Colours of your food

In Chinese cuisine, we believe in the right combination of Colour, Smell and Taste. Colour being the number one on the list. Have you given a thought about how important is the colour of the food you eat? Let's see what each colour of the food helps us in determining the degree of "edibility" (or how great it looks shows how great it tastes in your mind).

This is the colour that we would associate with charcoal.. or carbon, that is, burnt food. All right, we have read countless reports about how those carbon can be carcinogens? Relax.. I'm just discussing how you would relate the colour to the taste of the food. Burnt? It's bound to be bitter and rock hard. Not very appetising? Yeah!

However, don't forget foods that are naturally black. Black Truffles, Squid Ink (Pasta). These reflect a different class of food... or should I say exotic and exquisite food. Those that spells EXPENSIVE!

This is not a naturally occurring colour in nature. It reminds us more of ashes and nothing more. Most of us would not find Greyish-looking food wheting our appetite in any way.

It has got to be the most vibrant colour in food! We think about all the rich and Vitamin C packed flavours when we see Red. It is not deemed a sign of danger. Adds instant colours to a boring dish. Chillies, peppers, tomatoes and of course seafood! I love the Redness in food!

Oh and did someone say Red Wine?

On the other hand, it can also mean blood. Raw or undercooked meat are so red in colour that it makes you nauseous. So Red is good if it is not found in meats.


Eat your daily greens!! You can probably only find green in all the vegetables. The colour of chlorophyll. Packed with vitamins and good for health!

Blue or Purple

It is more purplish than blue. Purple fruits and vegetables contain more vitamins than fruits of other colours. The beautiful purplish hue of a blue potato makes your plain spud look more like a work of nature's art.

Yellow and Orange

Again we are looking at Vitamin C! Our favourite citrus fruits are found in all shades of yellow and orange. Blood orange is a combination of red and orange. It reminds of vibrant food bursting with wholesome goodness in the summer! Wonderful colours to add to any food.


Earthy colours. You will associate these foods to being very close to the earth throughout their lifetimes. Potatoes (skin) and mushrooms (shiitake) are two examples. Not too much flavours would you expect from this colour category but good all down to earth taste.

Let's not forget everyone's favourite Chocolate!! Yes! Almost everyone love it! It is not boring but is every patissiere's lover. If only we can have the whole world made up of Chocolate!


Expecting innocence and purity in this group of food? Not really. More a lack of flavours. Bland is the word. We will associate Protein-rich foods (meats and seafood that turn white after cooking) and Dairy products with White. It is actually quite a common colour and it requires the accompaniment of other colours to make the food more palatable.

That's it for all the colours of food. Which is your favourite group of colours? Thinking twice about the function of colours in your food yet?


My Bug Life said...

Black definitely does not appeal to me. I had squid cooked in its ink and served with rice in Spain...the dish didn't look appealing and the taste didn't go well with me. So, black is out for me..:D

SheR. said...

Hello! Shutter Buggie. Thanks for leaving a comment. Hm.. I love squid so I love everything cooked with it. I have to say squid ink pasta is not exactly very nice starter in a posh restaurant meal. Makes your teeth black! So embarassing!!!

Jasmine Shanea said...

I like black cos most of Singapore's best food is black - char kway teow, kuay chap, black pepper crab etc... haha... can't imagine singapore food without black! great post abt colors by the way. Issit true that the color red and orange makes people feel hungrier? my hubby wants to paint the kitchen or dining rm red and I'm like NOOOO!!

Alexys Fairfield said...

Hi SheR,
I love colorful food, especially bell peppers. I find that the red and yellow taste a little sweeter than the green.

I saw someone cooking black chicken on a TV show and it did NOT look appetizing at all. There is something about black that already has a negative connotation.

Btw, Great blog.

DineometerDeb said...

Pretty flowers!

I remember reading something about being blind and how it affects your tastes, but I don't remember what it said.

eastcoastlife said...

yucks. black is unappetising.... especially the herbal concoctions. One look you know.

I like my greens,..... red and yellow peppers. :)

SheR. said...

>>Jasmine sweetest. You are right! SG food is mostly black and brown. Hm.. Reminds me of Ya Kun roti.. brown and little burnt from the charcoal?

Not sure that red and orange makes one hungrier?? I was thinking along the lines of being a great teaser for a heavy meal. You know something about those colours make you salivate more.. acid.. and spicy!

SheR. said...

>> Dear Alexys! Welcome!!!
You know why green peppers are less sweet than red and yellow? Because peppers start growing and change their colours as they mature.. form green to Yellow then Red. That's why the ripe ol' Red is the sweetest!!!

Black Chicken??? EEks.. Oh.. but I love soya sauce duck which is brown. Heavenly.

SheR. said...

>> Dineometer! Hello!
Thanks for the info.. I will check up on that! :D

Those flowers are picked up from the forest behind our house. :)

>> ECL dear.. another peppers fan ?
Hee.. they are good for you! And they look so gorgeous! Make them into breads.. yummy!!

Chinese medicine.. yuck...don't remind me. :P

Anna @ Diet Recipes Blog said...

What an interesting article! I love food that's colorful, but if I had to pick just one group, it would be yellow/orange.

I know there are some restaurants that serve their food in complete darkness (they say that way you can savor the taste of food better). I don't really agree with that idea, because we also eat with our eyes!

SheR. said...

Hi hi Anna!! Thanks for popping by! :)

Oh I wouldn't like to eat my food in darkness.. I love a well presented dish. That's why we have to learn how to plate a dish as a chef. Visual is important too!!

Besides, I always wonder, when we eat food. We only get to savour it for a couple of minutes before it goes somewhere where we can't taste it anymore. So we should really grab those precious moments with our food, right?

Alexys Fairfield said...

Thanks for that cool info on peppers. Learning is such a fascinating sport.

Lotus Flower said...

Hi Sher,

I am returning the favor and hope you don't mind my linking to this article too.


SheR. said...

>>Alexys! No probs!!! You are most welcomed! I love chatting on your blog too.

>> Lotus Flower! You are most welcomed to pick my articles anytime!!! :D