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Science Finally Found Why Leftovers Taste Better The Next Day

Working from home? Get out the leftovers for lunch!

Food Scientist and Experimental Psychologist Professor Charles Spencer from Oxford University has gotten to the bottom of the Tupperware container and discovered why leftovers really do taste better the next day.

Teaming up with British supermarket chain Asda, they bravely opened their work fridges and found out why food becomes tastier the longer you leave it.

"In a curry, for example, when it's left overnight in the fridge, flavours disperse more evenly” Spence told the Guardian. “Though a curry may have as many as 20 or 30 different spices, the idea is they should meld so that no singular element is identifiable in the mix. At the same time, the longer meat is in contact with the sauces, the more it will marinate and take on the delicious maturing flavours."

However, Spence also pointed out that not all leftovers are created equal: "Dishes that taste better on reheating are moist (so avoiding the dangers of drying out or going soggy), and they often incorporate a complex range of ingredients,” he said.

As for why cooking and reheating something so many times benefits a dish, the Professor had the low down: "Everyone has heard of triple-cooked chips and, for certain dishes, it works the same way. A leftover Lasagne is triple-cooked too – first the slow cooking of the meat (once cooked), followed by a long stretch in the oven (twice cooked), before finally the reheat (triple cooked)."

"Also, when a curry, spag bol or stew has been bubbling on the stove, collagen from the meat breaks down. When left to rest in the fridge, this will set to a firm jelly and, once reheated, the gelatine melts to create a silky texture in the mouth.”

Did he say jelly? After last night, we're not sure Carrie would agree that something being more jelly-like was a bonus.

Carrie's opinion of jellyfish was very transparent.

WATCH: If you missed Carrie trying to keep down her jellyfish and chips, here's a second helping.

Further stats from Asda have also found the top meals Brits think taste better the next day: curry (33%), casserole (32%), pizza (27%), chilli con carne (23%) and spaghetti bolognese (21%).

There’s never been a better time to keep working from home and having leftovers for lunch.

Thanks, Science!