Hey Mr DJ, put a record on (if you want your plane food to be tasty)
If you're in possession of fully functioning tastebuds, you won't like airline food. It's rubbery and tasteless on a good day, or unidentifiable as a foodstuff on a bad day.
The solution may lie in serving it up with a dollop of Louis Armstrong, Debussy and James Blunt, apparently.
Research from Oxford University has suggested that the right music can influence the taste of food, by making it up to 10% more sweet or salty, no less.
With that in mind, British Airways has created a 13-track playlist to accompany their in-flight meals, which will be available on long-haul flights from next month.
The idea is nothing new, though. Heston Blumenthal has been serving a musical meal medley called Sound of the Sea at The Fat Duck for a while now. Presented on a glass-topped wooden box containing seashells, tapioca breadcrumb sand, shrimps, oysters and three kinds of edible seaweed (among other things), the dish is served with an iPod playing the sounds of breaking waves.
But can music really change the way your food tastes? Apparently so. According to science, here’s what you should put on the music menu tonight.
The savoury starter
The artist: Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
The title: Azalea
Why: the low tones complement savoury dishes, apparently
We say: hmm …
The British classic
Artist: Lily Allen
Title: Somewhere only we know
Why: the piano notes can enhance the sensation of sweet and bitter tastes
We say: who knew pop had so much power?
The sweet treat
Title: Ray of Light
Why: the high tones boost sweet flavours
We say: it won't be our fault when we have a second helping, then
The chocolate box
Artist: Otis Redding
Title: The Dock of the Bay
Why: the low tones are suited to the bitterness in chocolate
We say: we're pretty sure we could polish the whole box off with or without the music
The tipple: red wine
Artist: The Pretenders
Title: Back on the Chain Gang
Why: rock music can enhance the depth of flavour, making red wine appear heavier
We say: it won't help your head in the morning