Eat Drink Date

The Dinner Date of the Future Is All About What You Hear, Not Just What You Eat

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Imagine sitting down to dinner at your favorite restaurant and having your waiter hand you not only a wine list, but also a selection of recommended music playlists designed to enhance your eating experience.

As Jonathan Hirsch reports over on VICE‘s food blog, Munchies, there’s a burgeoning group of scientists and food industry experts who are studying how sound affects the way we perceive various aspects of the food we eat, such as its taste and texture. Although it’s still too early to know what kinds of restaurant party tricks their research could yield, here’s one tantalizing example of how it could elevate modern dining as we know it: At the U.K. restaurant Fat Duck, chef Heston Blumenthal offers up a dish that includes an “audio supplement” that’s designed to “enhance certain flavor components of the meal.” The dish was inspired by research Blumenthal did in collaboration with Oxford University scientist Charles Spence that found diners who listened to recorded ocean sounds appeared to better detect the salty and briny flavor profiles in the oysters they were eating.

Of course, no amount of strategically played ocean recordings or soft jazz or Graceland or whatever will save you from the sounds of a date gone wrong, but at least it will make your dinner taste extra-delicious?