Music and food go hand in hand — music festivals like California’s Coachella and New York’s Governors Ball heavily integrate local cuisine as part of the experience, and music has also been used to enhance the flavor of beer, with one craft brewery using the Wu-Tang Clan to influence yeast during fermentation.
Although previous research has linked music to the perception of taste, a new book, Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating by Charles Spence, head of Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, deep-dives into how the interaction works and what restaurants can do to capitalize on it.
In one study to support the theory, Spence had 200 volunteers eat Pringles chips while listening to different sounds, the New York Post reported. Results showed that the chips were seen as being fresher when participants heard a loud crunching sound. In another study, Spence teamed up with chef Heston Blumenthal to serve two sets of identical oysters, one accompanied by ocean sounds and another by barn animal noises. They found that the oysters accompanied by ocean sounds were rated 30 percent saltier.
Spence told the Post there are many ways restaurants can influence the way you think your food tastes by simple tricks, which include: