Let’s take hip-hop ovens to CES 2024

19.09, Tuesday 10 Jan 2023

You gotta have a gimmick, and to my mind the best gimmick is jazz-infused smoked salmon.

There used to be a salmon smokery in north London. Aside from the juniper and beech wood, Ole Hansen (proprietor) would, once a day, sit down and play piano to the hanging fish – live jazz and occasional singing.

Watch: Michel Roux Jr meets Hansen & Lydersen (YouTube).

I argue that the sound waves penetrate the flesh of the fish and it goes in and it just gives and it enriches, he says.

I found out about jazz-infused smoked salmon a few years back from a TV show about the world’s most expensive foods.

It’s such a good gimmick! The story was everywhere for a few years with Hansen playing his jazz. It would be a great story to tell your dinner guests.

And that’s fine, right? Taste is some % psychological. Red wine tastes better if you know it’s an expensive bottle. Same same, I’m ok with that.

But I don’t suppose the bebop energies actually live in the memory of the fish molecules and transmit to your boogie-woogie taste bugs or whatever. Or maybe?

(Btw another of the world’s most expensive foods is a kind of barnacle which is so hard to gather that a number of the people gathering it… die? Every year? And this is part of how it’s marketed? For avoidance of doubt this is a terrible, terrible gimmick.)

Anyway, Swiss cheese tastes better when aged with hip-hop.

Last September, Swiss cheesemaker Beat Wampfler and a team of researchers from the Bern University of Arts placed nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese in individual wooden crates in Wampfler’s cheese cellar. Then, for the next six months each cheese was exposed to an endless, 24-hour loop of one song using a mini-transducer, which directed the sound waves directly into the cheese wheels.

Six months of “Jazz (We’ve Got)” by A Tribe Called Quest.

the cheese exposed to music had a milder flavor compared to the non-musical cheese


hip-hop cheese had a stronger aroma and stronger flavor than other samples.


The cheeses were then sampled by a jury of culinary experts during two rounds of a blind taste test.


the hip-hop cheese came out on top.

You can’t argue with science.

Well you can but let’s not.

Here’s the website (in German) and the press release (in English).

Look: something something ultrasonics influencing bacterial growth during cheese aging something something.


Cheez-It has teamed up with streaming music site Pandora to create what they are billing as “the first-ever sonically-aged cheese snack” in the form of limited-edition Cheez-It x Pandora Aged by Audio crackers.

The cheese used to make the crackers was aged for six and a half months using a whole hip-hop playlist. Congrats to whichever agency pitched that. Food & Wine, May 2022.

It is easy to mock.

BUT, rather than lazily disbelieve,

it almost feels truer to say that vibe propagates in a multimodal fashion through the world by mechanisms yet unknown. And I am kinda down with it? It is a more accurate description of the universe that I inhabit than a claim that vibe does not propagate?

Let’s just be open to all of the above.

And then let’s consumerise the emerging science of vibe gastroacoustics and take it to CES 2024.

Because it seems like there is a new fad oven every year or two… George Foreman grill. Instant Pot. Air fryers. And we can get in on that.

So let me propose a new Samsung oven with integrated proving drawer and Spotify built right in.

And a recipe book, just like microwaves used to ship with microwave-specific recipes. For example:

Hans Zimmer long-fermented sourdough.

Techno-washed micro herbs.


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