Does music affect the way you taste? Does volume change your perception of flavour?
If you’ve ever asked your friendly bartender or barista to turn the music down (or even up) when you’re out, or wondered why a neat tequila tastes different sipped in the post-work peace of you living room versus the lively banter of the Thursday evening office or Friday night bar, Dr Stu (via the Journal of Culinary Science & Technology, and a plethora of unnecessary exclamation marks) might just have the answer…
“The results showed that food tasted nicest when served with quiet classical music and a hint of background ‘chatter’. This was found to only work at certain volumes (precisely: 62-67 decibels) and outside of that range – the diners enjoyed the taste of the food less!
The most remarkable finding was the dramatic effect that silence had – it actually took away the enjoyment of eating! In a music-less environment, the sound monitors recorded only the quiet clink of cutlery – but this was experienced by all the volunteers as very noisy! It seems that in the absence of at least some ambient sound, the restaurant setting became a very uncomfortable place to be.”
And, on a related note, there might even be a relationship between taste and moral judgment. (See the Keene link below…)