“Cheese in Surround Sound” is the name of a fun culinary arts experiment that wrapped up last week in Switzerland.
Wheels of cheese have been bathing in sound as they ripen over the past seven months to answer a strange question: “Do sound waves affect the metabolic processes in ripening cheese to the extent that a sono-chemical impact on taste and flavor can be detected.”
The answer so far seems to be … probably.
The cheese wheels were continuously exposed to low, medium and high frequency sound waves, in addition to ambient, classical, rock, techno and hip-hop music (plus a control cheese, of course.)
Notable differences in taste and smell were reported from multiple blind taste tests last week, conducted by a team of jurors including artists, chefs and politicians. Hip hop came out on top with a “softer, more floral taste” according to one cheese nibbler.
“For chefs like me, these results are fascinating,” Chef Benjamin Luzuy, from French-speaking Switzerland, said in a media release. “This opens up new avenues for us in terms of how we can work creatively with food in the future.”
A forthcoming biomedical survey will examine the composition of cheeses from the experiment. A selection of different cheeses will be exposed to hip-hop next, according to a cheesemaker named Beat Wampfler, who worked with the Bern University of Arts on the project.