Rude, rude, rude. That’s all we think when we hear someone smacking their lips, slurping their soup, or just munching away on a piece of fruit with their mouth wide open. We hate to see the food in their mouth, we hate to see it fall out of their mouth, and we absolutely loathe the sound any of it makes.
Some studies have suggested that this physical annoyance (or even rage) we feel when hearing someone chew with their mouth open is called misophonia, and some people experience it worse than others. But whether it’s a mild annoyance to some or induces a hatred unlike anything else to others, there is something to be said for those who do chew with their mouths open (much to my chagrin).
Check out a few reasons why people may actually do this abominable thing.
It produces more flavor.
Some people claim that there’s a reason they chew with their mouths open, and it’s that food “tastes better.” I did some browsing around to see what credence this statement held, and I was surprised to come across a few claims.
A lot of people that vouch for open mouth chewing say that the “better taste” has something to do with getting more air into the month, which in turn helps the aromas go up your nose more. And since a massive portion of taste happens through smell, well, your food ends up tasting better. Whether it’s actual airflow of the aromas or air in general bringing out the flavors, there seems to be a little bit of evidence that these people aren’t crazy.
In addition to this point, it can be noted that people who chew with their mouth open may actually eat less food in total since they’re able to enjoy the food fully. In contrast, closed-mouth chewers may eat more because they’re searching for full flavor that they otherwise don’t get because of chewing with their mouths closed.
In some cultures like Japan, slurping is considered good manners. For example, a lot of ramen shops are quite small. When you slurp your food (which actually helps cool down the noodles and broth), it is considered polite, as you’re showing your cooks that you really enjoy the food.
This is quite contrary to American culture in which any sort of excessive noise associated with eating food is quite rude to your neighbors in a restaurant.
No matter the case, we can still agree that open mouth smacking is still rude and considered impolite in our culture. These just serve to explain a few reasons why people may do it besides having no regard for their nearby diners.