A Very Important Study On Cheese And Hip-Hop : NPR


Researchers wanted to know if playing music to cheese could affect the taste. Dr. Beat Wampfler talked about the answer.


Can music lead to better-tasting cheese? That might sound crackers, but not to cheese hobbyist Dr. Beat Wampfler.

BEAT WAMPFLER: Cheese is covered with billions of bacteries (ph).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Bacteria are microorganisms that give cheese its flavor. He worked with researchers at Bern University of the Arts in Switzerland. And he set up an experiment – cheese in surround sound – to see how sound waves might affect bacteria in cheese. Nine wheels of Emmentaler cheese were placed in separate wooden crates. One had silence. The others each had a transmitter that played one specific song or sound wave for more than six months.

WAMPFLER: We had some really classic, nice music. We had the techno music, which is just repeating a little harder, the hip-hop cheese. And we had rock ‘n’ roll. And we had frequence (ph) – low, middle and high.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This month, a panel of Swiss chefs, politicians and artists sampled cheese from each wheel in a blind taste test. The cheese with the most funk…

WAMPFLER: It was more fruity and more sweet with the hip-hop sound.


A TRIBE CALLED QUEST: (Singing) We got the jazz. We got the jazz.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, the cheese that listened to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got)” was the clear favorite.


A TRIBE CALLED QUEST: (Rapping) Stern, firm and young with a laid-back tongue, the aim…

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And while it may be too soon to say for certain that hip-hop makes the best cheese, Wampfler says one thing’s certain.

WAMPFLER: The music makes you happy and so, I guess, also the cheese at the end (laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And as cheesy endings go, that’s not so bad.

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