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Review of Gastrophysics: The new science of eating by Charles Spence

Gastrophysics is Charles Spence’s follow-up to The Perfect Meal, and an attempt to popularize his work in creating more exciting and memorable eating experiences. The book explores how this is as much, if not more, about what is in people’s minds than what is on their plates.

The first five chapters explore each of the five classic senses in turn: taste, smell, sight, sound and touch. In subsequent chapters Charles Spence discusses the atmospherics of meals, their social aspects and the role of memory in meal experiences, as well as the challenges of airline food.

In the final chapters he discusses the personalization of eating, experiential aspects of many modern restaurants, the role of digital technology and the future of eating. In the final chapter he also argues that the Futurist movement from early twentieth century Italy were ahead of the times in experimenting with sensory experiences and eating and he also touches on issues of healthy and sustainable eating.

This book will appeal to anyone interested in the senses and in eating experiences. It is packed full of anecdotes and real-life examples, as well as science, and is an easy read.

[Read a review of Sensehacking by Charles Spence here.]

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