We all know that our sense of smell plays as large of a role in the enjoyment of food as our taste buds do. But what about our sense of hearing? Where does that fit into the equation? In carrying out some investigations, I came across a term psychologists coin "digital seasoning," and decided to see what this term was all about by applying it to music and food.

What I Found

A recent study conducted by the University of Oxford's Crossmodal Research Laboratory explains how listening to the right music can enhance the pleasure one experiences during a meal or when drinking beverages. This combined effect has recently been referred to as "digital seasoning." 

Let's toast to that

According to an article published by the Journal of Culinary Science and Technology, music and noise levels can affect people's enjoyment of what they eat. Soft classical music, for example, increases a diner's satisfaction while loud music and silence creates a negative impact. 

While I am no expert in such matters, my guess is that listening to different genres of music can contribute to an overall positive dining experience. Here are the recommendations that I have: 

Indian Food: Indie

rice, curry, chicken
Eunice Choi

It turns out that Indie rock music is the best complement for Indian food. Spiciness is brought out by fast, arousing music, which makes eating that plate of biryani much more enjoyable and pleasurable. 

Bombay Bicycle Club – "Feel"

Alt -J (∆) – "Breezeblocks"

Sushi: Jazz

Photo by Kuba Boski | Unsplash

kubaboski on unsplash

'Cause seriously, who wouldn't want to be listening to some Norah Jones playing in the background while working on that delicious salmon sushi?

Corinne Bailey Rae – "Put Your Records On"

Nina Simone – "Feeling Good"

Chinese Food: Pop

vegetable, pasta, sauce, meat, tomato, cheese
Ashton Caudle

Findings from previous research shows that high-pitched, fast-paced and dissonant music can emphasize the sourness of certain foods, such as sweet and sour sauce found in Chinese cuisine. 

Taylor Swift – "Blank Space"

Ed Sheeran – "Sing"

Molten Lava Cake/Dessert: R&B

chocolate, cake, truffle, chocolate cake, cream
Helena Lin

Imagine yourself staring at that molten lava cake right in front of you. To quote Drake, "I've got my eyes on you" might've popped into your mind as you picked up a fork, made the first cut, and watched that chocolate ooze out. 

Drake – "Hold On We're Going Home"

Chris Brown – "Back To Sleep"

Breakfast Food: Soul

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina | Unsplash

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Think of the term digital seasoning when reaching out for that bottle of ketchup or salt and pepper that you're adding to your food. Just that simple act of adding condiments to your breakfast could determine your mood for the day.

You want it to have a significant effect on your meal, but not to the extent that it becomes overpowering. Remember—moderation is everything!

John Fred & His Playboy Bar – "Judy In The Sky (With Diamonds)"

The Temptations – "My Girl"

Earth, Wind and Fire – "September"

And of course... 

Banana Pancakes: Jack Johnson  

banana, chocolate, syrup, cream
Andrea Kang

Who could forget this classic? The OG song to listen to when enjoying your delicious stack of pure heaven.  

Food for thought

Perhaps it's possible to enjoy food with music after all. Besides, aren't we always trying to find new ways to do so? I know I would. On that note, I think I'll make myself some banana pancakes and enjoy it with a side of Jack Johnson.

#SpoonTip: If you happen to be listening to Justin Bieber, it's probably best to stop eating completely (unless of course, you're willing to suck the enjoyment out of the meal you are about to consume).