Washington State University has a Sensory Science Lab that tests all the ways we encounter what we eat and how that can affect how we think it tastes. Now they’re testing whether different kinds of music can affect how we think about chocolate. Plus: this weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, there’s a chance to go out on a bar crawl that’s like none other.

Exploring links between music and our perceptions of chocolate (Washington State University)

Charlotte’s 8th Annual Banana Bar Crawl 

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What we know about sweetness is that it’s as much about the mind as it is about our taste buds.

That’s true of every kind of food, really. Lots of factors can affect how we perceive food, including color, texture, and sound.

Washington State University has a Sensory Science Lab that tests all the ways we encounter what we eat and how that can affect how we think it tastes.

They once tested the sound of carrots. In case you’re wondering, raw carrots sound fresher to our brains than, say, blanched carrots.

Now they’re testing whether music can affect how we think about chocolate.

Researchers in Europe found that listening to different types of music can affect our perception of whether the chocolate is sweet, or bitter, or creamy.

So the WSU researchers are going to offer subjects a range of chocolates, some plain, others with raisins or nuts inside.

They’ll pair those with different kinds of music, some calming and smooth, others loud and dissonant.

In short, their job is to take two of my favorite things and try them out until they find the most enjoyable combinations of music and chocolate.

I think I missed my calling.

This weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, there’s a chance to go out on a bar crawl that’s like none other.

Participants will take to the cities taverns and restaurants dressed in banana suits.

And if you don’t have a banana suit? They’ll give you one, free, with your ticket.

Just don’t slip on any of the other drinkers!