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3 Ways to (Unwittingly) Ruin a Good Meal

The Chopping Block guest blogger Karla Krengel Hood shares three ways you can unwittingly ruin a meal. Leave the candles, flowers and perfume away from the table, and ban blue from your kitchen.

Sometimes you can ruin a wonderful meal without even realizing it.  In my book, there are three ways to do it: the first two are pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often they take place! The third one will truly surprise you.

The first way to (unwittingly) ruin a good meal, is to use scented candles or strong smelling flowers on the table.  I am a huge fan of scented candles, but they should be used in other rooms, away from food.  You don’t want these on the table, leaving their scents to compete with the aromas of the wonderful food you are serving.  It’s confusing to the nose, which means it’s confusing to the palette.

Second on my list: don’t wear perfume to the table, especially if you are serving the food to your guests.  No one wants a mouthful of Channel No. 5 to accompany their Coq au Vin!

The last on my list is the color blue. Yep, it’s bad news for blues when it comes to kitchens, dining rooms and dinner plates/serving pieces.

What?

Blue reflects food poorly. Food is not as appetizing when surrounded by the color blue.  (Which translates to people not thinking you are as good of cook as you really are.)  And, we begin eating with our eyes.  Think about the number of times you’ve seen a photo, just a picture of your favorite food.  Your mouth begins to water.  From blue paint on the walls of your kitchen or your dining room to blue dinner plates, it is not the color you want to choose to surround food.

The reasoning behind this is that blue is a color associated with mold.  The colors orange, red, even yellow and green, are thought to stimulate hunger, which is why you see them used in so many fast food and restaurant settings.  Blue suppresses hunger.

What color then, should you use in your kitchen?  In kitchens, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, gray was used as the overall color scheme by only 9% of designers as we moved into 2010, but that figure nearly doubled (to 17%) in 2011 and then nearly doubled again (to 33%) in 2012.

Whites and off-whites continue to be the most popular color schemes in the kitchen, followed by beiges and bones. Psychologically speaking, implementing a black-and-white color scheme in the kitchen today can be a sound choice, because these colors convey stability and longevity.  That is why you are seeing so many white kitchens these days.  When the economy is uncertain, white is a secure color to choose in a remodel.  The colors around and in it, such as the décor, can be easily changed to highlight a different pop of color, while white is the background.

Brown is the third most popular color in kitchens. In the kitchen, bronzes/terracottas have risen over the past couple of years from 20% to 25% to 31%, while greens have increased from 18% to 32% between 2010 and 2012.  But going back to blue, blue has emerged as the fifth most popular color in bathrooms, rising from 23% to 30%.

So, if the rule is to not paint your dining room or your kitchen blue and not use blue plates, are there exceptions?

Yes!

The Mediterranean Blue color is the true blue exception because Mediterranean countries, think Spain, France, and Italy, are known for food and are the root of many of the foods we eat.  Mediterranean even means, “land between sea,” and it is a color we associate with the ocean, “the deep blue sea.”

Another way to get around this is to use the blue at the lower level, and not use a lot of it.  For example, a blue kitchen island.  (Avoid blues on countertops, unless it is a Mediterranean Blue.)  If you use a blue in this manner, the color is not reflecting off the upper walls - onto your food.

So, if you want people to think you are the great cook you really are, and you love blue - reach for the Mediterranean blue.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sarah Flagg February 01, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Ah ha! I knew there was a reason people didn't like my meatloaf! Blue plates! Super interesting read - thanks for sharing :)

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