After a pause – I am back in blog land, because I couldn’t help myself with the fascinating topic of food psychology.
Thanks to ‘Neurogastronomy’, it seems in eating our way forward, we need to be carefully setting not just the humble dining table - but an entire stage featuring delights for all our senses whilst we tuck into that delicious meal. Well, that may be going a bit far, however I am a big fan of setting the scene at a dinner party, complete with lighting, music and a relaxed vibe. It makes all the difference to the food and the night or day. On second thoughts, there’s nothing to stop me compiling an album to match eating beef and burgundy pie is there?
Michelle Henderson wrote “Sounds really tasty“ below:
“What music makes coffee taste better? What soundtrack should accompany red wine? Oxford university psychologist Charles Spence, who works with top chefs, says our enjoyment of food depends on a range of sensory responses. All the senses – taste, touch, sight, smell and sound – combine to contribute to our enjoyment when we eat and drinking.
Prof Spence was behind the lab experiments that led to the creation of Blumenthal’s signature dish, “the sounds of the sea”, at his British restaurant The Fat Duck. The dish, which has featured on Australia’s MasterChef, is a delicate seafood creation with a twist – diners are provided with a set of headphones to listen to seaside sounds like crashing waves while eating. Some diners were moved to tears by the experience. “We were able to show that people rate the oyster significantly more pleasant when they have the sounds of the sea in the background,” Prof Spence said. His team also conducts research on the influence of flavours in alleviating pain, through his work with chefs and food – the area of neurogastronomy – which is clearly a passion. He is also working with Blumenthal’s team to inspire a dish featuring bitter and sweet flavours, with a matching soundtrack.
The research invites participants to match bitter and sweet flavours with musical instruments and different pitches. Most people opt for low-pitched sounds, and brass instruments, in response to bitter tastes like dark chocolate or coffee, Prof Spence says. A sweet or citrus taste was commonly linked to a more high-pitched, tinkling piano.” Sound designers are working with chefs on tracks to perfect the experience.
article taken from Townsville Bulletin 3/5/12