Indian restaurants ought to be playing Arctic Monkeys and The Buzzcocks on their stereos, if this new ‘gastrophysics’ study commissioned by takeaway service Just Eat is anything to go by. They asked a professor at the University of Oxford, Charles Spence, to find out what songs enhance people’s enjoyment of different kinds of food.
Prof Spence used a group of 700 volunteers ordering takeaways, providing them with six different genres of music. The participants then gave feedback on how the music tickled their tastebuds. Each genre was found to complement – or clash with – certain types of food. So if you’re on the lookout for something to soundtrack your next takeaway, this is apparently it:
Want to make your sushi even sushier? Add the smooth jazz of Nina Simone.
Bruce Springsteen, The Who, The Killers and Arctic Monkeys are among those said to enhance the spiciness in food. Prof Spence said any kind of “arousing” music would have this effect.
3. All kinds of food
Out of all the songs tested, Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ made food taste worst. Don’t listen to that. And apparently hip-hop and R&B have ‘no noticeable impact’ on people’s enjoyment of different foods.
The stately movements of Classical music heightened the experience of Italian food. There’s no mention of whether that’s spaghetti alle vongole or a deep-pan, stuffed-crust pizza, though.
Most bizarrely, Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran are apparently the perfect choice for a chow mein. Must be all the bittersweet feels.
As well as sushi, jazz also works well on Thai, apparently. Maybe a bit of Frank.
It gets better. Professor Spence believes “tastes have tones”. He was the brains behind the idea at Heston Blumenthal’s experimental Fat Duck restaurant that gave diners an iPod playing crashing wave sounds while they ate seafood. It was titled on the menu as ‘Sounds of the Sea’.
He’s said Just Eat are “seriously thinking” about sending out music with their deliveries. “Here’s the food for your meal and as part of that here’s a CD to go with it. That is coming. There will be different soundtracks for different dishes.”
Graham Corfield, managing director of Just Eat, added: “We wanted to discover why music has such an impact on the enjoyment of takeaways. Playing some pop might just enhance your pad thai.” No, jazz will mate. Keep up.