Have you ever sat in a French cafe and noticed the accordion-driven musique Française, or heard a samba while sipping sangria? Science tells us that music from the same region as our food can enhance its flavour. But there are some more subtle, surprising pairings.
Professor Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University was recently commissioned by Sony to investigate how music can influence flavour. Some results are clear – if you’ve ever dined in a Hofbräuhaus you would have experienced the extreme – costumes, decor, fräuleins carrying steins, and of course the band with their addictive oom-pah music – all making that weiner schnitzel taste like something Oma would have prepared.
We taste with our senses, not our mouths.
In an article published in the Daily Mail, Professor Spence says, “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 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.”
Interestingly, research suggests slow music can cause flavours to linger, up-tempo music can make flavours disappear more quickly, and too much bass can make food taste bitter.