Reality: Food Affects Emotion
Sometimes it’s the sweetest things that draw us in. You might know what I’m talking about. Think about the attention a baked cake or pie gets when it’s sat on a table. It’s the center focus of the kitchen.
What about those times when you walk past a bakery and you stop right dead in your tracks?
You're forced to press your fist into your mouth to suppress that spiked craving. You’d like to think that your sweet tooth went away, but lingering aches like that don’t die so easily.
The irresistible aroma turns stalkerish and lures you into the pretty pastry shop that’s been taunting you. If that wasn’t bad enough, you walk in the bakery to find yourself surrounded with a warm, cocooning sensation from beautifully baked artwork.
Dessert Is Visual Stimulation
Seeing a beautiful cake sitting on a table always manages to pique curiosity and attention.
Come on. You know what I mean.
Your eyes catch an alluring dessert, and even if you’ve just stuffed yourself with a meal, you realize that it’s still possible to be wooed by a dessert that’s in your presence.
You don't have to be a proclaimed foodie to be entranced by sweet, buttery goodies. Desserts have a comfort element that is oh so desirable. It’s that secret element that makes a dessert seem comfortingly eligible enough to compensate for an absent significant other.
Why We Get Emotional About Food
Bakery treats have a way of making us feel happy, special and like we’re entitled.
Desserts are associated with good, warm feelings. You probably have your own favorites. Maybe it’s a tart with fresh strawberries, or a ganache garnished with chocolate topped with whipped cream.
Hey, it’s just the way we’re wired. We have an emotional connection through smell and sight. We see a cute puppy and feel those feelings of warmth that make us want to cuddle it. We smell lemons and our senses tell us something is fresh and clean. When our bakery senses tingle, we get a sense of therapeutic warmth (often called a nostalgia) that boosts our mood and happiness and is even associated with our memories..
Pulitzer Prize winner, David Mamet said, 'We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.
Here’s another quote, ‘Stressed is desserts spelled backwards.’
Dessert Simply Brings Happiness
According to a study on emotions that was published by the Harvard Review, when dessert clips were shown to participants, the participants showed “higher motivational intensity” with a narrowed scope of attention. Meaning, these subjects didn’t just show positive emotion, the subjects were motivated or drawn to what they saw.
Photo credit: Whutz Happening Blog
Based on this info, not only does dessert bring happiness, it brings less stress and motivation at sight.
That’s a really good reason to use dessert for visual appeal.
Decorative dessert displays are visually appealing, but they also offer the very same stimulation and motivational intensity as used in the research done by psychologist, Eddie Harmon Jones. Dr. Jones’ research compares studies over 5 decades showing that the intensity of how a person feels can directly affect that person’s ability to focus attentively, whether negative or positive.
Appealing Visuals Stimulate Motivation
Since edible desserts spoil and become less attractive as they’re handled and even wither in appearance when left out, fake desserts can be staged in kitchen displays to keep the motivation alive. The sweet aesthetics that dessert provides adds an impressive visual effect to the environment while also making us feel a sense of dessert inspired coziness. That coziness is what helps us to zone in on those cozy feelings, making us feel more relaxed and at home.
When properly placed using helpful, professional design and placement advice, a fake food display can also help you to creatively focus.
What does that mean?
It means that when you’re feeling creative in the kitchen, fake food can actually serve as a motivation and even stimulate your creativity in the kitchen.
It’s Oh So Cultural
Food is cultural. We don’t just eat it for our survival. We celebrate with it, embrace it, share it, and we even display it. Food has become a part of what we feel and experience just as well as how we live.
Food connects us with family and friends, and it travels down through generations with us. Great-grandmothers pass down heirloom recipes so that later generations will have a connection with their past.
So, fake foods are an extension of all of these different ways that we use food to feel and connect.
A Quick Story
Once a customer contacted us to have a pie designed.
She shared with me a touching story about how her father-in-law would make an apple pie for his family every Thanksgiving. It was his ‘thing.’
Well, this customer’s father-in-law had passed away before their next Thanksgiving, and she wanted to replicate the very apple pie that her father-in-law once baked.
I could tell that this particular customer had a connection to her father-in-law, and that the apple pie he made was something that gave her warm feelings that would be missed. Replicating the fake pie that my customer’s father-in-law made gave her a comforting connection to something that she’d miss.
These connections aren’t just family oriented. Let’s look at…
Fake Food’s Effect In Entertaining
Think about how we want our food to be presented when we entertain.
We call caterers to bring us presentable trays and platters. We have bakers bake cakes that look like places we’ve visited or items we’ve used. Once,I saw an episode of Cake Boss where Carlo designed a cake that looked like a sink and it actually had water coming from it!
Entertaining is our grand opportunity to use food to make a statement. That statement could be one of elegance, one of simplicity, or one that follows a specific theme, like a garden tea party.
Fake foods make beautiful presentations around food displays, in particular, because they hold up well throughout events.
Fake food displays in the dining areas of your home can also whet the appetite when used for entertaining. The expression of color, presentation, and (when applicable) the aroma speaks to us in very subliminal ways.
The golden brown color of a fake cake, pastries, apple filling and pie crust evokes warm and wholesome feelings while bright and bold colors, such as red and yellow are associated with fun. So, just think about how a cherry pie could be both fun while also being warm and wholesome.
Can you see how desserts bring together all of these vibes?
Photo Credit: Everything Dawn Bakery Candles' Customer Pic
To Sum It All Up
Food brings us visual stimulation. It connects us with the things around us, our culture, family, friends, and other elements of our lives that have meaning. We even use food as a large part of our traditions and celebrations.
The sight of food is stress reducing ad motivational, which makes fake food a great decorative tool to spark creativity in the kitchen. Also, since food is something that is very cultural, it helps us to keep the future connected with the past.
We can use fake foods as creative and fun ways to whet the appetites of guests at a dinner party or give a wholesome and warm charm to a dining area.
How can you envision using fake foods to enhance your environment? Share your ideas in the comments below.