FOOD Synaesthesia POP-UP in London
Have you ever heard of synaesthesia? The word “synaesthesia” comes from two Greek words, syn (together) and aisthesis (perception) – and therefore literally means, “joined perception.”
This neurological phenomenon –which affects 4% of the population– means that some hear a colour, while others taste a sound. The former could translate as someone seeing the colour red every time they hear the word “bus”, for instance.
Kitchen Theory’s latest educational and multi-sensory Pop-up “Synaesthesia” experimented with this neurological phenomenon and linked it to food. Cooked by experienced chef Jozef Youssef –who worked in renowned establishments, including Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant– the delicious menu focuses on intriguing flavours, textures, colours, aromas and temperatures.
Each course focuses on a different sense. The amuse bouche demonstrates how colour can very easily affect our notion of taste.
Guest were asked to match each colour with a taste – and to guess which one was bitter, salty, sweet and sour. We were told that 70-90% of people usually guess it right, which proved that we all assimilate some tastes to some colours and are therefore all to some extent affected by synaesthesia.
Can you guess which one’s which? (Please find the answer below!)
Other courses had guests spray a specific scent in the air while devouring their food – proving that smell can very easily alter taste. A Sensory cube was also made available and diners were encouraged to stroke each side (from fluffy to hard) during their degustation to explore whether it was at all impacted. Experimental music (which made us cringe) was also played during the explosive dessert – and very much impacted each bite.
Chocolate, passion fruit and toffee
Judging by this meal’s depiction of synaesthesia, we’d very much like to join the club.
Want to experience it for yourself? Buy tickets here: https://kitchen-theory.com/2014/12/29/synaesthesia-by-kitchen-theory/
White = salty (Raita spheres)
Black = bitter (Guinness & dark chocolate)
Green = sour (lime, fennel & coriander)
Red = sweet (cranberry & rose)