Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Looks good, tastes better.

My mother was a caterer when I was a kid (now she works as a Speech Pathologist). I can remember bits and pieces of that experience, especially the choice of quiche or duck pate for dinner, when all I really wanted was a burger from Mickie D's (which was completely against the law in my house).

Instead, she ended up making me her version of the Quarter Pounder - a huge gristly, oddly shaped burger that secreted juices every time I took a bite, which ran down my arms, stained my shirt, and left an aroma of charcoal on my skin and clothes hours after digestion. The english muffin masquerading as a bun would be subsumed by the massive beast of a burger that was topped with tomatoes, lettuce, onions and mustard (no Ketchup allowed in my house either - I had to steal the mini Ketchup packs from random fast food restaurants, which served as my hidden stash) and rendered into patches of pink mush.

I also remember my mother imparting some important advice about making dishes look beautiful, from the way food was arranged on plates to the colors of the dish itself. I took this seriously as a kid, and had a lot of fun decorating plates and thinking about the look of meals.

We judge our environment with multiple senses, and sometimes I think we forget to catalyse all five. Something may taste great, but if it looks like a bowl of sick, it's unlikely that we'll appreciate it. Now that doesn't mean that good looks are everything. I had a Pad Thai dish at a raw food vegetarian restaurant in London, which consisted of julienned vegetables with crushed peanuts and a red and green sauce that twirled around the edges of the big white plate, which looked like Martha Stewart's handiwork, but left me famished and unsatisfied.

So, after that most circuitous route, what I am trying to convey is my belief in design when it comes to both preparing meals and packaging design. It can only make a good product look better, rather than dressing a turd in a ballerina outfit, but I do appreciate it. (But maybe I'm just a sucker for great marketing).

Some beautiful examples below:

Images via: Dieline and Lovely Packaging

No comments:

Post a Comment