Cheesemaker Plays Different Genre Music To Cheese To Impact Flavours
A Swiss cheesemaker has run an experiment to see if playing a variety of different music types to his cheese will impact their flavours.
Beat Wampfler and a team of researchers from the Bern University of Arts placed nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese in individual wooden crates in Wampfler’s cheese cellar. Then, for the next six months each cheese was exposed to an endless, 24-hour loop of one song using a mini-transducer, which directed the sound waves directly into the cheese wheels.
The “classical” cheese mellowed to the sounds of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The “rock” cheese listened to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” An ambient cheese listened to Yello’s “Monolith,” the hip-hop cheese was exposed to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got)” and the techno fromage raved to Vril’s “UV.” A control cheese aged in silence, while three other wheels were exposed to simple high, medium and low frequency tones.
The cheese was then examined by food technologists from the ZHAW Food Perception Research Group, which concluded that the cheese exposed to music had a milder flavor compared to the non-musical cheese. They also found that the hip-hop cheese had a stronger aroma and stronger flavor than other samples.
The cheeses were then sampled by a jury of culinary experts during two rounds of a blind taste test. Their results were similar to the research group’s conclusions and the hip-hop cheese came out on top.
“The bacteria did a good job,” Wampfler tells SwissInfo. The experts said A Tribe Called Quest’s cheese was “remarkably fruity, both in smell and taste, and significantly different from the other samples.”
When the experimented started, Wampfler - who is a veterinarian by day and cheesemaker in his free time - told the AFP last year that in his experiences all sorts of things can affect the flavor and texture of a cheese.
“Bacteria is responsible for the formation of the taste of cheese, with the enzymes that influence its maturity,” he says. “I am convinced that humidity, temperature or nutrients are not the only things that influence taste. Sounds, ultrasounds or music can also have physical effects.”
Michael Harenberg, director of the music program at Bern University of the Arts says he was skeptical of the whole project when Wampfler first approached him. “Then we discovered there is a field called sonochemistry that looks at the influences of sound waves, the effect of sound on solid bodies.”