Why Does Food Taste Better Al Fresco?

I just got back from a fantastic trip to Southeastern Utah, in which I shared my sister and brother-in-law’s motor home, and we did quite a bit of outdoor dining. It reminded me of something that has been reinforced again and again and again during my travels: food always tastes better when it’s eaten outside. Why is that?

(This is by no means a scientific essay. If you’re looking for something that’s peer reviewed, you may want to look elsewhere. But as usual, I do have my opinions.)

I suspect that one’s attitude greatly enhances one’s taste buds. Generally, when I’m eating outdoors, I’m surrounded by people that I love, and the scenery is usually spectacular. (You don’t often hear of people picnicking in the town dump, do you?)

Also, when vacationing or just having a picnic lunch in the park across the street, there’s an opportunity to set stress aside. That has to enhance one’s appetite. I know that when I’ve been forced to eat in highly-charged situations, I’ve often felt sick to my stomach. So it stands to reason that the opposite would be true in times of relaxation.

And then there’s the effort factor. If you’re eating outside, chances are that you’ve gotten a little more exercise in than usual. In other words, you’ve “worked up an appetite.” (Well done, you!)

And cooking over a campfire or a grill tends to take a little more planning. It’s not like you’re popping a TV dinner into a microwave. So by dint of the extra preparation, you have really earned this meal. Even with the simplest of foods, that feeling of satisfaction is a good psychological sauce, indeed.

I’ve also noticed that food seems to taste better even in outdoor cafés. While traveling in Croatia, for example, more often than not we supped at tables located in quaint little alleyways filled with potted plants. I think I gained 10 pounds on that trip. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

steak on the barby

It’s fun to read books outdoors, too. Check out mine! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

11 thoughts on “Why Does Food Taste Better Al Fresco?

  1. maximo "MAX" TO YOU

    Barbara:
    Food is food is food. We lied during world war two. We never missed meals, worst case scenario
    a :gruel of rice and salt”. We also moved from town to town, makes food supply difficult. The
    city folks in the Phil had it worst. Farmers food to the city was confiscated. Do you think the farmers would venture back? There were always 10 people in the family of varying ages.

    Relatives and neighbors were kind. They shared their ripe cooking bananas. You may not
    believe it. There are more than 10 kinds of bananas with varying colors, sizes, and taste.

    I did not regret eing “hungry”. It made us apppreciate tehm

    maximo p fbella 10/30/17

  2. lyn sutton

    Not the same if the weather is rainy or cold…then food tastes better eaten inside, especially if it’s warm and spicy.
    Amazing how many things effect our experiences with and about food. I feel bad for those with no sense of smell or taste or without access to quality food. They eat purely for survival. We are so blessed we have the luxury to savory our food.

  3. lyn sutton

    Here’s a quote for you to dine by … “We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.” ~ Epicurus
    Food shared always nourishes the soul. 🙂

      1. lyn sutton

        Your welcome but I just thought of a food that even shared fails to nourish my soul…fruit cake. Ones’ soul should feel guilt about pawning that off on someone else. 🙂

  4. lyn sutton

    I encourage your readers to send you their picked over fruit cakes then to save you the work. 🙂
    Since it’s Halloween, would you consider this a trick or a treat?

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