Cheese wheels bombarded by music taste different
When it comes to Emmental, the rapping may be more important than you think
This story was originally published on April 19, 2019.
A new study, "Cheese in Surround Sound – a culinary art experiment," recently made international headlines.
Beat Wampfler is the Swiss cheesemaker behind the study. Last year, he and a team of researchers from the Bern University of Arts teamed up to see what kind of impact soundwaves can have on cheese as it ages. Would it taste different depending on what kind of funky music it was exposed to?
"Bacteria are responsible for the taste of cheese," Wamplfer told Spark host Nora Young. "The bacteria are also living like us. They get influenced by humidity, temperature — why shouldn't they also react to music? This was the hypothesis."
Researchers placed nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental in Wampfler's cheese cellar for six months.
The cheese was then examined by food technologists. What were their conclusions? The hip-hop cheese came out on top, having a stronger aroma and stronger flavor than the others.
"It seems to be that you need quite a lot of power to influence the bacteria, and a lot of repetition," said Wampfler. "A lot of people described the flavour of the hip-hop cheese as more sweet, with a nice fruity flavour."
The cheesemaker said he was very pleased with the results.
"Bacteria are not stupid little cells that are growing around and eating food and reproducing themselves from minute to minute," he said.
"They also have a kind of communication with each other, and why should it be impossible to influence that with music?"