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The porcelain that changes taste

Read time: 2 Min
Norway, 16th September 2013

Can the shape of the porcelain we eat from affect how food tastes? The Norwegian porcelain manufacturer Figgjo says it can, and launches three small products to prove it.

– One of them meets the sweet and salty point on the tongue, one meets the sour, and the last one meets all the points on the tongue at the same time. The idea is that the shape enhances or changes the  experience of taste, says product development manager  Constance Gaard Kristiansen about the new products Figgjo Sans.


Inspired by oysters

Figgjo Sans was designed by the Norwegian duo Marte Frøystad and Runa Klock who wondered why  there were few alternatives to traditional cutlery and chopsticks.

– We began by asking ourselves if what we eat with and from can affect the experience of food. Of course the answer is yes! We wanted to create something you can hold and eat directly from, and found our inspiration in the shape and size of the oysters. But what happens when the object meets the mouth? We knew that wine glasses are designed to enhance the different flavors in wine by directing it to different parts of the tongue, so we started to experiment and see if we could achieve the same with food, says Runa Klock.

The designers tried different varieties together with one of Norway’s most renowned chefs, Even Ramsvik from the restaurant  Ylajali, and eventually ended up with three different shapes. The narrow one meets the tip of the tongue where the sweet and salty zones are found, and enhances sweet taste. One is more open and balanced, and the last one leads the contents to the sides of the tongue, where the sour taste is enhanced.


Can give scientists the final answer

– In recent years it has been debated whether the tongue map is myth or reality, says product development manager  Constance Kristiansen of Figgjo. –  Perhaps Figgjo Sans can give scientists a final answer.



The designers Marte Frøystad and Runa Klock asked themselves if the shape of the porcelain we eat from can affect how food tastes. This was the starting point of a development process that resulted in the products Figgjo Sans.

The three Figgjo Sans meet  different areas of the tongue – the salty and sweet, the sour or all areas simultaneously – and can thus affect how food tastes.

– Many design objects come and go in kitchens and restaurants. Some stay. These are the ones who in addition to being beautiful and functional, also manage to enhance the taste experience. Runa Klock and Marte Frøystad’s Figgjo Sans is such a series, says head chef Johan Laursen of Fru K. at The Thief in Oslo.


News from Figgjo autumn 2013:

Figgjo Sans

  • Figgjo Sans narrow
  • Figgjo Sans wide
  • Figgjo Sans wave


For ytterligere informasjon, kontakt:

Constance Gaard Kristiansen, product development manager Figgjo, tel. +47  40 40 85 28


Tonje Sandberg, press contact Figgjo, tel. +47 99 03 81 20


Runa Klock, designer Frøystad + Klock, tel. +47 95 88 74 14



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