Coffee and chocolate together are a natural, delectable pairing. But have you ever wondered what would it feel like when you pair either your chocolate or your coffee with music? Do you think that playing your favourite playlist might actually affect how you perceive the flavours of the chocolate or coffee? Has it ever occurred to you that your favourite music might actually affect more than just your ears?
How Pairing affects our sensories
Having coffee or chocolate isn’t only about taste. It always has the potential to give you a multisensory experience that involves sight, smell, texture, sound, emotions and feelings of pleasantness after each sound pairing. It might also affect the scales of bitterness, saltiness, sourness and umami that you perceive.
A recent study held for sound pairing showed that the pleasantness of the music influenced the pleasantness of the coffee/chocolate, regardless of how pleasant they actually were. A study in synaesthesia, which is a neuroscientific area that canters on how a sense influences another sense, reveals that taste and sound are inherently connected. Even if not a single thing is changed about the food, our insight of the flavours in that particular food could shift depending on the response of our mind to the music accompanied by it.
In comparison to silence, when people listened to disliked music while tasting, they perceived higher level of bitterness at an earlier point in tasting. The sensation of sweetness was also shortened or sometimes eliminated. On the contrary, like music saw an increase in the perception of sweetness.
This may be because music has an impact on our mood, with liked music increasing positive emotions and disliked music increasing negative emotions.
The multisensory nature of food perception remains an ongoing area of enquiry. Studies held on cross modal sensory integration resulted that one sensory modality can enhance the response of another if both are active concurrently
The exact mechanism(s) that underlie the interaction between music and food perception have yet to be elucidated, with no dominant approach able to explain the current findings.
This occurrence is termed as sonic seasoning. If you have a multifaceted food item such as chocolate or coffee which has numerous dimensions of flavours such as bitterness and sweetness, it could be challenging for your brain to get lay hold of the specific notes as well as to add up everything. Listening to various pitches of music works to underscore specific attributes of the chocolate or coffee, which affects our perspective of its general taste.
When you consume a food like a chocolate or a coffee that has a lot of varying and complementary or even contrasting notes like sweetness and bitterness, it can be hard for your brain to make sense of it all and to latch on to something specific. And these different pitches of sound and of music sort of act as ways to highlight certain features of a food.
Another report to study and examine how music influences the taste of chocolate was commissioned by Cadbury. The results were as follows:
· Sounds with a high pitch match chocolate with crunchy texture.
· Musical notes that are low complement nutty flavours.
· Mellow sounds bring out the soft spongy textures.
· Steady rhythm boosts smooth texture.
· Quick upbeat music matches surprising textures that crackle and pop.
The food and the music — by essentially "meshing" them together. More sombre sounds draw out a bitter taste, for instance, while a more high-pitched tune makes your drink taste sweeter. Whatever is in your mouth doesn't change, of course; it's just how your tastebuds understand it that does.
Research also suggests that the perceived taste and flavour attributes of a drink tend to mirror the style of background music that is surrounding us.
Pairing, if done aptly will let you experience flavours in the chocolate and coffee that were underlined before. It would validate your pairing output more when there is a wider pallet of coffee and chocolate notes.
This blog post is an attempt to bring chocolate and coffee more close and present to you an inevitable experience of tasting!
P.S- We have also curated a pairing playlist for you keeping in mind that our coffee and our chocolate pairs best with.
Link to the playlist- https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1JFzll5uDARKpdkdjhpy8F?si=68a25d43c922408e&nd=1
Let us know in the comments what and how you paired 😊