Is it an unspoken rule at your house that you can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without serving pumpkin pie for dessert? But first, in my home growing up and still to this day –it was the turkey with all the trimmings- mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, Parker House rolls – did I leave anything out? But then there is that curious phenomena of, that after that Thanksgiving feast, how we can feel completely full, yet somehow there is always room for pumpkin pie.
Our ability to eat that ridiculous amount of food I discovered (with a little research) is related to the sheer variety of foods typically offered on our holiday tables. It’s called the “variety effect.” It seems that all that variety excites our appetites. Research on the “variety effect” proves that we tend to eat more when there are more options. When the color, flavor, or shape of a food is varied we ingest more than we do if there is just one choice. A little more research… Barbara Rolls, the director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Pennsylvania State University reports…” The mechanism that allows us to make room for dessert is called sensory specific satiety, which means that the body has different limits for different foods as a way to help ensure a balanced intake of nutrients.”
So, on Thursday -Thanksgiving- perhaps now, we can understand why we become eating machines. After a few rounds of the turkey and everything else on the table, chances are we are going to feel quite full. But when the pumpkin pie with the whipped cream is set on the table, our brains will sense an entirely different kind of food, and suddenly, we’ll all be asking for a slice of pumpkin pie with Earl Grey Whipped Cream. For the whipped cream recipe check this out. https://blog.teadog.com/2014/03/24/recipe-for-earl-grey-whipped-cream/
But wait… Christmas is just around the corner, and Christmas is notoriously a time of indulgence: there are all sorts of the chocolates, cheese boards, mince pies, cookies and other “yummies” that just keep coming and coming and coming! And once again the “variety effect”.