Need A Can’t-Miss Wheel Of Cheese? Try Playing It Some Hip-Hop
If you want healthy plants, some people say you should talk to them. If you want to make delicious cheese wheels, try playing hip-hop music.
That’s the finding of a recent experiment by researchers in Switzerland who set out to determine how sound waves might affect the microorganisms that give the cheese its flavor.
“Cheese in Surround Sound”
The experiment, titled “Cheese in Surround Sound,” started last fall with nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese placed in nine separate wooden crates. Each assorted Fromage was played one of the various types of sound waves and songs, including Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “Jazz (We’ve Got)” from hip-hop legend A Tribe Called Quest. There was also one control cheese wheel that wasn’t given any music at all.
The cheeses were exposed to the music 24 hours a day over six months through a transmitter that focused the sound waves into the cheese wheels. When the cheeses had been produced, the milk came from the same farmers and was processed in the same vat so that the wheels would be as identical as possible.
Once the cheeses matured, they were analyzed by professional food technologists, who concluded the cheese wheels exposed to music had a milder flavor compared with the control cheese. The group also determined the cheese that was played hip-hop had “a discernibly stronger smell and stronger, fruitier taste than the other test samples,” according to a summary of the experiment’s findings.
A panel of Swiss chefs, politicians, and artists also sampled cheese from each wheel in a blind taste test and agreed that the cheeses that were played hip-hop or low frequencies were sweeter than the rest.
The next goal: creating another study with only the transmission of hip-hop to cheese wheels against other control cheeses in silence. Wampfler said the potential benefits could go well beyond flavor.
“The cheese can also work as a transmitter between different people who like hip-hop or who like folk or who like rock ‘n’ roll,” Wampfler said. “So this can also help bring society a little bit together.”
There’s no report yet on how the sound of NPR might impact the taste of cheese.
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