What Does Sweetness Sound Like?

What Does Sweetness Sound Like?

Cambria Bold
Apr 10, 2012

News flash: the sound of food matters. We may think it's just about look and taste, but we're all synesthesiates when we sit down to dinner, according to studies cited in a recent article on Smithsonian's Food & Think blog.

In one such study, published this month in the journal Food Quality and Science, 20 people ate toffee while listening to two soundtracks: the first track had lower pitches, the second had higher pitches. While both toffee samples were the exact same, the listeners reported that the toffee tasted "sweeter" while listening to the higher pitched track. (You can try the experiment yourself here!)

This idea makes you wonder about food and sound associations we're likely familiar with, like the ice cream truck jingle. As Food & Think writes:

Do we prime ourselves for sweetness when we hear the ice cream man's familiar high tinkling jingles because of the legacy of soda fountains and the cross-sensory marketing genius (perhaps inadvertent) on the part of a crier who first wielded a set of bells? Or is it because of a deeper symbolism associated with the pitch of our voices?

What an interesting concept! What do you think?

Read More: What Does Sweetness Sound Like? at Smithsonian.com's Food & Think blog

Related: Mixing Food and Music: Turntable Kitchen's Pairings Box

(Image: Faith Durand)

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