Hip hop, please: Emmental tastes better if exposed to non-stop A Tribe Called Quest as it ages

Hip hop, please: Emmental tastes better if exposed to non-stop A Tribe Called Quest as it ages
Is it any surprise that listening to the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest should have a funky effect? In a “culinary art experiment,” Swiss researchers found that exposing cheese to non-stop music during the aging process changed its character, Reuters reports. And hip-hop had the most pronounced impact.

In their investigation into an “acoustic approach to cheesemaking,” scientists matured nine 10-kg (22-lb) wheels of Emmental — a semi-hard Swiss cheese — to a perpetual soundtrack of ambient, classical, hip-hop, rock or techno over a period of six months. For continuity, the milk originated with the same farmers and was processed in the same vat.

The cheese was aged in “special boxes,” with low-, middle- and high-frequency sound waves piped via mini transmitters (with the exception of a silent control sample, which was aged in a soundless box). “All the energy is directly resonating inside of the cheese,” Michael Harenberg of Bern University of the Arts told Reuters.

Musical selections included Yello’s “Monolith” (ambient), Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” (classical), A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got)” (hip-hop), Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” (rock), and Vril’s “UV” (techno).

“The hip-hop sample topped the list of all cheese exposed to music in terms of fruitiness and was the strongest of these in terms of smell and taste,” the researchers wrote in a statement reporting the results of a blind tasting carried out by a culinary jury.

In general, the cheeses aged to music exhibited a milder flavour when compared with the control. The researchers note that further investigation on a more extensive scale is needed. Cheesemaker Beat Wampfler reportedly said: “The idea is now to take five or 10 cheeses and put hip-hop on them and then compare.”

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