Sound Influences Your Perception of Taste

Anyone who dines out knows ambiance matters. Now restaurateurs are taking it one step further, pairing meals with music, just as they would pair a certain food with a certain wine. The reason? Sound has been proven to influence our senses—including our perception of food—so a well-planned sound pairing can make that dish a truly multi-sensory experience.

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In one study, high-pitched piano notes correlated with sweet dishes (like desserts), while bitter-tasting foods (such as coffee) matched low-pitch notes on brass or woodwind instruments. What’s more, sound also affected how subjects perceived flavors: Bacon and egg ice cream tasted more “bacony” when subjects heard bacon sizzling in the background, and more “eggy” if sounds of farmyard chickens were played instead. So next time you’re out on the town for your favorite meal—go on, let it sing to you!

QUIZ: Does Your Environment Influence Your Eating?

 

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