Everyone knows salt and pepper are at the core of any kitchen but did you know that seasoning goes much further than this, you can even season your food with the simple sound of music. Following research by Professor Charles Spence (above) of the Crossmodal Research Lab at Oxford University has suggested that dishes should be “sonically seasoned” by the music of their country of origin. Spence recommends that a dash of opera, a sprinkle of flamenco or even smothering your Wurst with German techno can improve the perception of its flavour.
The Professor tested the idea of “sonically seasoning” food with native music – while eating a French dish, it is reported that it tasted better with an accompaniment of French accordion while Puccini improved the flavour of a pasta dish. The results were able to be replicated for German, Spanish and Greek food.
Spence explains: “We taste with our senses, not our mouths – our tongues do not taste food but actually our brain gets the mouth ready for flavour experiences. The environment around us has a substantial effect on our culinary experience – music can cleanse the palate, can influence and change taste and can heighten your experience. Hence small changes in the environment can truly elevate our dining experience.”
Additional findings from the report include
·Listening to classical music is likely to make wine, and other drinks, taste more expensive
·Slow music can result in flavours lasting longer in the mouth. While the more up tempo music, the flavour fades more quickly
·The more you like the music, the more you will like what you are tasting – this is an example of what is known as sensation transference. The idea is that we transfer what we feel about the music to what we think about the food and drink
·Pairing the right musical instrument with right food enhances taste – evidence suggests that the sound of the piano is a good match for fruits such as blackberry, apricot, and strawberry – likely because they are sweet
·The simple sound of ‘external factors’ can influence your eating experience – at the simplest level, think only of the sound that many foods make as we bite into and chew them. For example, that if made louder, the sound of the crunch will radically enhance your perception of freshness when eating a crisp. As Spence comments, “In fact, many of our favourite sensory experiences around food and drink have such an effect. We think of the crispy, crackly, creamy foods or carbonated sensations that we all know and love. They are dependent, in large part, on associated, often distinctive, sounds.”
Sony has recently launched its Multi-room audio technology, which allows for superior control over the music you listen to at home. Whether a dinner party with friends, or a simply relaxing evening – connect your compatible devices and enjoy Multi-room music in any room of the house to easily set the perfect atmosphere for the occasion.