Food and music pairings: music and recipe combos for the ultimate date night

Food and music pairings - carbonara

Have you ever noticed how our senses regularly overlap?

Meals that smell delicious often taste great, while good food texture can transform the flavour of an ok dish into something amazing. I don’t think we need to say much about how a beautifully crafted cake is going to taste once you set your eyes on it.

But it’s not just smell and touch that help to influence how our food tastes. According to research, sound might play an even bigger role than previously thought; and we don’t just mean the satisfying crunch of your morning toast.

With the right music playing in your kitchen, you could potentially enhance the taste of your next meal beyond its base flavours. Or better yet, use this new research to spice up your next date night with a musically themed tasting menu!

Can music change how your food tastes?

According to Professor Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist working at Oxford University, there may in fact be a correlation between different styles of music and their enhancement of different flavours.

To conduct this research, his team chose four distinct musical styles and paired them with various flavours to see how our bodies senses overlapped. What they discovered certainly got our tastebuds tingling.

Based on the research results, if you listen to high-pitched music while eating, the sweetness of various foods is actually enhanced. The opposite is found with low-pitched music, however, which favours bitter tastes. Crunchy foods are elevated by a sharp staccato, but creamier flavours are enriched by a melodic legato.

In other words, eating the right foods with the right music could potentially elevate a food’s natural flavours.

Now, while correlation doesn’t equal causation, repeating this experiment yourself could certainly make for a unique and interesting date night. With that in mind, we’ve taken the time to put together some tasty recipes and song combinations that you can use to surprise your partner.

Food and music pairings - infographic

Recipes and songs combos to enrich your date night

High-pitched music for sweet and sour fans

Low-pitched music for bitter tastes

Chocolate molten cake - recipe

Staccato music for food with a crunch

Caesar salad - recipe

Legato music for creamy foods

Spaghetti carbonara - recipe

Of course, you don’t have to use the recipes we’ve suggested here. With a bit of research, you’ll have no trouble finding recipes to match with your partner’s favourite songs to create a date night to remember.

But if you’re not sure what to cook for your partner or are interested in more recipe options, you can head over to the Wren Kitchens recipes archive for a burst of inspiration.

Alternatively, if you and your partner are looking to upgrade your kitchen then why not take a look at our kitchen planner and buying guides. You’ll also find plenty of inspirational pieces on how to bring your kitchen to life over at the Wren Kitchens blog.

Methodology and sources:

  • [1] Ziv, N. (2018), “Musical flavor: the effect of background music and presentation order on taste”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 52 No. 7/8, pp. 1485-1504.

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