The Swiss know a thing or two about cheese, and here’s their latest conclusion: It tastes better under the influence of rap music. Specifically, longterm exposure to A Tribe Called Quest results in improved flavor, which sounds about right.
As NPR points out, this conclusion is the result of an experiment called Cheese In Surround Sound. Students at Käsehaus K3 in Burgdorf and Sound Arts HKB in Bern placed nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese — processed in the same vat by the same farmer — in nine separate wooden crates for six months. Eight of the cheese wheels were subjected to the same song on loop 24 hours a day for six and a half months. The ninth was a control cheese wheel that was deprived of the joy of music. Some of the songs included Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” and Tribe’s “Jazz (We’ve Got).”
“Once matured, the cheeses were analysed by professional food technologists in a sensory consensus analysis and submitted to a panel of highly qualified culinary jurors in a blind taste test,” explained Michael Harenberg, Sound Arts HKB’s director of studies, in an official report on the findings. Here’s more from that report:
The ZHAW Food Perception Research Group concluded that the cheeses exposed to music had a generally mild flavour compared to the control test sample. Their report also confirms that the cheese exposed to hip hop music displayed a discernibly stronger smell and stronger, fruitier taste than the other test samples. The report recommends carrying out an investigation on a larger scale in order to confirm the hypothesis.
Supposedly cheese responded better to lower frequencies, which makes sense given that “Jazz (We’ve Got)” is on The Low End Theory. Regarding that Tribe-seasoned offering, cheese enthusiast Beat Wampfler affirmed to NPR, “I like its flavor and so the hip-hop cheese was my favorite cheese … rock ‘n’ roll and techno, there was not such a big difference.” Apparently it’s not just a gimmicky stunt — according to the report, there are measurable differences between the cheeses that go beyond subjective taste preferences:
The bio-acoustic impact of sound waves affects metabolic processes in cheese, to the point where a discernible difference in flavour becomes apparent – one which can even be visualised using food technology. Put simply, cheese that has been exposed to music tastes different.
You know how every chain restaurant advertises chipotle mayonnaise and applewood-smoked bacon? Maybe now they’ll all be touting their rap-seasoned cheese too.
Some more photos for your life enrichment: