Does Music Enhance the Natural Flavour of Food?

If there are two things I love, they’re music and food.

They often go together: KUSC’s classical music with my morning coffee and toast or one of my favorite records of the year with a late lunch. I’ve often felt like the right music made food taste better but now there’s science to back that up. Certain music, the research finds, brings out the natural flavor of food in the most unique ways.

“Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste,” explains NPR. “They’ve found that higher-pitched music — think flutes — enhances the flavor of sweet or sour foods. Lower-pitched sounds, like tubas, enhance the bitter flavors.”

The research team calls it “multi-sensory food perception,” which, I must admit doesn’t sound all that delicious. But still, it’s an interesting concept. And as we age, we lose our ability to taste all the natural flavor of food, which may be one of the reasons we turn to sometimes unhealthy ingredients or excess amounts of salt and sugar.

more on