A great meal is like a symphony for the senses, but can listening to music enhance flavors or even change the way food tastes?
Indeed it can, according to a new content series developed for Castello Cheese by Mother London and video network Tastemade.
Long-form episodes feature material scientist Johnny Drain, food anthropologist Caroline Hobkinson and sensory chef Jozef Youssef, who explore how sounds, shapes and colors affect the palate.
In the first 10-minute installment below, we see and hear several examples of music influencing taste as a string trio produces a soundscape to accentuate the savory, sweet, salty notes in Castello's Danish bleu cheese.
Three diners then sample Youssef's fromage treats—first in the silence of an aerobic chamber, and later as the musicians' "sonic seasoning" plays in the background. Their experience of the meal is palpably different with the classical accompaniment—more complex, with tangy highs and lows, or as James, one of the tasters, calls it, "a journey"—compared to the quiet.
"With the music, we somehow sort of elevated that sourness and sharpness," Drain concludes.
These next brief clips apply the same principles to shapes and colors. For example, some hacks to boost spiciness include cutting sandwiches into angular wedges and serving them on sharp-edges plates…
…while caramelized sugar elevates the creamy texture of this crème-brie creation:
"Castello are all about creating indulgent taste sensations with their cheeses," Mother London strategy director Jack Farrelly tells Muse. "However, with this campaign we wanted to open people's minds to what this means in practice. We were particularly inspired by the modern gastrophysics movement and its many pioneers from Oxford University's Dr. Charles Spence [a colleague of Youssef] to Heston Blumenthal. There are loads of amazing insights out there into the ways the senses impact taste."
"My favorite insight is that listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers makes spicy food taste hotter," adds agency creative director Jess Reynolds. Fact or foodie humor? We'll have to stay tuned for future episodes to find out.
While it's not exactly rocket science, the lively campaign offers an appealing recipe for folks looking to experiment in their kitchens, dining rooms (and anaerobic chambers) during lockdowns.