We all know how smell can impact how we experience flavor, but did you know that specific sounds can also trigger taste sensations? Oxford University Professor Charles Spence has dedicated his career to researching crossmodal correspondences—i.e. how one human sense, like hearing, can organically impact all the others: sight, touch, smell, and taste. Spence has worked extensively with chefs including Huston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck, Ferran Adrià at his research kitchen in Spain and Charles Michel in Colombia. This week, The Roots and Stella Artois have teamed up, tapping into Spence's research to release two versions of a new song called "Bittersweet." The band and the brand say it's a song you can both hear and taste.
"This project fuses two of our passions: music and food," The Roots' Questlove said. "As someone who loves to experiment in the studio and in the kitchen, this crazy unique collaboration inspired by Stella Artois was the perfect challenge. You really have to try it to believe it; it will change your perceptions of food, science, and entertainment."
- Questlove Talks His New Book, Eating Crickets and Why the Food Truck Culture Captivates Him
- Music Is Making Teens Crave Junk Food
- Tracking Down Vietnamese Craft Beer in Ho Chi Minh City
Here's how it works: there's a high-pitched version of "Bittersweet" that is intended to trigger a taste sensation similar to Stella Artois' sweet and fruity flavors: