I think we're all fairly familiar with the chocolate that Cadbury offers nowadays and the overall flavour that it currently offers; however what if someone told you you could heighten the taste experience you got when you ate the chocolate just by listening to some music? I know for one I was interested when I was contacted by Cadbury's PR team to sample 9 of their chocolate bars alongside specific pieces of music that had been created by the London Contemporary Orchestra following a research project commissioned by Cadbury and carried out by Mindlab, which found that the power of sound and the type of music used could enhance certain qualities within food.
Michelin starred chefs often use other senses to evoke superior taste experiences, Heston Blumenthal probably being the best known one who uses sounds and scents to enhance the experience of eating his food. However it's something that is rarely seen outside of a restaurant setting and therefore I was interested to see what Cadbury had to offer.
Track 1 - A Glass and a Half Full - Cadbury Dairy Milk - a mellow, continuous, low-pitched sound, lacking in harmonic content
I must admit I was initially slightly skeptical whether this could work in a home setting with a bar of Cadbury chocolate but I was pleasantly surprised, I felt the slow melodic music made the chocolate feel richer and smoother. It made it feel as if it had a creamier eat and that it almost melted in time with the music making the chocolate feel as if it had a 'fuller' eat. Definitely enhanced the textural experience.
Track 2 - Daimond City - Cadbury Dairy Milk Daim - a very bright sound with consistent pulsing throughout with higher pitched notes layered on top
Unfortunately I didn't feel that this track did as much for the Daim bar, with it's popping pulsating sound it probably is meant for things with a bit more of a crunch and a pop than Cadbury Dairy Milk Daim, that despite having Daim pieces dotted throughout doesn't actually offer that much of a crunch, well not in the pieces I had anyway.
Track 3 - A Wholesome Whirl - Cadbury Dairy Milk Whole Nut - an up-beat tempo with a lot of rhythm variations
Unlike Daimond City this up-beat track definitely did enhance the crunch of the nuts dotted throughout the bar, making them feel that little bit fresher and crunchier. I also feel that it enhanced the overall nutty flavour present in the bar.
Track 4 - Bright Clouds Over Rocky Roads - Cadbury Dairy Milk Rocky Mallow Road - a less rhythmical, more mellow sound
I didn't feel there was a massive difference with this bar, it slightly brought out more of the zingy fruity flavour and slightly amplified the texture of the marshmallows but wasn't a huge improvement.
Track 5 - Smooth Sonata - Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel a smooth sound with very few rhythmical variations and relatively moderately pitched
Like with the classic Cadbury Dairy Milk the smooth melody within this track really amplified the melt and texture of the caramel. It make the caramel feel thicker and more luxurious whilst melting in time with the speed of the melody.
Track 6 - Cookies & Dreams - Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo - the sound is the highest pitched one of them all but with a moderate rhythm
Much like the Daim bar I didn't really feel that this melody massively enhanced the eat, it brought out the texture of the Oreo cookie pieces slightly more but there wasn't a huge difference in the overall eat.
Track 7 - A Fruity, Nutty Waltz - Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut -
a sound that sits at the border between soft and bright, with a medium pitch and average rhythmic quality
This song reminded me of some sort of snake charmer tune, it conjured up images of sitting in an Arabic souk, I felt this helped to amplify the flavour of the fruit and nut within the bar.
Track 8 - Crunch Time - Cadbury Dairy Milk Crunchie - a high-pitched, bright tone, with a lot of rhythmical modulations
Due to the almost 'popping' nature of the music I really felt this track helped to amplify the crunchy texture of the Crunchie pieces within the bar and improved the overall textural feel of the bar.
Track 9 - Edible Epilogue - Cadbury Dairy Milk Jelly Popping Candy - the brightest and most rhythmical sound
After listening to this I really feel that this is what the experience of eating the Daim bar should have been like; however it worked a lot better with the Jelly Popping Candy bar due to the wider variety of textural components - chewy jelly sweets, mini chocolate beans and popping candy. Made the bar feel 'funner' to eat by bringing out the textural components more.
I must say that I felt some songs worked better than others, those that either had a slow melodic rhythm when paired with bars that you would let melt in your mouth and up beat tracks that would help amplify bars with a high amount of textural components. The others ones, I felt, didn't make a massive difference.
Overall I must say it was a fun experience to try the bars with the addition of music; however whether anyone would actually replicate this at home more than once is questionable. Either way it's certainly a fun thing to try.
Taste - 7.0/10 - I didn't really feel that the songs massively altered the flavour of the bars but were more focused with the texture.
Texture - 8.5/10 - As stated above I really feel that the addition of music helped to bring out the texture more.
Appearance - 7.0/10 - Standard Cadbury bars.
Price - 8.7/10 - Bars are all affordable and sold across multiple retailers, music is offered free on www.cadburyflavourites.co.uk so it's not like you have to pay to download it.
Overall - 7.8/10 - A fun experiment to try out.
Anyone who likes experimenting with food and is interested in seeing how different senses can alter the perception of taste and texture. Would be a fun thing to do with the family.
WHERE TO BUY?
Cadbury is available from most stores and the music can be accessed at www.cadburyflavourites.co.uk