I recently had the opportunity to do a food experiment like none other.
For me, a ‘food experiment’ usually means trying different spices or combinations of flavours to create a new and exciting recipe, or trying a type of food I’ve never had before. While I love those types of food experiments, this one was in a category of its own.
This food experiment involved recreating Virtual Reality (yes, Virtual Reality) experiments at home and making a note of what I experienced after recreating said experiments.
No, I didn’t put on any of those fancy Virtual Reality glasses at home. (The kiddoes probably would have run off to play with them, and the experiments wouldn’t have happened.) These experiments were done with spoons, plates, and music. You could do them too.
Not quite Virtual Reality, but still kind of fancy. How often do you get to take time in the middle of the day to indulge your senses while eating lovely, creamy cheese? This should be a daily routine.
Castello Cheese Experiments
The Brand and the Concept
To explain this whole recreation-of-Virtual-Reality setup, let me introduce you to the brand and the concept behind these food experiments.
First, the brand: Castello. They make creatively crafted, extraordinary cheeses (Danablu Gold, Blanc de Blanc, Havarti Dill, White with Truffle, and Aged Emmental, to name a few). Love, love, love Castello cheeses. (If you haven’t tried them yet, you must.)
Castello is no ordinary cheese brand. They pride themselves on their inventive, imaginative, artistic cheese creation style. With the help of artisan cheese makers, they make unique and unforgettable cheeses.
At the same time, they want to ‘offer consumers indulgent cheeses for everyday sensations.’ Fancy cheese for less-than-fancy (everyday) life, you could say.
Next, the concept: Castello recently created a new cheese, Castello Extra Creamy Brie, which is a creative take on traditional white mould cheese. To launch it, Castello teamed up with a Creative Neuroscientist to discover how the sensations of touch, sound, and colour can actually ‘hack’ our senses to change our perception of the food, in this case cheese, that we’re eating. (Hence the ‘Hack Your Senses’ campaign message.)
The idea behind all of this is that different sensations can alter our reality – ‘hack our senses,’ as they say – and make us experience something different with the same food. While they first experimented with this concept in Virtual Reality, they wanted foodies such as myself to recreate the experiments at home.
Truth time: Despite the science behind these food experiments, I have to admit I was slightly sceptical. How could the weight of a spoon, colour of a plate, or tempo of music truly alter my perception of flavour or creaminess?
Despite my reservations about the science, I got to work…
Experiment #1: Touch
For this experiment, I had a copper spoon and a plastic spoon. The copper spoon, of course, was weightier and sturdier than the plastic spoon. I placed equal servings of Castello Extra Creamy Brie on each spoon and tasted each.
To my surprise, the brie on the copper spoon tasted and seemed different. More luxurious and creamier than the brie on the white plastic spoon which felt cheaper and not as indulgent.
I will be laying the table with copper spoons to serve all future dinner party guests…….
Experiment #2: Colour
This experiment required a red plate, white plate, and black plate, each of the same size and weight. I placed an equal serving of Castello Extra Creamy Brie on each plate and carefully tasted each serving.
The red plate: The brightness of the red plate caught my attention right away and pulled me in. I felt the brie tasted quite sweet, perhaps from the red colour heightening my attention.
The white plate: On the white plate, I could immediately tell the brie tasted creamier, more so than with the red plate (and the black plate too after I tried that one).
The black plate: The brie seemed to taste a little bit more savoury on this plate. So, so fascination.
Experiment #3: Sound
This experiment was my favourite. I listened to three music tracks, including a fast, high tempo track and a slow, low tempo track. With each track, I ate an equal piece of Castello Extra Creamy Brie.
(Having an excuse to listen to music, uninterrupted, while eating brie? Pure bliss right?)
What stood out to me most was how the high-pitch music with wind and string instruments (with what is called a ‘bouba-kiki’ effect) made the brie taste creamier and slightly sweeter. (But, strangely, not as sweet as it tasted on the red plate.)
The Experiments: My Thoughts
The sceptic in me was proven wrong with these experiments. I fully went into them expecting not to experience any differences, and I was surprised that I did.
What was not a surprise was the delicious flavour of Castello’s Extra Creamy Brie. Loved it.
What to Pair with Castello Extra Creamy Brie
With the experiment over, I moved on to the next fun task: serving Castello Extra Creamy Brie to a few friends who popped in for appetisers and drinks. I put together a cheese board for everyone that included:
- Castello Extra Creamy Brie
- Red grapes
- Cherry tomatoes
Castello Extra Creamy Brie was loved by all of my guests, even without the ‘Hack Your Senses’ experiments. (They were all fascinated by my experience – it made for great party chat.)
Castello Cheese: Where to Buy
Castello has a wide variety of indulgent, inventive cheeses available at super markets across the UK, Europe, and even in some North America markets, including the U.S.
The Castello cheese I used in this experiment, Castello Extra Creamy Brie, is available at ASDA and Sainsbury’s now for an RRP of £2. Please do grab some when when you next go shopping as it is so, so, so good. Trust me, it is worth it.
This post is sponsored.