They say a man’s stomach is the way to his heart, but the same could also be said for women as 22 per cent would only consider a future with someone who shared their taste in cuisine.
The poll of 2,000 adults also found 14 per cent would even end a new relationship if they had completely different food tastes.
More than half of respondents believed someone liking the same dishes and flavours as them makes them more attractive, with 17 per cent feeling so passionate about it, they would refuse to date someone with different tastes even if they were a millionaire.
Dr Christy Fergusson, a food psychologist, said: “Having studied the behavioural patterns behind people’s relationships with food for many years, it isn’t surprising to hear that food plays such an important role when searching for a partner.
“What someone eats and the food choices they make can give important insights into who they are.
“In dating it helps us to assess if they are going to be a good fit for us and our lifestyle and values.
“Most people recognise that in dating and relationships so much of our interaction is centred around food.
“Where to go for a meal, what to buy from the supermarket, what to have for lunch, what takeaway to order from. Food choice compatibility can be key in dating.
“It’s clear that we don’t only make decisions about compatibility with our head and our heart – but our taste buds too.”
Foods considered “safe” on a first date included chicken and chips (39 per cent), pizza (39 per cent) and steak (39 per cent).
On the other hand, foods to avoid on an initial date were said to be anything with lots of onion (23 per cent), garlic (36 per cent) or fish (10 per cent).
One-third also said they would prefer a home-cooked dinner made for them rather than going to a fancy restaurant for a first date.
The poll, commissioned by Peperami Chicken Bites, also found that for 40 per cent of respondents it takes only five minutes to make a judgement of someone on a first meeting.
But of those currently in a relationship, just 55 per cent felt they were compatible with their partner when it comes to their food tastes.
The research forms part of Peperami’s latest campaign – Love at First Bite – an experiment where single celebrities are matched with complete strangers, based on their love of the same foods and flavours.
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