Tasting the Sound of Food

Just for fun, Dear Readers, try this chocolatey experiment.

Grab your favorite chocolate bar and start enjoying its rich chocolate taste.

But wait! Before one bite is taken from the chocolate bar, play some light-hearted, higher-pitched, staccato (notes and sounds are detached from one another) music.

Now, enjoy the chocolate-tasting experience. Don’t eat the entire bar though! Not yet please.

Stop the music. Search for your favorite music that features a lower-pitch sound and more legato (smoother without breaks between the notes) in “flavor.” Take another bite or two of that same chocolate bar.

Notice any difference in taste? More than likely you did! It’s the same chocolate bar. But why did it taste different when listening to different types of music?

The answer has to do with a scientific discovery called tasting sound. The website zq.com/871605/sonic-season-changing-taste-with-sound explains the phenomenon stupendously.

In a nutshell, a scientific team led by Charles Spence at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University performed this 2010 study in which they used data from a psychological experiment to prove the hunch that they could change someone’s perception of food by playing them music that had different pitches and instrument characteristics.

“The team chose a number of 40-second music tracks they believed to possess a sweet or bitter ‘connotation,’ and played them for 20 subjects who were asked to eat some cinder toffee while listening, and then give their thoughts on how the toffee tasted.”

All-in-all, “the study proved their hypotheses correct: the music they expected to convey sweeter notes made the toffee taste sweeter, while the predicted bitter tracks made the toffee bitterer.”

Was that the synopsis of your chocolate-bar-eating experiment, too, Dear Readers?

When noise is added to an eating experience, it can completely change the flavor profile of that food.

Therefore, Dear Readers, play a game of April Fool’s with your taste buds. Let them tell you that bitter chocolate is sweeter than it should be or that even sour apples taste deliciously sweet.

But you’ll need to find some happy, bouncy, higher-pitch tunes rhythmically playing in the background to accomplish this!

Miss NiNi