Texture has long been considered an important attribute for food acceptance. However, which specific textural characteristics contribute to overall acceptance of a food is not well understood. It has been suggested that texture contrasts and combinations are a universal feature in giving foods a desirable texture, yet this notion is largely based upon anecdotal data. This study uses multiple survey research methods to assess the importance of texture contrast and combinations across cultures (Poland, U.S.A., and Singapore). Participants (N = 288) completed a survey that included overt measures of food texture contrast importance as well as free response questions regarding texture. The overall importance of texture for food liking was not different across the populations. However, the participants from Singapore and Poland gave more importance to a desirable food having multiple textures than the U.S.A. cohort. When looking at free responses, participants were twice as likely to mention combinations (multiple textures) with a texture contrast when describing foods they liked, in comparison to foods they disliked. This was observed across all three cultures. However, the type and quantity of texture terms used within combinations were different among cultures. For instance, Singaporeans enjoyed more texturally diverse food combinations than the other two cultures. These findings highlight the importance of texture contrasts and combinations in three distinct cultures.
Keywords: combinations; contrasts; cross cultural; food preferences.
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.