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Gifted Gourmet

Food smells: Favorites? Least favored?

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With apologies to Fat Guy, one of my faves is rosemary.

Meat roasting/braising

Garlic in olive oil

Bread proofing

Gingerbread: both the raw dough and baking

One of the primary reasons this is my favorite times of the year is because so many of these smells come to the fore.

Least faves are the usual suspects, particularlyany member of the cabbage family cooking. Sauerkraut, too.

Edited to add:

Oh yeah, seeing jsolomon's post: add coffee to my favorites as well.

Add to least favorites:

Papaya

Coconut


Edited by Kevin72 (log)

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The smell I LOVE is roasting coffee. None other like it. Wow.

The smell I abhor? Hominy. That is my food nemesis. If I were superman, hominy would be my kryptonite.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Basil, yes. There is surely a reason its name in other languages translates so often as 'The Holy Herb'. It is incredibly life-giving to breathe in the aroma of a large bunch of fresh basil!

More....(I have not escaped my previous imaginary walk through NYC yet and have run into some other good things)...

The Sabrett hot dog carts. Wait in line and you become pleasantly anxious to hurry up at the smell of the hot dogs combined with the slight aluminum and sugar 'nose' of cans of Coke popping open. The ultimate moment of happy intensity of scent occurs right when the guy is layering the toppings on your own hot dog...those Greek-ish stewed onions...or sauerkraut and yellow mustard... I do believe the sides of my mouth squirt out excited anticipatory tastebud juices at this exact moment.

Well. Yes. Let's move on, shall we?

Pretzels covered with kosher salt steaming from racks....the earthy serious smell of chestnuts roasting in a steel pan sending out hot steam into the winter air of a city street....let's not forget honey-roast nuts, now, either! With their caramel smell that also reminds one of fresh warm cotton candy.

Sauerbraten. With sweet and sour red cabbage and potato dumplings. That aroma is a sure hook...I don't know why restaurants don't make this very much anymore....

Linzertorte.

One that I do not like. It took a lot of memory- searching to find it.

The smell of brandy combined with the lesser aromas of various meats and aromatics.

This terrible dislike happened after a three-day exposition into making a ballontine of duck, about a hundred years ago when I first started cooking.

Boned duck...forcemeats of (I can't remember...something meaty though)...slivers of ham...god I think there were even pistachios in this burdensome recipe...white wine and brandy were also involved.

I grew to hate ballontine of duck (though it turned out gorgeous) and the smells that had anything to do with it during those three days. Couldn't eat meat for a week.

Yuck.

Please, someone...post something delicious-smelling again soon...let me forget about this terrible memory....

Oh. Let's not forget taco trucks. I hear they are quite wonderful...

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Mom's roast beef. As a kid, we ALWAYS had roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy for Sunday dinner. Coming into the house upon returning home from church at noon...the smell of beef and vegetables roasting in the oven was overwhelmingly fabulous. Comfort food at it's finest.

After the dishes were done, I always enjoyed finding a sunny spot on the carpet to lie down for a nap in the warm sun. My idea of heaven.

The other best-smelling food experience...

My grandmother (German heritage) worked in the meat department of a large grocery store. (We lived in her house.) Her two days off were Wed. and Sun. On Wednesdays, we'd come home from school to the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. EVERY SINGLE WEEK, without fail.

Her hot rolls were legendary, and she also made something we, as children, called "Grampy Goats." I never knew them by any other name. Until the days of the internet. I have since learned the German name for these is "Kraut Bierock". Yet another comfort food from my childhood. Sure do miss Grandma's bread days....and those Grampy Goats!

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My favorite also is the aroma of baking bread.

I have baked thousands of loaves of bread in my life and I never tire of the smell emanating from the oven.

There are a great many food and cooking smells that I like but this is by far the most appealing.

I have thought about the many scents I do not care for and while there are quite a few that annoy me, the only one that actually sickens me, is the smell of scorched beans. There is that peculiar smell of vulcanized rubber with an acrid overtone that causes me to immediately take the pan outside before it permeates the entire kitchen. It also ruins the entire pot full, as it seems to instantly flavor the entire batch even without stirring.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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fav- italian sausages sauteed in olive oil with onions and green peppers.

bad, bad, VERY bad- a bottle of vietnamese fish sauce which had been in my fridge for a long time.


"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

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Peaches

Garlic and ginger together

Cilantro

Salmon being smoked over alder

Seafood stalls in the early morning at the local farmers market (fresh catch)

Simmering Putanesca (w/anchovies)

Thanksgiving dinner

Fresh baked bread (particularly home made)

Freshly ground coffee

Bad smells:

Seafood stalls in the evening


Edited by dougery (log)

"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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I hate the smell of peanut butter and jelly. It makes me gag. I cannot eat when I am around it. Jelly alone, fine. Peanutbutter, okay. Put the two of them together and my olfactory system goes wacky.


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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I hate the smell of peanut butter and jelly.  It makes me gag.  I cannot eat when I am around it.  Jelly alone, fine.  Peanutbutter, okay.  Put the two of them together and my olfactory system goes wacky.

Did your siblings traumatize you when you were young? :wink: I'm kind of the opposite, I really don't like peanut butter on it's own but with jelly... I can eat it all day!


"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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Great One for the Detroit area eGulleteers- Rafal Spice Shop in on the Eastern Market when they first open the doors in the morning.

Least favorite: The green gas that is emitted from the back end of a pheasant that has been hanging in the cooler for two weeks when you open to eviscerate it.

Cough

Cough

Gag

Choke

Puuuuuuuuuuuuuke! :shock:


Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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favourites - home made tikka paste, roast garlic, smoky whisky, the home of a good Italian cook, strawberries

unfavourites - the glue factory in Penrith i.e. boiling carcasses, the stuff in the bottom of the fridge when something has rotted...and leaked, brussel sprouts, the smell when you catch your skin on the grill (broiler)

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fav- italian sausages sauteed in olive oil with onions and green peppers.

bad, bad, VERY bad- a bottle of vietnamese fish sauce which had been in my fridge for a long time.

Oh, gosh, my reactions are almost exactly opposite. Sausage yes, but cooking green peppers? :angry: And fish sauce? :wub: (Not shrimp paste :sad: , but fish sauce, :smile: )

And Worcestershire sauce. In college, we did a production of I Am a Camera, for which I did something or other technical, probably props. In it, Sally Bowles, the heroine, drinks a concoction of raw egg and Worcestershire as a hangover cure. I couldn't keep the bottle away from my nose. And I still love it.

Fat Guy: stay away from Agoura Hills, CA: as in some other parts of CA, the ground cover on roadway medians is rosemary. Rosemary everywhere you can imagine. The smell is pervasive. Wonderful if you love it (as I do); hell if not (you).

And Mayhaw Man: I used to live across a highway from a Stroh's plant. Not quite the lovely experience you describe. :hmmm:

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Favorite - baking bread

Least favourite - fish cooking


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Favourite - Basil

Least favourite - POPCORN - how can anyone eat that stuff? Don't go to movie theatres because the smell make me nauseous. Let's bring in LARB instead. :shock:


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Favorites: Sauteed Garlic and/or onions, chocolate anything, cinnamon anything, orange anything, curry anything, fresh brewed espresso.


There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

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To this day, if I get a serious hit of pure rosemary smell I still have that reaction. Even just writing about it has sent me into a mild panic. So please don't ever mention this again.

I understand. Yes, rosemary oversaturation is pretty hideous. Sorry you had that experience, and I hope my question didn't prompt any nightmares.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I agree on bread baking. I used to love the smell from the Silvercup factory as I was driven into Queens on the Queensboro Bridge on the way to Baba's (Ukrainian for Grandma's) in Astoria. I even found the smell of the bread baking in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia in the 70s delicious, though the bread itself had almost no taste whatsoever.

Another food I left out is limes. I love the smell of limes and lime juice, especially Malaysian limau nipis.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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My favorite food cooking smell is one that hits me at the door when I am tired at the end of the day. Although I love to cook, I also love to be cooked for!

A co-worker and I shared an apartment for a few weeks when I first arrived in Beijing to work. The first couple of weeks had been extremely stressful and tiring for me, and I was dead tired one evening, beginning to worry about what I was going to eat, knowing I was too tired to go out, and had nothing in the fridge. The perfume of a delicious beef stew hit me when I opened the door. My co-worker handed me a beer, sent me straight to the livingroom, took my shoes from my tired aching feet, and then we enjoyed a wonderful meal she had prepared. She has since become one of my best friends and remains so even though she is now in L.A. and I'm in France.

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Somehow Gifted Gourmet knew that the Noble committee was going to award the prize in medicine to two researchers studying smell and the way our memories play into smell.

Read about them here.

The Nobel assembly said the sense of smell "helps us detect the qualities we regard as positive. A good wine or a sun ripe wild strawberry activates a whole array of odorant receptors."

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Favorites: Bread baking, onions sauteeing (especially if fried potatoes are also involved), garlic sweating, bacon frying, roast beef simmering, fresh chocolate chip cookies hot out of the oven, coffee brewing, the aroma of grains mashing to make beer (kinda like malto-meal), cilantro, coriander sizzling in a skillet, curry... and the list goes on!

Dislikes: the fake butter in microwave popcorn, burnt microwave popcorn, hard cooked eggs being peeled and chopped to make egg salad, the smell of the automatic oven cleaner, kim chi, an abundance of black pepper, and more I'm sure.


Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

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Thumbs up (leaving out the obvious coffee):

- deglazing w/ wine

- parmesan being grated

- fruit crisp baking

- shallots roasting

- za'tar (spice blend, not single herb)

- hot cocoa

- green chile sauce

Thumbs down (leaving out the obvious like things burnt, etc):

- the smell in the house the next morning after making something aromatic the night before - especially if it involved bitter greens or cruciferous veg.

- office coffee

- "fridge smell"

...guess I don't have too much in the negative category. I tend to revel in stinky food, so generally the stronger the scent, the better. Sometimes when running in forests, I can smell mistletoe draped over the trees, and it smells like stinky cheese. Very interesting.

Andrea

in Albuquerque

http://tenacity.net


"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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Favorites: Roasting meat, rosemary, garlic, fresh bread, dark chocolate, cilantro, dried chilis, real vanilla

Dislike: The smell of roasting bones on my clothes after a day at work, burnt anything, lobster stock, cooked oysters, almond extract.


< Linda >

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Favourite: A well made souffle, right out of the oven; chocolate, cheddar, Grand Marnier, Gruyere, it doesn't matter, it's worth the wait.

Least favourites: A bag potatoes with one or two bad ones;

Fresh pork from a young male who was cut too late, after the male smell went throught the flesh;

Salt cod permeating the hallway of an aprtment building;

White-fleshed fish in a tray in a supermarket far too long on a Sunday.

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Least favorite:  The green gas that is emitted from the back end of a pheasant that has been hanging in the cooler for two weeks when you open to eviscerate it.

Cough

Cough

Gag

Choke

Puuuuuuuuuuuuuke! :shock:

When I was in high school wild pheasants would come through our lawn all the time. I don't think I have ever smelled anything that smells as bad as pheasant shit (unless it's that stuff my neighbors make -- could be a contender). If you stepped in it, you basically had to throw your shoes away.

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