After years of research alongside chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adria and Paul Bocuse, Charles Spence has confirmed the fact that “sonically seasoning” food with music can do wonders for culinary creations.
As a professor of experimental psychology, focusing on multisensory perception, Charles Spence has conducted numerous experiments to try and better understand the relationship between our taste, vision and smell.
The findings from his research are incredible. Not only have investigationsshown that pairing food with its country of origin can improve taste, butthat different sounds can affect taste perception e.g. bass sounds can makefood taste bitter, slow music lengthens the duration that the flavours laston the palate, and certain instruments can also be used to alter the tastesensation of specific foods like fruit. It has been shown thatblackberries,apricots and strawberries will taste sweeter when eaten alongside thedulcet tones of the piano. Studies conducted while participants ate a French dish, noted that it tasted better with an accompaniment of French accordion, equally an Italian pasta dish was improved with the sound of Puccini.
As Charles highlights,
“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 cab truly elevate our dining experience.”
So if you want to make your creations memorable and take guests on a gastronomic journey through the senses, then professor Spence recommends adding a bit of extra sonic seasoning to make a truly multisensory experience.