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Gifted Gourmet

Food smells: Favorites? Least favored?

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Faves.....onions sweating in butter (or any medium for that matter), sauteed garlic, all the warm spices, chocolate chip cookies, a ripe peach, the way a pot of cholent permeates the house on a saturday morning, the mixture of cumin and corriander, chestnuts roasting, grilled meat, fresh herbs

Least faves...the stink of a Subway shop (that overly yeasty smell makes me gag), breakfast sausages, rotten fish, cheese.


"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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I just remembered a bad one (I experienced it last night).

Burnt popcorn. This smell is so strong and obnoxious!


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

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goods - any fresh herb releasing it's oils...especially tarragon and basil. ok, and parsely and cilantro. things that are baked...especially yeast breads and anything involving cinnamon. very fresh fish. mangos and habaneros give off the (same) luscious fragrance when sliced, truffle, anything cooked on a bbq grill makes me want to sink my teeth straight in, coffee. fresh cream.

bads - the smell of jamonerias in spain. (where full legs of jamon serrano are stored and sold.) there's something about the way the skin dries...but the smell is musty, meaty and decayed all at once. i have to hold my breath walking by outside. once sliced, fortunately, the potency of that stank is reduced. old fryer oil is so gross. fritos. the smell of fritos makes me gag. ditto orange flavoring.

chopped liver + vodka gimlet + benson & hedge menthol...my mother's "party breath."


from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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Coffee. A chicken roasting away with nothing but salt, pepper and herb.

I love lamb and make it every chance I get, but the smell of it while cooking always makes my gorge rise just a litte

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Besides all the wonderful things all ready mentioned. My Very favorite smell at the moment is the big fat sun ripened tomatos I have roasting in the oven RIGHT NOW! Halved tomatos with slivers of garlic, dribbled with saba, a generous sprinkling of fresh thyme and oregano, extra virgin olive oil. I can't wait till there done....drool.

These baby's are great on a toasted bagutte.

Great recipie for these in last months Fine Cooking.

I'm not gonna list the smells I hate....don't want to ruin the moment. :wink:

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I, too, love the scent of roasting chestnuts in a frosty street - one of the most warming and comforting smells in dead-of-winter Lyon.

Hailing from a warmer climate, the smell of coconut and coconut oil reminds me of a childhood spent on the beach.

Papaya with fresh lime squeezed over it.

Freshly-made pesto genovese when I lift the lid on my blender: basil, pine nuts, parmigiano reggiano and olive oil *Ahhh*.

Coffee.

Steaming hot chocolate with chili (sounds crazy, but it's soooo good).

Garlic, spices and herbs as they are being crushed with a mortar and pestle (mmm - chilies, lemongrass, cilantro, tumeric, ginger et al.....)

Freshly baked cheesecake (une vraie tarte au fromage blanc!!!!)

The combination of sea air (especially 'beach' air) with almost anything, it makes you so ravenous that virtually anything seems special, although newspaper-wrapped fish and chips is a favourite.

Ummmmm, not too sure of anything that I don't like....yes!

The smell of the subway at each station that houses a McDonalds - rancid oil smell!

Anything that is past its prime.

Boiled cabbage (although I love steamed brussels sprouts).

Tinned corn (not sure if this is more a flavour or a scent issue).

Protein that has been sauteed in too much butter, as leftovers the next day (the butter congeals around the meat, as well as whatever animal fat has been rendered!) Eugh!


Forget the house, forget the children. I want custody of the red and access to the port once a month.

KEVIN CHILDS.

Doesn't play well with others.

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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.

Wow, Silvercup.... that's one for the archives. That really jogged my long-term memory cells. That did smell great, especially on the upper level of the bridge. Little did we know that it was actually terrible bread. (On a par with Wonder Bread).

But my 2 favorite olfactory stimuli have to be Fresh bread baking, and coffee brewing.

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Besides all the wonderful things all ready mentioned.  My Very favorite smell at the moment is the big fat sun ripened tomatos I have roasting in the oven RIGHT NOW!  Halved tomatos with slivers of garlic, dribbled with saba, a generous sprinkling of fresh thyme and oregano, extra virgin olive oil.  I can't wait till there done....drool.

Okay, I have to confess to total ignorance on this one, but what is saba? It seems to be the Japanese word for mackerel, but dribbling mackerel over tomatoes? :huh:

Also, there seems to be a southeast Asian vegetable similar to asparagus that is known as 'sabah', but again...? :huh:

Cheers, and thanks in advance,

Squeat

Oh yeah, 'Saba' also appears to be the name of the official Yemen government news agency, but even I know you don't mean that!

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'eau de mcdonalds' from a block away on the street :shock:

Forgot that one! There used to be a McD's a few blocks down from my house, and every once in a while I'd get that rancid beef/oil stench. Yuck! Fortunately, they've moved...


Edited by lala (log)

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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Squeat, Saba is a type of balsamic vineger from the Modena area of Italy.

It's made with the must of Trebbiano (white grape) and Lambrusco (black grape).

Great stuff, especially for the price.

I just recieved it as a gift and thought I would replace the balsamico called for in the recipe for the Saba to see the flavor difference from my last batch.

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Squeat,  Saba is a type of balsamic vineger from the Modena area of Italy.

It's made with the must of Trebbiano (white grape) and Lambrusco (black grape).

Great stuff, especially for the price.

I just recieved it as a gift and thought I would replace the balsamico called for in the recipe for the Saba to see the flavor difference from my last batch.

Thanks much! Man, I love this forum! Now I've got to find some saba!

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Old-time Washingtonians may agree that the way the Whitehurst Freeway used to smell before they closed the rendering plant in lower Georgetown was world-class repulsive, although I find myself now strangely nostalgic for it.

Among the most intoxicatingly wonderful: the heady perfume of exquisite, ripe, vulnerable strawberries during the two or three hours when they are perfectly ready to fulfill their destiny to be ravished and devoured...few scents can rival that.

Others have mentioned apples and cinnamon. Why is it that whenever Americans cook apples cinnamon seems to be obligatory? I find cinnamon kind of sickening (although not as nauseating as nutmeg). An apple is simply not improved by cinnamon. A cinnamonless apple pie is a fragrant delight which cinnamon would spoil.

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I love the smell of cumin when it's cooking. Especially in some sort of curry when it gets mingled with the smell of other things.

This may sound a little wierd, but I like the smell of good, fresh sushi. I can't quite describe what it is, though.

I also like the smell of freshly prepared hummus.

The worst food smell for me was the canned corned beef hash my roommate would prepare every Saturday morning in our unventilated kitchen my sophomore year of college. That stuff was nasty, and it would linger in the apartment all day. I always found something out of the house to do Saturdays.

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Good:

freshly ground coffee (though I can't stand the beverage)

baking bread

proofing bread

baking pie

toast

pot roast

a tomato plant and vine-ripe tomatoes before you cut them

onions and garlic sweating in butter

beer mash

Bad:

boiled chicken

canned tuna

black-eyed peas

office coffee-maker (aka "burned coffee")


"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Best: vanilla, coffee (with cardamom, mmmm), frying garlic

Worst: guava (major yuk!), liver

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Unlike many of you who put "garlic and onions" together at the top of your lists, I have to split them: onions at the top of my good list whether cooking, raw or lingering on my hands.

Garlic goes to the very bottom: the smell of garlic cooking makes me ill.

Other favorites: dill, vanilla, bacon, coffee, nutmeg, grilling and roasting meats, bread and desserts baking, many fruits but not bananas or papayas. Mostly, if it's food it smells good.

No to the smell of hot peanut butter; my ex spread PB on his breakfast toast every morning for over 30 years. Ditto Mexican food or any food with hot peppers and combinations of spices, even spice cake.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Old-time Washingtonians may agree that the way the Whitehurst Freeway used to smell before they closed the rendering plant in lower Georgetown was world-class repulsive, although I find myself now strangely nostalgic for it.

Oh man, this old-timer remembers that vividly -- "pheeeew, it's the glue!!". You mean it's gone now? :shock::laugh: Thanks, The Hersch, welcome to eGullet!

I love the aroma of BBQ smoke in the air, perfuming me, my hair & clothes

There's something wondrous about :

Meat sizzling on the grill. Steaks! Chicken! Satays!

Opening up steaming banana leaf parcels containing fish with aromatic basil, bay leaf, ginger, galangal, chilies and scallions.

Coconut milk based stews & curries with candle nuts, cumin & nutmeg.

Toasting a small foil packet of pungent belacan/terasi til it's nice & mellow for sambal.

Frying thinly sliced shallots til they're gorgeously golden brown.

Baking spekkoek, the "thousand layers" spice cake, rich with butter, cinnamon, cloves & cardamom.

Butter


Edited by spaghetttti (log)

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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A splash of nam pla hitting a smoking wok full of dried Arbols in sesame oil. Any other ingredients are just dilution.


Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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What are arbols? You'll probably be amused to know that en.wiktionary.org gives "tree" as the English translation of "árbol."


Michael aka "Pan

 

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What are arbols? You'll probably be amused to know that en.wiktionary.org gives "tree" as the English translation of "árbol."

Close enough! In ideal conditions, they grow into compact shrubs about5-7 feet high. Chiles de Arbol are the standard-issue dried capsicum frutescens in any area where most of the Mexican immigrants are from Puebla or Guerrerro. Pretty much the same as cayenne, with a little more arrebatida. Lots of quick heat, little or no lasting burn.


Edited by QuinaQuen (log)

Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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My first apartment was above a bread bakery in Little Italy and luckily I still love the smell of bread baking.

The galic laced aroma of roast beef and lamb roasting in the oven and chicken stock are also faves.

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This thread is like a sensory roller coaster ride! I read a poster's happy fragrance memories and I get all happy and soothed and then I read the icky smells, and I come crashing down...

And then!

When I am still recoiling from the icky smells, I am reading the next poster's happy fragrances again and I can't quite get to the same happy place since I am still recuperating!

Next time can we split this into 2 threads?

:laugh:


"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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I'm with you, Randi! Would much rather read the good experiences...

Still thinking about those Sunday afternoon naps in the sun....is there something in roast beef that makes one sleepy? I believe there is something in turkey that does...any scientists out there?

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good:

Coffee coffee coffee

onions carmelizing

roasting chicken

perfectly ripe fruit - particularly tomatoes

I worked at a "gourmet" fruit stand while I was in high school in Miami - great job. Surrounded by super fresh produce. I spent my days snacking on fresh picked strawberries, insanely good guacamole, tomatoes quartered, mangos, mangos, mangos... For about 2 or 3 weeks, we would have crazy expensive queen anne cherries, that sat right at my left elbow as I worked the counter - loved them. After work, my family and friends would comment that the smell of citrus simply emanated from my pores.

bad:

tunafish (shudder)

oatmeal (double shudder)


Robin Tyler McWaters

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