A recent study from the journal Psychological Science found “that ritualistic behavior potentiates and enhances ensuing consumption.” In plain English, engaging in rituals before eating makes the eating seem more pleasurable.
The authors of the study ran one experiment in which half of their participants were instructed to eat a chocolate bar in the following way: “Without unwrapping the chocolate bar, break it in half. Unwrap half of the bar and eat it. Then, unwrap the other half and eat it.” The other half of their participants were just told to eat a chocolate bar “naturally”.
Those who ate the chocolate after the ritual reported significantly higher enjoyment of the chocolate and were even willing to pay more for it: $0.59 for those who performed the ritual compared to $0.34 for those who didn’t.
Moral of the story seems to be to savor your eating experience to get more out of it!