Over half of Brits agree that the way to their heart really is through their stomach

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And when asked if this applies to themselves, 57 percent of women and 62 percent of men agreed.

Almost three in five admitted their mood can be improved with good food, and more than a third said some of their most treasured memories are around eating.

A further 27 percent class themselves as a “foodie”, while 24 percent feel they are a “feeder”.

Similarly, people claim feeding others brings them happiness (62 percent), while others do it because of a maternal or paternal instinct (36 percent), or because they like to share their culinary creations (34 percent).

The study was commissioned by brioche experts St Pierre, and also found cooking from scratch, knowing how to make something without a recipe, and not getting stressed in the kitchen are among the things that impress people about others.

A fifth also like it if someone knows the best spots for food in different cities, while a quarter are impressed if a host always has food on offer for guests.

On the flip side, those polled have tried to impress others with their great cooking skills (44 percent), by creating a meal out of leftovers (34 percent) and discussing food with a passion (14 percent).

Paul Baker, founder of St Pierre said: “The study shows just how important food is to moods, relationships and memories.

It’s great to see how passionate the nation is about food, and that the way to a person’s heart really is through their stomach

Paul Baker, founder of St Pierre

“Foods often bring back nostalgic experiences such as eating with family or friends, trying new cuisines for the first time, going on a first date or being on holiday or in a different city.

“It’s great to see how passionate the nation is about food, and that the way to a person’s heart really is through their stomach.

“Often the best pick-me-up is a simple homecooked meal or baked treat and we can all relate to that – it’s how we make everyday magnifique.”

The study also found almost half believe sharing food brings people together, while one in four said bonding over meals is key to their family dynamic.

And people typically have three conversations a day about food.

Reflecting on their love for edibles, 31 percent have been bought a food themed gift, while 37 percent have been the giver of such a present.

A tenth of the nation have even set up a social media page dedicated to their passion for food, and 14 percent have visited another country purely for the cuisines – with Italy, Greece and Spain at the top of the list.

The poll also asked respondents what it was that stood out about food in fond memories, with answers including the taste (61 percent), smell (42 percent) and appearance (36 percent).

But more than a fifth said it was preparing food with their loved ones (21 percent).

The study, via OnePoll, also found it’s important to 62 percent that a potential partner likes food.

And 26 percent admitted they have eaten food they didn’t like for fear of upsetting the chef, while 35 percent added that food is central to any family gathering.

When meeting up with a friend, relative or date, nearly half (44 percent) said it’s likely to involve eating.

A quarter struggle to understand people who don’t get excited by food, while 37 percent confessed that fussy eaters annoy them, and 39 percent admit that they’re always thinking about their next meal.

Paul Baker added: “We’ve always maintained that great food is a joy to be shared and the results of this research show that we’re not alone in our thinking.

“Whenever you ask someone about their favourite food, the reason for their answer is almost always linked to a treasured memory – and that’s a beautiful thing.”

St Pierre has developed an online quiz to identify the way to your heart, along with a host of recipes to share with loved ones this festive season.

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