Have you ever tried to cook with the right musical background paying attention to how you perceive different tastes?
You are in the kitchen, the scent of dishes takes shape in the air and stimulates the appetite. Your dish is almost ready, and you can’t wait to taste it. But stop for a moment: have you ever tried to cook with the right musical background paying attention to how you perceive different tastes? Just like that, the sounds you hear while you are cooking and eating have a strong impact on how you perceive the taste of the dishes. So, as for pasta and sauce, fish and side dish, or meat and wine, why not learn how to create the right match between hearing and taste?
The benefits of music (even in the kitchen)
Listening to music makes you happier. It is not just an expression or a cliché: it is the science that proves it. Numerous studies, in fact, confirmed the close correlation between music and the benefits it brings to the psyche and human health. How is this possible? Essentially the human being is chemistry both in body and in thought, and music, thanks to its specific and peculiar vibrations, is able to modify some imbalances acting precisely on the chemical bonds of which man is composed. Therefore, among the main benefits related to music, there are its ability to reduce anxiety, thanks to the production of oxytocin, but also its anti-stress role or the characteristic of facilitating the understanding of the emotions you are feeling.
But how is this related to food and cooking? The relationship is much closer than you can imagine! Food and music are both linked to the sensory sphere: the first through taste, the second through hearing. Precisely this aspect creates a strong relationship between the two worlds; indeed, the five senses that characterize the human being should not be thought of as independent from each other but, on the contrary, they are closely related and capable of influencing and empowering each other. Indeed, this is what happens when you cook or eat with a particular musical background: the sounds contribute to the perception of the tastes of the various foods. Several research with the aim of confirming or refuting this aspect has been conducted and we have decided to report one study to make you better understand what we are talking about.
The Crossmodal Laboratory of the University of Oxford conducted several research with a group of volunteers who were asked to chew mou candies listening to different types of music both of low and high frequencies: the experiments claimed that severe frequencies increase the perception of bitter flavors, while high ones amplified sweet flavors, thus changing, even if slightly, the taste of the candy itself.
Therefore, the sound affects our way of cooking and eating and can lead to benefits even in the kitchen. Listening to the right music, in fact, allows you to savor with more taste and increases your satisfaction with what you are eating. Moreover, also the rhythm and volume of the music are linked to the culinary experience. In particular, it has been shown that too loud music induces eating unhealthy foods, while the rhythm affects the speed with which dishes are prepared and consumed, as well as the amount of waiting time we are willing to wait. The choice of the right song is therefore not superfluous: by releasing dopamine, music increases the degree of pleasantness and thus makes the cooking experience more enjoyable.
The sound-flavor relationship: a lifelong love story
Although scientific studies on the relationship between music and cooking and the related benefits tend to be recent, the link between food and symphony is, instead, much older. Since ancient times, indeed, music and food have been two arts in perfect harmony, and perhaps they found one of their greatest expressions during Renaissance banquets when abundant courses were served accompanied by dances and music.
In addition, the link between culinary sensitivity and music can also be told through the vicissitudes of some of the most famous composers of all time. For example, Rossini is considered the personification of the combination between food and music: he was a passionate cook and liked nourishing his music with the flavors of the table and the thoughts it aroused in him. Or Giuseppe Verdi, an extremely talented composer, but also remembered for his refined palate and his Piacenza recipes.
There are many examples of this type, up to the last century with the revolutionary and unconventional futurist cuisine. For the Futurists, indeed, culinary art is an experience where food blended with scents, colors and, of course, music, which became an active part during the gustatory moment.
Food and music are, therefore, linked by a very strong and meaningful relationship. While you are preparing your meals, focus on the goodness and quality of the ingredients, but do not neglect the surrounding environment. Eating is an all-encompassing experience, which certainly includes taste and smell, sight and touch, but also hearing.