28 April 2013

"Vibrated, not stirred"

There’s a theory making the rounds—I first heard it from David Wolowidnyk, who runs the bar at West, a well-regarded Vancouver restaurant—that vibrations of the right frequency will cause the molecules in a drink to rearrange themselves in curious ways, thereby altering or enhancing the flavor... One thing I learned rather quickly: pulling out a tuning fork in a bar and putting it against your drink is an effective way to ensure that no one will sit near you.
The rest of the story at The Atlantic indicates that there is no objective evidence that the tuning fork alters/improves the drink.


  1. If so, then theoretically humming to your drink will produce a similar effect.

    And after several moves, I have no freaking idea where my tuning fork is.

  2. I think I can taste the pseudo-science in this one.

    I can sort of see prolonged vibrations having an effect on a mixture, in the same way that shaking a can of mixed nuts brings the large ones to the surface. I'm thinking however this would have to go on for quite some time for this to occur, and even then this would only be a stepped-up version of simple settling.

    Any effect the vibrations had in the short term would stop when the buzzing does. And correct me if I'm wrong (and I could be on this bit) but the taste receptors in your mouth react to chemicals the same way regardless of the angle or arrangement they "come in at"?

    You could try drinking your beverage through a straw while the tuning fork is still buzzing but I don't think this would actually change how it tastes-- although I bet it would feel kinda weird.

  3. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha. Thanks for the good laugh. This is right up there with biodynamic agriculture and using magnets to "age" wine in the set of ridiculous things that wealthy people are willing to do to their food to make it more perfect.


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