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Arts Post
Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 07/05/2012

Food truck tunes: What’s your lunchtime playlist?

The impetus for today's story about the music of food trucks came organically. One day a few months ago, while searching for food at the urban adult playground known as McPherson Square I heard six different songs in a one-block radius.

They were all distinctly different, so I decided to pick my meal based on which music I liked best. I settled on the truck playing Talib Kweli and Bob Marley. But whether you’re on a park lawn enjoying lunch or at a sit-down restaurant, music can change your eating experience if used correctly.
The Fojol Bros food truck is known for blasting music at its stops around the city. (DOMINIC BRACCO II - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

In the 2010 book, "Art and Senses" edited by Francesca Bacci, an art historian doing research on neural correlates of the experience of art, Bacci and David Melcher, a professor of cognitive sciences at the University of Trento in food-savvy Italy, analyze how our senses are affected by outside stimuli.

As part of an experiment in one chapter, two psychology professors conduct tests that determine that people think oysters taste better if they can hear the sounds of the sea while they eat.

The results of the tests led a London chef at the Fat Duck to serve oysters accompanied by a sea-shell complete with a mini MP3 player inside and headphones. If you can’t serve oysters by the sea, bring the sea to the customers.

Personally, I enjoy classical music when I eat. Typically calm and serene, the tunes of Beethoven or Hadyn in the background don’t make me feel rushed. A sushi place I frequent for lunch almost always has 90.9 FM WETA on the speakers. Somewhat counterintuitively, it goes well with the food.

At Silver Diners across the area, you can still pick your favorite oldies from tabletop jukeboxes. But if you could do that anywhere you ate at any time, what would pick? Let us know in the comments what kind of music whets your appetite the most — and listen to a playlist below of songs I heard for my food-truck story (you’ll need a free Spotify account).

By  |  12:15 PM ET, 07/05/2012

Tags:  music

 
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