TV chef Heston Blumenthal has revealed his novel method of cleansing his palate between courses – sucking on a tampon.
The chef, famed for his experimental dishes, believes the product is perfect to absorb any flavours left in the mouth after food.
“If you drain the moisture in your mouth you experience richness, creaminess and sweetness more intensely ... and there is really nothing much more absorbent than a tampon”, he told The Guardian.
He attributes the discover to oral physiologist Don Prince who he visited in the Netherlands.
“Don is the equivalent of me in the physiology department: he's brilliant but barking mad and although I think he surpassed himself this time, it was not uncharacteristic”, he said.
He said that before long the two were “playing around with different tampons” as part of the experiment.
He explained why they prove so useful: “You sit there and it grows and sucks the moisture out and just gets quite wet, swollen and woolly. Although it is quite funny sitting there with the little string coming out of your mouth.
“If you have a spoonful of ice-cream then put a tampon on the tongue for a couple of minutes, when you eat the ice-cream again the taste will be richer.
“It's certainly not something I would do for culinary enjoyment purposes, but it's an interesting way to explore the taste receptors in our mouth” he said.
“I can see why people might think it's a bit weird to put a tampon in your mouth, but if it's unused it is just a really absorbent material”, he added.
However he said he has no plans to introduce them as palate cleansers at his restaurants just yet: “There is no way I am thinking of serving tampons to people in a restaurant!”