“Jastrow's Bistable Bite”: What happens when visual Bistable illusion meets the culinary arts?
Youssef J., Sanchez CC., Woods AT., Spence C.
© 2018 Elsevier B.V. We report on the creative process underlying the development of an edible version of Jastrow's (1899) famous bistable duck/rabbit illusion. The culinary research team at Kitchen Theory took this well-known visual illusion as the inspiration for the creation of a new dish using both duck and rabbit as key ingredients. A simplified version of the illusion was stencilled onto the plate and a ‘crispy dumpling’ of confit duck and rabbit leg placed to one side. We report the results of a large-scale online study designed to assess the visual percept elicited on first viewing the edible version of “Jastrow's Bistable Bite” dish. We assessed whether the orientation in which the dish is presented initially would influence the percept that dominates initially. The results revealed that when served in certain specific orientations the two interpretations – duck and rabbit – were roughly equally dominant. Hence, serving the dish to the diner in one of these specific orientations is likely ideal for generating discussion at the dinner table around the role of vision in multisensory flavour perception. The hope is that the introduction of this dish onto the menu can be used to promote a sustainability message (given that many people believe that we should be eating more rabbit than is currently the case).