past, Patoriq was right. Food does taste better if you make noises while eating with your mouth open.

If you doubt the accuracy of this assessment, try it yourself. You'll be surprised how well it works.

But how can this be? I believe it’s that the vibrations caused by the humming or chomping sounds actually create a vibration in the mouth, perhaps stimulating the taste buds and awakening flavor dimensions that are hidden to the more mannerly (i.e., repressed) closed-mouth, noiseless eater.

Now, though I encourage every reader to try this on his/her own, I offer the two caveats. Remember, it’s quite challenging to deploy this food-enhancing strategy:
1. In restaurants without people thinking you’re crazy and/or asking you to leave and
2. With wine (you need exceptionally evolved lingual/labial control to pull this off, or you end up with wine running down your chin – of course, if you’re bold enough to try this tongue-tingling technique in the first place, then a little wine on the chin probably won’t matter, either).

I just replicated the experiment during lunch today – a Chicago hot dog (topped with fresh Oak Park Farmer’s Market tomatoes) never tasted better.

I swear, it works. I’d be interested in any independent research on this topic (which I suggest you attempt in the privacy of your own kitchen).

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