How napkin colour affects the flavour of your food

In Health


  • New report looked at relationship between napkin colour and food flavour
  • It found that colour is important to the way that we taste certain dishes 
  • Aqua blue napkins tone down saltiness while coral pink reduces bitterness
  • Mustard yellow improves the flavour of green dishes like sprouts and salads

Harry Pettit For Mailonline

Sometimes picking the right music or lighting for a dinner date can be daunting, but research suggests you should be focusing on the colour of your napkins too.

A new report examining the relationship between coloured napkins and the flavour of food found that colour is a powerful contributor.

The report reveals which colours pair best with which dishes to help give your dinners that extra bit of flavour.

Scroll down for video 

A new report examining the relationship between coloured napkins and the flavour of food found that colour is a powerful contributor (stock image)

A new report examining the relationship between coloured napkins and the flavour of food found that colour is a powerful contributor (stock image)

A new report examining the relationship between coloured napkins and the flavour of food found that colour is a powerful contributor (stock image)

NAPKIN COLOUR COMBOS

Aqua blue: Tones down saltiness

Coral pink: Reduces bitterness

Mustard yellow: Improves the flavour of green dishes and seafood

Anthracite grey: Enhances the taste of food with lighter tones

Napkin brand Tork partnered with Swedish food stylist and chef, Linda Lundgren, who paired dishes with a range of coloured napkins.

She told trade magazine The Caterer: ‘How do you make a strawberry mousse sweeter and richer-tasting? The answer isn’t more strawberries and sugar.

‘Instead, try serving the dish with a coral pink napkin. 

‘The colour actually increases the perception of sweetness and decreases bitterness, making it perfect for desserts.’

The experiments found that aqua blue napkins enhance the flavour of eggs and Indian food.

This is because it brings out orange and yellow as contrast colours and makes the dishes seem less salty, Ms Lundgren said.

Coral pink helps to decrease the bitterness of dishes like grapefruit and makes meals taste sweeter, while pink or rose red work best with desserts.

Coral pink helps to decrease the bitterness of dishes like grapefruit and makes meals taste sweeter, while pink or rose red work best with desserts (stock image)

Coral pink helps to decrease the bitterness of dishes like grapefruit and makes meals taste sweeter, while pink or rose red work best with desserts (stock image)

Coral pink helps to decrease the bitterness of dishes like grapefruit and makes meals taste sweeter, while pink or rose red work best with desserts (stock image)

Mustard yellow helps to improve the flavour of green dish such as sprouts and salads, as well as tart flavours including fish and sea food.

Anthracite grey helps to contrast the tones of lighter coloured table settings and meals, meaning grey napkins give Mediterranean food a richer taste.

Julia Wood, senior product manager at Tork, said: ‘Restaurant operators need to provide the very best experience for customers.

‘Getting creative by simply using complementary napkin colours with the dishes they serve will really make an exquisite plate of food stand out.’