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Friday, 24 May, 2002, 19:13 GMT 20:13 UK
Sunday roast tops meal league
Does a roast make your mouth water?
There is nothing better than a roast dinner to whet the appetite of Britons, a study suggests.

Research carried out on a cross-section of hungry subjects at the Royal Society of Medicine in London has found the classic Sunday meal is the country's favourite dish.

It beats the traditional fare of fish and chips and leaves exotic alternatives such as curry and sushi trailing in its wake.

Top meals
1. Roast dinner
2. Fish and chips
3. Sausage and mash
4. Paella
5. Jacket potato
6. Curry
7. Pasta
8. Stir fry
9. Cous cous
10. Sushi
The findings are based on a scientific assessment of what makes the British mouth water.

Nutritionist Lyndel Costain analysed saliva production in the mouths of people when they were presented with a variety of meals.

Saliva tests

Tests on the subjects, which included a doctor, fireman and secretary, found that the human mouth produces 889 milligrams of saliva when there is no food in sight.

That figure remained the same when the subjects were shown pictures of sushi. It increased marginally when images of cous cous, stir fry and pasta were revealed.

Curry, jacket potatoes and paella had a better impact.

However, the biggest increase was seen with traditional meals like sausages and mash, fish and chips and roast dinners.

The thought of eating fish and chips saw saliva rise to 1,452 milligrams but roast dinners saw saliva increase to as much as 1,707 milligrams.

Ms Costain said she had not been surprised by the findings.

She said: "Given our love of easy and familiar staples like the potato it is no surprise that bangers and mash, roast dinners and fish and chips perform so well against some of the more fancied foreign imports.

"Our body's response mechanisms don't lie. This study demonstrates that it's the classic British meals which get our taste buds excited."

The study was carried out for food researchers McCain.

Its marketing controller Rob Waddell said: "The results show that despite the increasing availability of exotic new foods and flavours, it's the classic simple staples like fish, chips and roast potatoes that really get our juices flowing."

See also:

10 Mar 02 | Health
19 Mar 01 | Health
30 Nov 00 | UK
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