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Publisher's Summary

Off Menu is a charming, fun-fact-filled deep dive into the little-known science of food and dining: why we eat what we eat, the nuances of our experience of taste and flavor, and the tiny, easy hacks and tweaks that, when mastered, can make a huge difference in our diets, meals, and relationships with food and drink. 

Have you ever noticed that a café’s coffee tastes better in a mug than it does in a to-go cup? Or that hearing the sound of a cocktail being prepared - the sloshing of the liquid in the shaker, the clink of the ice as it’s stirred - makes you enjoy it even more? In Off Menu, journalist Nell McShane Wulfhart explores the facets of food science that you’ve probably never thought about - lighting, background music, the brain’s reaction to the ping of a microwave - but have nonetheless played a role in how you’ve experienced a meal, a drink, or an entire night out. 

This lively, accessible audio project distills cutting-edge research into lessons on everything from what quick fixes can cover up your mistakes in the kitchen to what meal to serve when you’re planning to break up with someone. It’s the perfect listen to devour as you’re strolling through the farmer’s market, washing the dishes, or planning your next dinner party.

©2020 Nell Wulfhart (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

What listeners say about Off Menu

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fascinating listen

it's an interesting look into why we eat what we eat without getting into the whole "big food is out to kill us"

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Some interesting facts about food

I love food and the experience of eating it. I was hoping this would offer some interesting scientific insights. There were interesting insights, but on the whole I found this book somewhat pretentious, focusing more on alcoholic beverages and food/wine pairings. The narrator has a horribly annoying accent and tone. Maybe it would resonate more with people who host large dinner parties hoping to attract and influence clients and investors.

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  • Bonmeister
  • 2020-11-14

Excellent secret weapon... life hack!!

This book is an easy listen; it’s smart, entertaining, and manages to educate you on a wide variety of life hacks under the guise of listening to appreciate food and wine. You will come away with a tips on life that you didn’t know was possible. Here are examples: Hotels and airlines spend $$$ on proprietary scent in an effort to enhance your experience and recall. Did you know that many overweight individuals have poor taste receptors? Or that many lean individuals have high smell receptors? I had NO idea that music type, tempo, and decibel level can 1) impact how you perceive the taste of certain foods and wines or that hip-hop does a better job of aging certain types of cheese vs classical or jazz? Me either. Did you know that when it comes to air travel, you are better off (more satisfied) ordering an entree that is umami or tomato based? True story. Give this book a listen, it’s impossible to come away feeling like you didn’t learn something new, fun, and unexpected. Have fun, I did.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Karen M
  • 2020-12-02

Engaging food & drink trivia

Content was a balance of common sense and bizarre facts — so many chuckles. The narrator did an incredible job of delivering the content in an engaging manner. And I will apply some of what I learned when entertaining. Great listen!

7 people found this helpful

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  • D. Goetz
  • 2020-11-20

Wrong narrator. Good book.

Like trying to enjoy fine food with head banger music in the background, the narrator is shrill and consistently pronounced the overused word “satiety” incorrectly every single time. The book itself is really well written and very interesting.

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  • sojo
  • 2020-11-20

really interesting

I learned a lot listening to this book. I look forward to experimenting and putting some of this into practice. Great narration as well.

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  • alyssa rogers
  • 2021-01-05

I usually don't review

Wow, wow, wow. I've spent the last almost ten years as a server in fine dining and I wish I had this book when I started. I have spent the last four days quoting this to my friends and family and will definitely listen again when I'm getting ready to host a party. If you are at all interested in food, drink, or psychology give it a listen, you won't be disappointed.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Blaise
  • 2020-12-17

Practically nothing about food itself.

This book was loaded with tips on how to give the appearance that food tastes different. While it may be interesting for food marketers, I was hoping for more information on how to create actually better food. The narrator was fine, but seemed a bit monotonous by the end, trying to make every chapter sound like it was the most important.

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  • Joseph Conley
  • 2020-11-15

Actionable info

This book presents ideas you can use to improve the dining experience in your home.

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  • calculus
  • 2020-11-13

A guy speaking in a woman voice

Great book. But I have to say it is very confusing that a guy is telling the stories in a woman’s voice. LOL

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-12-12

"study"

Some of the "studies" sound like they are made up at worst and thought up by grade school kids at best. Save time and listen to dorito effect or omnivores dilemma instead of this.

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  • T. Harold Spencer
  • 2020-11-30

Need it in book form

Wonderful book, but needs to be available in print. This would be Three Xmas presents, but I can’t find it in print form and the recipients don’t do audible.

2 people found this helpful