Insight & Analysis

Cheese is in the ‘hood!

Published: Apr 2019

Sophisticated cheese connoisseurs may baulk at the prospect of their favourite coagulation of casein being stimulated by the rough and ready sounds of hip-hop, but the beats from the Bronx are what cheese prefers.

According to Reuters, an academic study by a Swiss university, led by cheesemaker, Beat Wampfler, has exposed ten-kilo wheels of Emmental to round-the-clock sounds to see if it helps develop more flavour and aroma.

Nine wheels of the mild and nutty Swiss favourite (it’s the one with the holes in it) were each placed in separate wooden crates last September and subjected to 24-hours-a-day loops of different genres of music.

The experiment used mini-transmitters rather than loudspeakers, allowing all the sound energy to directly resonate inside the cheese.

Songs used included A Tribe Called Quest’s hip-hop track ‘We Got it From Here’, Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’ opera, Led Zeppelin’s rock classic ‘Stairway to Heaven’, Vril’s Berlin techno ‘UV’ and Yello’s dark ambient ‘Monolith’. A further three were subjected to either low, medium or high frequency soundwaves, and one wheel was given the silent treatment.

At the end of the experiment, a panel of experts was asked to carry out a blind tasting. “The most obvious differences were observed in strength of flavour, smell and taste,” Bern University of Arts researchers said in their report.

In two separate tests, the hip-hop sample topped the list being “the strongest of these in terms of smell and taste”.

Jury member, Swiss TV chef Benjamin Luzuy, told Reuters TV that “the differences were very clear; in term of texture, taste, the appearance, there was really something very different”.

The experiment will now focus on hip-hop, comparing a further set of cheese wheels.

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