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Cheese exposed to hip-hop tastes better, finds Swiss experiment

sound box
Special sound boxes were made to transmit music to a wooden plate on which the cheese rested. swissinfo.ch

A quirky experiment that exposed Swiss cheese to different kinds of music found that hip-hop made it taste the best.

1. No sound (reference box)
2. Ambient: Yello – ‘Monolith’
3. Classical: W.A. Mozart – ‘The Magic Flute’
4. Techno: Vril – ‘UV’
5. Rock: Led Zeppelin – ‘Stairway to Heaven’
6. Medium frequency: 200 Hz
7. High frequency: 1000 Hz
8. Hip hop: A tribe called quest – ‘We Got (the Jazz)’
9. Low frequency: 25 Hz

Eight wheels of “Muttenglück” Emmental cheese from World Cheese Championship winner Antony Wyss were subjected separately to different musical stimulus – Mozart, A Tribe Called Quest, Yello, Led Zeppelin, techno and three sinusoidal sounds – round-the-clock for eight months. 

The experiment was part of a collaboration between students of the University of Arts Bern and veterinarian Beat Wampfler who came up with the idea. The project was baptised “Cheese in Surround Sound – a culinary art experiment”.

A blind tasting test eight months later found that the wheel exposed to hip-hop had the most unique taste profile.

“The bacteria did a good job,” Wampfler said on Thursday during the presentation of the results. The sensory analysis revealed that the cheese that was exposed to hip-hop was “remarkably fruity, both in smell and taste, and significantly different from the other samples”.

“We were overwhelmed,” says Professor Michael Harenberg who provided the scientific support for the experiment. “At first I thought it was a typical Swiss reaction because cheese plays such a big cultural role here in Emmental. But even journalists from South Africa approached us for interviews and information.”

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