WTF Fun Fact 13754 – Why Does Beer Taste Better Cold?

Beer lovers agree: a cold beer tastes better. But why? Let’s explore the science behind why chilling beer improves its taste. It turns out that temperature plays a crucial role in how we perceive flavors and aromas.

The Science of Temperature and Beer Taste

Our taste buds react differently to various temperatures. Cold temperatures numb the taste buds slightly. This numbing effect can dull strong, bitter flavors and highlight more subtle, refreshing notes. Many beers, especially lagers and pilsners, benefit from this cooling effect. They taste crisp and clean when served cold.

Warm beer, on the other hand, can be overwhelming. Warmer temperatures amplify the beer’s bitterness and alcohol content. This can make the beer taste too intense and less enjoyable. A study published in the “Journal of Sensory Studies” confirms that people prefer the taste of beer served at lower temperatures​ (KnowBC)​.

Cold Beer and Carbonation

Carbonation also plays a big role in the taste of beer. Cold temperatures help maintain the beer’s carbonation. This keeps the beer lively and bubbly. Warm beer loses its carbonation quickly, making it taste flat. The fizz in a cold beer enhances the drinking experience, adding a refreshing burst with each sip.

Carbon dioxide, the gas that carbonates beer, dissolves better in cold liquids. This means that cold beer holds onto its bubbles longer. The bubbles carry the beer’s aromas to your nose, enhancing the overall flavor. A well-carbonated, cold beer can be a delight to the senses.

Let’s face it: a cold beer is refreshing. There’s nothing like a cold drink to quench your thirst on a hot day. The coldness itself is a big part of why beer tastes better chilled. It cools you down and feels satisfying to drink. This is not just psychological; the cold temperature actually refreshes your body.

When you’re hot, your body craves something cool. A cold beer meets this need perfectly. The cooling sensation enhances the pleasure of drinking it. This refreshing quality is why beers like lagers, which are meant to be drunk cold, are so popular in hot climates.

Flavor Suppression and Enhancement

Different beers taste best at different temperatures. Light beers like lagers and pilsners taste best very cold. The cold temperature suppresses any off-flavors and enhances the beer’s crispness. This makes the beer taste cleaner and more refreshing.

Darker beers like stouts and porters can be enjoyed at warmer temperatures. These beers have complex flavors that come out better when they’re not too cold. Serving them slightly warmer allows the flavors to open up. However, even these beers can taste unpleasant if they get too warm.

The Psychological Element of How Beer Tastes

There’s also a psychological aspect to consider. People associate cold beer with relaxation and pleasure. Advertisements often show people enjoying an ice-cold beer in a fun setting. This creates a strong mental link between cold beer and enjoyment. So, when you drink a cold beer, your brain is already primed to enjoy it more.

This psychological factor can influence your taste perception. You might genuinely think cold beer tastes better because of the positive associations you have with it. It’s a classic case of expectation affecting experience.

Practical Tips for the Best Beer Taste

To enjoy beer at its best, follow these practical tips:

  1. Store Beer Properly: Keep beer in the fridge, ideally between 35-40°F (1.6-4.4°C). This keeps it cold without freezing it.
  2. Use a Frosty Glass: Serve beer in a chilled glass. This helps maintain the cold temperature longer.
  3. Know Your Beer: Different beers have different ideal temperatures. Lagers and pilsners taste best very cold. Ales and stouts can be served slightly warmer.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Scientists Explain Why Beer Tastes Better Cold” – Food & Wine

WTF Fun Fact 13753 – Mayans Used Chocolate as Currency

The Mayans had an intriguing and unique use for chocolate. They didn’t just drink it; they used it as money. Yes, you read that right—chocolate was currency. The Maya civilization, which thrived in Mesoamerica, innovatively integrated chocolate into their economy. Let’s dive into how this delicious system worked.

Chocolate in the Mayan Economy

The Mayans were among the first to cultivate cacao trees. They valued cacao beans highly. These beans were not just food; they were wealth. Cacao beans became a standardized form of currency. People used them to buy goods and pay for services. Archaeological evidence shows that Mayans traded cacao beans for items like food, clothes, and tools.

Imagine going to the market and buying groceries with chocolate beans. This was everyday life for the Mayans. The beans were lightweight, portable, and valuable. This made them an ideal currency for trade and commerce.

The Value of Cacao Beans to the Mayans

Cacao beans had a set value. A single bean could buy a tamale, a small meal. Ten beans could get you a rabbit. The Mayans even paid taxes with cacao beans. This system worked because cacao trees thrived in the region. The beans were always in supply but still valuable enough to function as money.

Not everyone had access to cacao trees, though. This made cacao beans even more precious. The beans became a symbol of wealth and power. Elite Mayans often consumed chocolate drinks as a luxury. This further elevated the status of cacao beans in their society.

The Cultural Significance of Chocolate

Chocolate had deep cultural significance for the Mayans. They believed cacao had divine properties. Mayan mythology stated that cacao was a gift from the gods. Consuming it was a spiritual act. Chocolate drinks were part of religious rituals and ceremonies. Priests and nobles drank it during sacred events.

This cultural importance added another layer to cacao’s value. It wasn’t just a commodity; it was sacred. The spiritual aspect of cacao enhanced its worth as currency. People revered it not just for its taste but for its connection to the divine.

How Cacao Beans Became Money

The transition from food to currency was practical. The beans were small, durable, and easy to count. They didn’t spoil quickly, making them reliable for long-term storage. The Mayans stored cacao beans in large quantities, ensuring they had a stable currency.

Markets and trade centers used cacao beans as the standard for transactions. This consistency helped the economy run smoothly. It wasn’t just local trade; cacao beans facilitated regional commerce too. The beans crossed borders, making them a widespread form of money.

The End of Cacao Currency

The use of cacao as currency faded with the arrival of the Spanish. The Spanish conquest disrupted Mayan society and economy. They introduced new forms of currency, such as coins and paper money. However, cacao beans remained valuable for a while. The Spanish even adopted chocolate drinks from the Mayans, spreading its popularity in Europe.

The decline of cacao currency marked the end of an era. Yet, the legacy of chocolate lives on. Today, we enjoy chocolate in various forms. Few people know its rich history as money. The Mayans’ innovative use of cacao beans showcases their ingenuity and cultural depth.

The Legacy of the Mayans & Chocolate

Cacao remains a significant crop in regions once inhabited by the Mayans. Modern-day countries like Mexico and Guatemala continue to grow cacao. The cultural and economic impact of cacao endures. Farmers today still value the beans, though for different reasons.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “The Maya civilization used chocolate as money” — Science

WTF Fun Fact 13752 – Top of the Totem Pole

Many people think the top of the totem pole is the most important. This belief is flat-out wrong. The bottom is often the most significant. Understanding this is crucial to appreciating totem poles properly. Let’s explore why people misunderstand totem poles and why the bottom matters more.

Totem poles come from Indigenous cultures in the Pacific Northwest. They are intricate carvings representing family crests, legends, or important events. These tall structures tell stories, and each figure on the pole has a purpose. People often believe the figure at the top holds the most importance. However, this is a big misconception.

The top figure is often the least important. Carvers place the most significant figures at the bottom. This positioning keeps them closer to the people who view the pole. The bottom figures usually represent the family’s main totems or the most powerful animals and spirits. This placement ensures they receive the most attention and respect.

Bottom Figures: The Real MVPs

Consider the Haida totem poles. The Haida are a Native American tribe from the Pacific Northwest. Haida poles often feature the most crucial figures at the base. For example, the “Wasgo” or sea-wolf appears at the bottom. The sea-wolf symbolizes strength and bravery. Placing it at the bottom highlights its importance to the Haida people.

The Tlingit people also follow this practice. The Tlingit often carve their most important clan crests at the bottom. A bear or raven at the base signifies respect and honor. This positioning shows that these animals play a crucial role in their cultural stories and beliefs.

Another example is the Kwakwaka’wakw totem poles. The Kwakwaka’wakw carve poles that tell family histories. The most critical ancestors or animals are at the bottom. This placement ensures that viewers first see the most important elements of the family’s story.

Totem Pole Misunderstandings

Why do people get it wrong? Western culture often values the top position. People assume the highest point signifies the most importance. In many hierarchies, like corporate structures, the top position means power and authority. This mindset leads to the misunderstanding of totem poles.

Movies and media also perpetuate this myth. Hollywood often shows the top of the totem pole as the prime spot. This depiction misleads people into thinking that the top is the best. Understanding totem poles requires setting aside these assumptions.

The term “low man on the totem pole” is misleading too. It implies that being at the bottom means less importance. In reality, being at the bottom of a totem pole often means holding great significance. This phrase does a disservice to the true meaning and cultural importance of totem poles.

Embracing the Correct Perspective

We need to respect and understand Indigenous cultures better. Recognizing the true structure of totem poles is a start. This knowledge honors the cultural practices and beliefs of the tribes that create these poles.

Next time you see a totem pole, take a closer look. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Appreciate the figures at the base. They are often the key to understanding the story and significance of the pole. Respect the carvers’ intentions and the cultural meanings behind each figure.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Totem Pole” — The Canadian Encyclopedia

WTF Fun Fact 13751 – Norwegians Read More

Norwegians love to read. A survey from 2010 highlighted this passion. Reading isn’t just a holiday activity; it’s a year-round habit. During Easter, many Norwegians dive into murder mysteries. They enjoy detective stories and what they call “påskekrim” or Easter crime. Easter in Norway means skiing, family cabins, lamb roasts, oranges, and crime novels. The newspaper Aftenposten reported this.

A study called Bokundersøkelsen 2010 showed impressive reading statistics. It was conducted by Norway’s publishers’ and book dealers’ associations. The study revealed that 90 percent of Norwegian men and 97 percent of Norwegian women read at least one book last year. Almost half of the women read more than ten books in a year. Norwegians don’t just read crime fiction. Literature, biographies, and political books also sell well. The local bookstores have a vast selection.

A Nation of Avid Readers

The survey described an “avid reader” as someone who reads more than 30 books a year. Ten percent of Norwegian men and 16 percent of Norwegian women fit this description. Books in Norway are not cheap. A new hard-bound book can cost over NOK 400, which is nearly USD 70. Despite the cost, Norwegians still buy and read many books.

Not only do Norwegians read a lot, but they also give books as gifts. When choosing a gift, they are most likely to pick a book. Nearly 80 percent of parents read aloud to their children at least three times a week. Books are the most common gift for children. Norwegians grow up with books. Randi Øgrey of the book dealers’ organization Bokhandlerforeningen told Aftenposten, “The most important thing is that we top the charts internationally with our reading.”

Norway has 640 bookstores. They have book clubs, and books are even sold in grocery stores. Øgrey noted that fewer people now think books are expensive. The rise of e-books and other media doesn’t worry her. She told Dagens Næringsliv (DN), “Our goal is to maintain this high level, no matter what the format.”

Reading: A Cultural Staple for Norwegians

The passion for reading in Norway isn’t a new trend. It’s deeply ingrained in their culture. The tradition of reading aloud to children fosters a lifelong love for books. This practice helps maintain high literacy rates and encourages reading as a leisure activity.

The survey also highlighted the diversity in reading preferences. While crime fiction remains popular, Norwegians also indulge in a wide range of genres. This includes contemporary literature, historical biographies, and political essays. Bookstores reflect this diversity with their vast and varied collections.

Norwegian readers also benefit from a strong network of libraries. These libraries provide access to books that might otherwise be too expensive for some. They play a crucial role in maintaining the nation’s high reading levels. The support for libraries underscores the value placed on reading and education in Norwegian society.

The Future of Reading in Norway

Looking ahead, the challenge for Norway is to maintain its high reading levels in the digital age. The rise of electronic books and the internet has changed how people consume content. However, Norway’s reading culture appears resilient. The commitment to reading is evident in the continued high sales of physical books and the popularity of bookstores.

Efforts to promote reading among the younger generation are crucial. Programs encouraging children to read from an early age will help sustain the reading culture. Schools and parents play a vital role in these efforts. By fostering a love for books early on, Norway can ensure that future generations continue to be avid readers.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Norwegians tops in reading” — Norway News in English

WTF Fun Fact 13750 – Tollund Man

Have you heard of Tollund Man, the ancient man who caused a 1950s woman to call the police?

Imagine a family cutting peat in a Danish bog and stumbling upon what they believe is a recent murder victim. This isn’t the plot of a Scandinavian noir but a real event that unfolded in May 1950, when the Højgaard family made a chilling discovery that turned out to be a window into ancient rituals.

A Grisly Discovery in the Peat Bog

It all began on a typical day in the bog near the tiny community of Tollund, Denmark. While working, Grethe Højgaard suspected something unusual hidden in the peat. Ignoring the initial skepticism from her family, she dug through the mud until her fingers brushed against something unexpectedly human. It was the well-preserved remains of a man. This discovery prompted an immediate call to the police, under the grim assumption that they had unearthed a murder victim.

Upon their arrival, the police quickly surmised that this was no ordinary crime scene. The body was well-preserved, with facial features and stubble still visible, suggesting a historical rather than a contemporary origin. This ancient man would soon become “Tollund Man.” But this was not just another cold case. He was a peek into the Iron Age, dressed only in a cap and a belt. A leather noose still wrapped around his neck.

Tollund Man: Sacrifice or Punishment?

Investigators and archaeologists took over, transporting Tollund Man’s body to Copenhagen’s National Museum for further examination. It became clear that someone (or a group) had hanged him. But not from a crime of passion or retribution, but likely as a ritualistic sacrifice. The careful placement of his body in the bog, curled up and seemingly at peace, supported the theory of a ceremonial offering rather than an execution.

Tollund Man was not the only enigmatic figure to emerge from these Danish bogs. Just 12 years earlier, another bog body, dubbed the Elling Woman, was discovered nearby, also hanged. Her elaborate braids and sheepskin cape hinted at similar ritualistic undertones. These findings, coupled with a third body found in close proximity, suggested a tradition of ritual sacrifice during the Iron Age in this region.

The Science Behind the Preservation of Tollund Man

What makes these bogs remarkable archaeological sites is their ability to preserve human remains for millennia. The acidic water, low oxygen levels, and cool temperatures slow decomposition dramatically, allowing us to see into the past with astonishing clarity. The sphagnum moss plays a crucial role, creating a natural mummification process that leaves skin leathered but intact, and facial expressions eerily preserved.

The Last Days of Tollund Man

Detailed examinations provided more clues about Tollund Man’s final hours. His last meal was simple yet revealing—a porridge of barley and flax, suggesting a humble existence. The absence of violence, apart from the hanging itself and the arranged posture in death, further emphasized the likelihood of a sacrificial ritual rather than a punitive act.

The Bog’s Role Through the Ages

The bog that cradled Tollund Man for over 2,400 years is more than just a grave; it’s a historical archive. These wetlands were likely considered sacred by the local people, used for rituals that appealed to the gods during harsh winters or as thanksgiving when spring arrived. Simultaneously, these bogs served practical purposes, providing peat for fuel—a practice that persisted into modern times, as evidenced by the Højgaard family’s peat cutting.

Today, visitors to the Silkeborg Museum can gaze upon a reconstruction of Tollund Man, his original head attached to a carefully crafted replica of his body. This display continues to captivate and educate, providing a tangible connection to Denmark’s distant past.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “There’s Something Strange Here” – Tollund Man, Grethe, and Death in a Danish Bog” — Psychopomp

WTF Fun Fact 13748 – The Klondike Big Inch Land Co.

Have you heard of the Klondike Big Inch Land Co.? It all goes back to oats and land deeds, naturally.

This story starts with a promotional stunt by Quaker Oats in the 1950s that turned into an unexpected collector’s item, worth more today than anyone could have guessed back when “Challenge of the Yukon” echoed in the living rooms across America.

Quaker Oats’ Land Rush Stunt

Back in 1954, in a promotional stunt tied to the radio show “Challenge of the Yukon,” Quaker Oats purchased 19.11 acres of land in the Yukon Territory, the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush region. They cleverly subdivided this acreage into 21 million tiny, one-square-inch plots. Each plot was represented by an official-looking deed. These were created by the Klondike Big Inch Land Co., a company Quaker Oats had established for this purpose.

These miniature deeds were placed inside boxes of Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice. The campaign was an instant hit. It captured the imaginations of Americans who were thrilled at the notion of owning a piece of the fabled Klondike. Some fans, myself included, collected hundreds of these deeds, aiming to amass a larger piece of the plot.

The Deeds of the Klondike Big Inch Land Co.

The deeds themselves were works of art: elegant green curlicues bordering cream-colored certificates. Each had a stamp with a unique certificate number and an official-looking red seal. An orange map detailed the location of each plot, adding a touch of authenticity and adventure. They promised ownership in a far-off land, albeit only a square inch.

However, the reality was less grand. Quaker Oats never intended these deeds to be legal titles to real estate. They didn’t include mineral rights, and the company didn’t register them. That would have been a logistical nightmare because of the number of deeds issued. Essentially, these deeds were novelties, albeit highly detailed ones.

Despite their questionable legal value, these deeds have become valuable collectibles. Pristine deeds can fetch between $25 and $45 each. This makes the stash of 72 deeds found by a reader potentially worth over $1,800. They represent a unique piece of promotional history, tying back to a time when radio shows were king, and cereal boxes could contain treasures.

The promotion ended, and in 1965, Quaker Oats dissolved the Klondike Big Inch Land Co. The land reverted back to Canada. PepsiCo absorbed Quaker Oats itself in PepsiCo in 2001, but the legend of the Klondike Big Inch lives on among collectors and enthusiasts.

Lessons from a Klondike Big Inch

This episode serves as a fascinating case study in marketing, novelty, and the human penchant for collecting. It also serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of understanding what one truly owns. For those holding these deeds, they own a piece of history, if not a piece of the land.

As a footnote, if you find yourself in possession of such curiosities, consider their historical and collectible value before dismissing them as mere novelties.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Taking Stock: Decades-old deed to one square inch of Canada’s Yukon Territory has some value” — The Oklahoman

WTF Fun Fact 13747 – Humans Warm up to Tweezer Hands

Apparently, tweezer hands can feel more like part of one’s body than an actual hand.

According to recent research, when it comes to bionic prosthetics, simpler might just be better. A study reveals that people can feel as connected to tweezer-like tools as they do to prosthetic hands that mimic human anatomy—and sometimes even more so.

Rethinking Prosthetics: Function Over Form

At Sapienza University of Rome, cognitive neuroscientist Ottavia Maddaluno and her team are using virtual reality to explore how humans relate to different kinds of prosthetic tools. Their findings may turn some heads—or at least twist some wrists.

The researchers equipped participants with two types of virtual appendages: a realistic human hand and a bionic tool resembling a large pair of tweezers. Through a series of virtual reality tests, they assessed how well subjects could adapt to using these tools in a simulated environment.

Pop Goes the Bubble: Testing Tweezer Hands

Participants engaged in a seemingly simple task: popping virtual bubbles of specific colors. It turned out that those using the tweezer hands completed the task faster and with greater accuracy than those using the virtual human hands. This initial test suggested that the tweezer hands were not only embraced by the participants’ brains but were potentially more effective for certain tasks.

To probe deeper into the subconscious acceptance of these tools, the team employed the cross-modal congruency task. This involved simultaneous tactile vibrations on participants’ fingertips and visual stimuli on the virtual reality screen. The goal was to see how distracted participants were by visual stimuli that did or did not align with the tactile input.

The results were enlightening. Participants generally performed better when the tactile and visual stimuli matched, indicating a strong sense of embodiment for both the tweezer and human hands. However, the tweezer hands showed a more pronounced difference between matched and mismatched trials, suggesting a potentially deeper sense of embodiment.

Simplicity Wins: Why Tweezer Hands Triumph

Maddaluno hypothesizes that the simplicity of the tweezer hands might make it easier for the brain to integrate as part of the body. Unlike the more complex human hand, the straightforward function and design of the tweezers could reduce cognitive load, allowing for quicker acceptance and utilization.

This theory ties into the uncanny valley hypothesis, where things that are eerily similar to human beings but not quite perfect can cause discomfort or unease. The too-real virtual hands might have fallen into this unsettling category, while the clearly non-human tweezers did not.

Practical Applications: The Future of Prosthetics

These insights are not just academic. They have practical implications for the design of prosthetics and robotic tools. If simpler, non-human-like tools can be more readily integrated into a person’s sense of self; they might offer a more effective and acceptable solution for those in need of prosthetic limbs.

Maddaluno’s team is now looking to apply these findings to real-world scenarios, particularly for individuals who have lost limbs. The ultimate goal is to develop prosthetic solutions that are not only functional but also seamlessly integrated into the user’s body image and sense of self.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “People feel more connected to ‘tweezer-like’ bionic tools that don’t resemble human hands” — ScienceDaily

WTF Fun Fact 13746 – More Parking Lots Than Housing

Oddly enough, some cities have gone to such great lengths to accommodate cars that they now have more parking lots than housing!

The city landscape across America reveals a startling fact: in many places, there’s more room for cars than for people. From Seattle to Des Moines, the concrete sprawl of these lots often surpasses the space set aside for housing. This phenomenon isn’t just an urban planner’s nightmare; it’s a real puzzle for anyone trying to find a vibrant city life amidst the vast concrete expanses.

A Concrete Jungle Where There’s More Parking Than Housing

Imagine a city where cars have more room to rest than people do to live. This isn’t a futuristic dystopia; it’s the reality in several U.S. cities where parking lots devour city centers. It turns out we have not only sacrificed urban vitality at the altar of convenience but also transformed downtowns into mere waypoints rather than destinations.

In cities like Seattle, the ratio of parking spaces to housing units is staggering. Seattle boasts about 30 spaces for every acre, overwhelming the number of residential units five to one. Down in Des Moines, the scenario gets more dire with a parking-to-housing ratio of 20 to 1 per acre. These cities, famed for their ever-rising skyscrapers, surprisingly cater more to vehicles than to residents.

The Parking Lot Takeover

The sprawl gets absurd when you head to places like Arlington, Texas, or Detroit, Michigan—cities where the car is king and the pedestrian is a pauper. Arlington’s city center dedicates a whopping 39% of its land to parking. Detroit, the famed Motor City, isn’t far behind, dedicating about a third of its downtown to car spaces. These areas have become so optimized for cars that finding anything else to do can feel like a scavenger hunt.

What’s the big deal, you might ask? Beyond the obvious urban blight, this sea of parking has profound implications. City centers that prioritize parking over accessibility tend to lack the density that makes urban areas vibrant and walkable. The result? Cities that are easy to drive to but not worth staying in. Moreover, this excess of concrete slabs drives up real estate prices, making urban housing scarcer and more expensive.

A Shift Toward More Livable Cities

Despite these challenges, not all cities have succumbed to the parking plague. Washington, D.C., and San Francisco are leading by example, with only 4% and 3% of their downtown areas devoted to public parking, respectively. New York City tops the list with a mere 0.4% of midtown Manhattan given over to parking spaces.

This trend hints at a future where cities reclaim space from cars for people. As more Americans opt out of driving—thanks to the rise of ride-sharing, public transit improvements, and perhaps soon, autonomous vehicles—the demand for vast parking lots is set to decrease. This shift presents a golden opportunity for cities to transform car lots into parks, housing, and vibrant public spaces that foster community rather than car storage.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “These U.S. Cities Have More Parking Lots Than Housing” — Atlas Obscura

WTF Fun Fact 13745 – Can Music Make Food Taste Better?

Can music make your food taste better?

Imagine savoring a plate of spaghetti while Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” plays softly in the background. Now, could Vivaldi be doing more than just setting the mood? Could it actually make your spaghetti taste better?

Research and some intriguing culinary experiments suggest music might just be the unexpected seasoning we’ve overlooked.

Sonic Seasoning

It’s no secret that a good playlist can enhance a party or a workout, but recent studies show that what you listen to while eating can influence how you perceive flavors. This concept, known as “sonic seasoning,” explores how different sounds can complement or enhance the taste of food. For instance, high pitches might make desserts taste sweeter, while deeper tones could make your steak seem richer.

Back in 2010, a groundbreaking study at Oxford University mapped tastes to musical elements. Researchers found that sweet and sour tastes were often associated with higher pitches, while umami and bitter tastes matched lower ones. Not only that, but certain instruments seemed to evoke specific flavors—brass instruments brought out bitterness, whereas pianos highlighted sweetness.

Culinary Scores to Make Food Taste Better

The idea of combining music with eating isn’t new. Medieval banquets sometimes featured live music alongside feasts, enhancing the sensory experience of dining. Fast forward to the 20th century, the Italian Futurists infused their meals with both music and bizarre theatrics, like their “polyrhythmic salad,” which was eaten while music played from a box turned by a crank.

Even the zany minds behind The Muppet Christmas Carol joked about the notion of “singing food,” a nod to dishes that literally perform as you eat them. And while it sounds like a punchline from a Muppet, the concept has its roots in real historical dining practices where food and entertainment were often intertwined.

Do Beats Bring Out the Flavors?

To see if there’s truth to the science, some food companies are already experimenting with sonic pairings. Barilla, for instance, teamed up with composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer to create the “Al Bronzo Soundtrack Experience.” This is aimed at enhancing the dining experience of specific pasta dishes through tailored musical tracks.

Imagine this: you’re about to fork into some rigatoni. According to Barilla, if you’re listening to twinkling bells and vocal accents, it might just make the cherry tomatoes in your dish taste sweeter and the bacon smokier. It’s a bold claim but one that invites foodies and skeptics alike to put it to the test.

The link between sound and taste might also tie into synesthesia. This is where the stimulation of one sense leads to involuntary experiences in another. Some synesthetes report tasting flavors when they hear certain sounds—a phenomenon that could explain why sonic seasoning might work.

Could it be that we all have a touch of synesthesia that allows us to experience more flavorful meals through the right playlist?

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Can Music Make Your Food Taste Better?” — Atlas Obscura