A penchant for a certain snack food can explain a few things about your personality, and your prowess as a lover, according to Dr Alan Hirsch’s new book, What Flavour Is Your Personality?

“If you want to get a date, you shouldn’t be going to the bar. You should be going to the supermarket,” he says: “Don’t just watch what people drink. Watch what they eat.”

A Chicago-based neurologist, Hirsch heads up the Smell & Taste Research Centre and Treatment Foundation and is already well known for his work on which smells are sexual turn-ons.

His Snack Food Personality Test is based on a statistical study of 19,000 people, and attempts to link snack food preference to personality traits, with a view to offering an equation for a perfect love match. Food preferences are complicated, but Hirsch’s research is based on the premise that taste and smell are related to everything that forms us; for example, sexual attraction, nostalgia, buying habits, health and personality.

He found that definite personality traits did emerge for each snack food, those who liked potato chips were generally ambitious, successful and impatient. Favouring nuts denotes an easygoing, empathetic, and calm character. Those who like green apples value solitude and space and butter pecan ice cream is a give away of someone who respects authority and acts as a team player. The more gregarious among us enjoy barbecued food, meanwhile cinnamon rolls suggest a more sexy, sensual and ready-for-anything side to the character.

Hirsch has stressed however that it’s not wise to rely solely on his findings to find the love of your life: “Even though we found snack cracker people should go with pretzel lovers, it doesn’t mean that if you’re married to someone who likes Twisties, you should get a divorce.”