The shape symbolism of chocolate. The figure shows the shape symbolism scale that has often been used by researchers working in this area. People are given a food or beverage product to taste or smell and are requested to place a mark somewhere along the scale that, in some sense, 'matches’ the taste, flavor, aroma, or texture of what they are experiencing (that is, tasting and smelling). Note here that we are not talking about the shape that the food normally has, but rather the more abstract shape that feels like it goes with the sensory qualities of the foodstuff being evaluated. Note also that the position of the angular and rounded labels on the scale are normally reversed on half of the trials to rule out any form of spatial bias in these tasks. Superimposed over the scale are the schematic results of a study by Ngo and colleagues  demonstrating that people match sweeter milk chocolate (with a lower cocoa content) with a more rounded shape, while matching the more bitter dark chocolate with a more angular shape instead. The small arrow indicates mid-point of scale.