How sound affects the taste of our food
Geege Schuman stashed this in Science Too
High-frequency sounds enhance the sweetness in food, while low frequencies bring out the bitterness. So could sound replace sugar? And what kind of music should restaurants play?
I am sitting at my kitchen table eating chocolate in the name of science. (Turns out I'm pretty good at science.) I'm trying out some "sonic seasoning" whereby, if I listen to a low-pitched sound, my taste awareness somehow shrinks to the back of my tongue and focuses on the chocolate's bitter elements. When I switch to a high frequency, the floodgates to sweetness open up and my entire mouth kicks back in a warm, sugary bath. (Try it yourself here.) It is a curious sensation because it doesn't feel, to me at least, as if the chocolate tastes different. It is more that the sounds are twisting my grey matter, changing how it perceives the taste.
Wow! It makes sense now that I think about it.