Your Playlist Can Affect the Menu

Staff Writer
A new study finds that taste and sounds often go hand in hand

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Next time you're working on your slumber party mixtape, or whatever it is you party people do, keep in mind that if you're serving blackberries, it might be good to have some piano music.

A new study reportedly found that humans naturally associate certain smells with certain sounds.

Researchers at Oxford Univeristy had subjects sniff various samples of almond, apple, smoke, and caramel in order to choose from notes played by four types of instruments (piano, strings, woodwind, and brass).

Blackberries, it seems are linked to pianos (not brass), and sweet and sour notes are associated with high notes. Furthermore, listening to certain sounds can influence the taste of food.

Oxford psychologist Charles Spence has been studying the relationship between taste (using wine and chocolate) and sound for a while, recently giving subjects toffee while they listen to "sweet" (high-pitched) sounds and "bitter" (low-pitched) sounds.

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Even though it was the same type of toffee, the candy was perceived sweeter when subjects listened to higher sounds, and more bitter when they listened to low-pitched, brass sounds. So may we suggest Liszt's "La Campanella" instead of Beethoven's Fifth for your next dinner party?