For many of us, our first memories of food involve throwing spaghetti on the floor or splattering cake mix on both ourselves and our loved ones. As infants, seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting are all essential functions for development, both in understanding what different foods are (what they look like, what they feel like) and also developing our own personal relationship with food.
Grist just recently published an article explaining the importance of our personal and physical interaction with food. Working with our hands to make the food from scratch not only infuses our meals with meaning, the visceral process of handling the foods can also help us not to overeat.
I find this to be true in my own kitchen. When I make the meal myself that day, I appreciate the food I am eating. I don't have that same insatiable hunger. Something about handling the food (and taking a few nibbles here and there) makes the food more tangible and I find myself eating less on the whole.
It’s for this precise reason that food presentation (color, shape, texture) is so important. Next time you have a gathering or shin-dig at your house, prepare fun finger foods that allow your guests to really smell, taste, and even feel the food in their hands. Just like infants, adults need oral, visual, and textural stimulation to get their brains running.
Below are four fun finger foods that are sure to be the center of attention: