Why blue is rarely for you… at din­ner

Daily Mail - - PETER OBORNE - By Fiona MacRae

When Brid­get Jones ac­ci­den­tally dyed the soup blue while pre­par­ing for a din­ner party, Mark Darcy rushed to her res­cue.

‘If you ask me, there isn’t enough blue food,’ he told her in the 2001 film Brid­get Jones’s Di­ary.

now, an Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor has in­ves­ti­gated why we have so lit­tle ap­petite for blue food.

Charles Spence’s trawl of the lit­er­a­ture on the topic in­cludes a Ja­panese study in which 12 women were given soup that had been coloured white, yel­low or blue. They were less keen on try­ing the blue soup and felt more anx­ious when asked to eat it.

In an­other study, sweet pop­corn tasted 40 per cent saltier when served in a blue bowl rather than a white one – per­haps be­cause we think of salty sea wa­ter as be­ing blue.

Writ­ing in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Gas­tron­omy and Food Science, Pro­fes­sor Spence, a psy­chol­o­gist, said: ‘What is it about blue in food that peo­ple re­ally dis­like?

‘Is it the rar­ity of the colour in nat­u­ral foods that makes peo­ple wary? Or is it rather that the ma­jor­ity of ex­am­ples of blue in food and drink to have hit the high street have been associated with ar­ti­fi­cial blue food colour­ing? Al­ter­na­tively, it might be that in our past those foods that turned blue may have gone mouldy.’

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