A few years back, British modernist chef Heston Blumenthal, creator of such edgy fare as snail porridge and bacon-and-egg ice cream, caused a bit of a culinary kerfuffle with his proposal to outfit diners with headphones so that they could hear themselves chew. Blumenthal believes that eating is a multisensory experience, with sound an overlooked contributor to dining pleasure. He’d certainly be heartened, then, by all the munching and crunching emanating from American restaurant ...

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