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Need a Can't Miss Wheel of Cheese? Try Hip-Hop: NPR



Simon Walker, a student of the University of the Arts in Bern, checks a small music loudspeaker placed directly under an Emmentaler wheel.

FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images


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FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images

Simon Walker, a student of the University of the Arts in Bern, is examining a small music loudspeaker placed directly under an Emmental wheel.

FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images

If you want healthy plants, some people say you should talk to them. If you want to make delicious cheese try to play hip-hop music.

This is the result of a recent experiment by researchers in Switzerland who wanted to find out how sound waves could affect the microorganisms that give cheese its taste.

The experiment titled Cheese in Surround Sound began last fall with nine 22-pound Emmental cheese wheels housed in nine separate wooden crates. The assorted Fromage was played with different types of sound waves and songs, including Mozart's The Magic Flute, Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven, and Jazz (We & # 39; ve Got) from hip hop legend A Tribe Called There was also a steering wheel that did not receive any music at all

The Swiss cheese maker Beat Wampfler, left, and music director of the University of the Arts in Bern, pose with a vinyl record and an Emmental wheel by Michael Harenberg.

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Swiss cheese maker Beat Wampfler (left) and Michael Harenberg, director of the music department of the University of the Arts in Bern, pose with a vinyl record and an Emmental wheel.

FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images

The cheese was exposed to the music 24 hours a day for a period of six months by a transmitter that directed the sound waves into the cheese wheels. When the cheese was made, the milk came from the same farmer and was processed in the same vat, so that the wheels were as identical as possible.

After the cheese had matured, it was analyzed by professional food technologists, who concluded that the cheese wheels exposed to the music had a milder taste compared to the control cheese. The group also noted that the cheese that was played had hip-hop, "a much stronger odor and a stronger, more fruity taste than the other test samples," according to a summary of the results of the experiment.

A jury of Swiss chefs, politicians, and artists also sampled cheese from each wheel in a blind taste test, agreeing that the cheeses that were played hip-hop or had low frequencies were sweeter than the rest.

"I like the taste and the hip-hop cheese was my favorite cheese … Rock'n'roll and techno, it was not that big "said Beat Wampfler, a longtime cheese enthusiast who had worked with researchers from the Swiss University of the Arts in Switzerland on the experiment, to Lulu Garcia-Navarro of NPR.

The next goal: to create another study in which only hip-hop wheels are transferred on cheese treads to other control cheeses. Wampfler said the potential benefits could go far beyond taste.

"The cheese can also act as a transmitter between people who like hip-hop or like folk or rock 'roll," said Wampfler. "It can also help bring society together a bit."

There is no report yet on how the sound of NPR can affect the taste of cheese.

Lynn Kim of NPR edited this story for the show.


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