How we taste can be dramatically affected by suggestions and expectations.
Does pouring plain old tap water into fancy bottles make it taste better? Yes. At least in it did in a Penn & Teller episode on bottled water (please watch this video- very entertaining). Penn & Teller went inside a southern California restaurant that featured a water sommelier that dispensed extravagant water menus to the patrons. The patrons had no idea that all of the fancy bottles of water were filled with the same water from a water hose in the back of the restaurant. Patrons were willing to pay $7.00 a bottle for L’eau Du Robinet (French for faucet water), Agua de Culo (Spanish for ass water), and Amazone (filtered through the Brazilian rainforest’s natural filtration system).
How do cues prior to ingestion predict flavor perception?