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Can Classical Music Change The Taste Of Cocoa?

View of cocoa trees and agroforestry system,

I thought I’d share with you this incredible piece of research being carried out by the amazing company we source our chocolate from in Colombia. Not satisfied with how diverse and visually beautiful their cocoa farms are, Luker Chocolate are studying the effects that soothing classical music may have on the flavour profile of their cocoa beans.

We are all aware of how our sensory experience of taste is affected by our sense of smell, and how we perceive something visually – if it looks good, we assume rightly or wrongly that it will taste good, Luker has taken this a step further and are looking into the effects of music and how it affects our perception of taste.

This came about from a simple experiment some years ago with a panel of professional tasters, when they were given two identical samples to taste, but with one variable, sound. One sample was tasted in a quiet environment, the other in an environment where classical music was played. The results were that the experts pointed out differences in the flavours they were tasting, as their perceptions were affected by the music they were listening to.

So, to further look at the significance of music and flavour, Luker chocolate began a piece of research on whether music can influence the growth in their cocoa trees – can a cocoa pod which has “listened” to music since its first appearance create a different flavour of cocoa? 

cocoa bean
Theobroma tree – cocoa pods

How are they doing this, you may wonder – simply playing classical music for several hours a day to one group of cocoa trees for an entire growth cycle of the season, and recording the results, whilst having another group of cocoa trees as the control group. So, hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to learn the results of this lovely study and I will of course update you as the results become apparent.

How exciting to think that as our world struggles with all that is going on, there’s such a simple and gentle study of the effects of soothing, classical music on nature being carried out! I don’t know about you, but it certainly lifts my spirits.

As I find out more, I’ll keep you posted – it could be a great conversation for around the dinner table.

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