I’ve been in a bit of a flat spot recently, probably driven by Doing.Too.Much. I’ve even been uninspired about cooking, making standard meals from my basic repertoire, and not wanting to eat them. But I have just found out why that very last thing might be a problem.

Why Do Sandwiches Taste Better When Someone Else Makes Them?
By Daniel Kahneman

When you make your own sandwich, you anticipate its taste as you’re working on it. And when you think of a particular food for a while, you become less hungry for it later. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, for example, found that imagining eating M&Ms makes you eat fewer of them. It’s a kind of specific satiation, just as most people find room for dessert when they couldn’t have another bite of their steak. The sandwich that another person prepares is not “preconsumed” in the same way.


I think the solution is probably chocolate.


8 comments on “Uninspired

  1. Jolisa says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I love food and love to cook, but the chore-i-ness of it sometimes takes the taste away. Whereas, whenever I sit down to eat a meal that someone else has cooked, I always think (and sometimes can’t help saying out loud) “YUM, MY FAVOURITE FOOD! …. is *anything* cooked by someone other than me.” Useful to know that it is physiologically true, not just psychologically & personal-politically!

    Busy weeks, I remind myself that nobody ever died from eating toast, or macaroni cheese, or scrambled eggs five nights in a row. Except maybe of boredom, but that person probably just couldn’t find the spice rack.

    PS The solution is always chocolate. And/or a cooking rota?

  2. artandmylife says:

    I so understand this….food cooked by someone else is ALWAYS delicious. I get so wary of day in day out cooking for the masses

  3. Daleaway says:

    Chocolate is always a fine solution, especially to problems such as unwanted scrawniness…

  4. MsLaurie says:

    I wonder if this might explain why I enjoy “dinner party cooking” but not “Tuesday cooking” – the repetition and boring-ness of every day dinners has me uninspired and often relying on pizza deliveries… but planning, shopping for, preparing, and cooking a multi-course meal for people other than the Mister and myself… well, that is pure pleasure – probably because its rare!

  5. Helen says:

    You have leftover creme caramels? From Monday? They’d be hoovered up next morning at the latest Chez Balcony.

    Snap, for the doing too much and being uninspired re. cooking – in fact, working late and doing dishes 5 nights a week because I’m never home early enough to cook. [Sigh] (Nigel does cook, which is just as well as he thinks floors, bathrooms and laundry are self-cleaning, although I keep pointing out to him that this is not so.)

  6. homepaddock says:

    Chocolate is a good solution to many problems, though I’ve lately discovered Laughter Yoga which has a similar effect without the fat and sugar (which might not be a problem for you but are for me).

    At the best of times I find it hard to be inspired about every-day cooking because it happens almost every day along with all the other every-day and not-every-day demands on time and energy.

  7. violet says:

    it sounds like a great solution for those of us who overindulge!

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