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Is there a certain taste or smell that takes you back to another time?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
For me, there is. Red plums grew wild in Shillong, in the state of Meghalaya in India. That's not far from Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on earth. As a kid, maybe 5 or 6 years old, I loved these plums. I loved so much about this place, the lake, horse riding, and the fresh cool smell of the mountains there, and the taste of red plums always means Shillong to me.
post #2 of 28

Mushrooms

I love mushrooms. Raw on salads or dipped in dressings, in soups, sauces, browned in butter as a side dish, in stir fry, omelets, pot roast, whatever. I've not yet gotten around to making a mushroom pate, but someday...

Oddly enough, many times when cooking mushrooms I am reminded of one of my earliest food related memories, from back in the days of Dowagiac, Michigan when I was maybe 7 - 8 years old. My father was a civil engineer, and to help make ends meet he'd do various land surveying jobs on weekends. One of the guys he worked with was an avid mushroom hunter. One saturday they went out not to survey, but to gather. He came home with a huge pile of various wild mushrooms. My mother cleaned them up and fried them as a major part of that night's dinner.

Me, the cranky little 7 year old? I wanted NOTHING to do with that stinky old mess of wrinkled, ugly stuff, you can't make me eat THAT! Where's my macaroni and Velveeta?

So these days as I get a noseful of the aroma of mushrooms browning in butter it takes me back to that day, wishing I knew then what I know now.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #3 of 28
Coconut - the smell takes me to the beach every time I smell it. Of course it has nothing to do with food... it's just a common scent in sunblock. I have a special bottle of hair product that I only use on days that I'm depressed in the winter. It smells like coconut and it instantly perks me up and reminds me of where I'd rather be - the beach.

And of course there is thyme. Every time I smell thyme it takes me back to being a kid climbing the hills surrounding our house in Krete.

Come to think of it I'm extremely sensitive to smell and I can't think of any smell that doesn't take me back to one memory or another.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 28
I love to shoot the **** about the evocative nature of smell... some of the triggers for me are:

plain old pot roast
Doublemint gum (and yes, I'm still friends with her)
Castor oil and race gas on a cold Sunday morning as the strokers fire up
Snow
Roasted nuts from a pushcart at Rockefeller center, accentuated by a sub-20 deg. day
Freshly-caught salmon smoked over peat in an Icelandic smoker shed
The Brennivin that goes with the above

Alright, that's enough....
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
[quote=bluedogz;240751]I love to shoot the **** about the evocative nature of smell... quote]

Is that a kind of smell we try to avoid?
post #6 of 28

Quote??????????

Oregon yeti wrote:

"I think that if you spend 15 minutes a day cooking, it shows. At least it shows in my usual cooking.

On the other hand, if prep and cooking time is a social thing, at least between a few who like to do it, that shows too when it's served. And beyond that, when gardening and picking the produce is shared, doesn't that make your food and your social life that much better?

One thing that made me think of this is how I make pasta from semolina flour and water. I've enjoyed this time so much with my kids. They like cranking that Atlas machine with me, just in itself, and love the dinner we make. It gives them a sense of pride, too.

Getting stuff from the garden is another thing we have a lot of fun in. We have monster rosemary, sage and oregano bushes, and tomatoes in season. Here I'm talking from my western Oregon side.

How great is all that? I'm realizing I have been missing out on a lot of fun and good food. If this seems like a "duh" to you, well at least I finally realized it."




Hey OY,

I could not reply to this msg. for some reason?
BUT, it sounds as though you are right in there.............
Observation, whether it be in cooking or life, is key.

Peace,

Flash
"Do not be careless with poor ingredients and do not depend on fine ingredients to do your work for you but work with everything with the same sincerity." --from the Tenzo Kyokun
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"Do not be careless with poor ingredients and do not depend on fine ingredients to do your work for you but work with everything with the same sincerity." --from the Tenzo Kyokun
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post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
I meant to start that in another thread. It's all good and is all me. TY for the reply:D
post #8 of 28
Gasoline and Bazooka Bubble Gum....I grew up on a lake....
Trips to the Marina for gas.....we always got gum.....takes
me back at least 35 years....
post #9 of 28
Macaroni & cheese, brings me back over 40 years ago in Vermont
post #10 of 28
School bus fumes. Makes me feel like a kid again. :)
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #11 of 28
[QUOTE=OregonYeti;240754]Hmmmm... perhaps a poor word choice there. Sorry.:blush:
post #12 of 28
Coconut does the same for me! I always think of family vacations in summer or daytrips to Jekyll or St. Simon's Island, GA.

The scent of baking cookies always takes me back to my childhood. My dad would take off most, if not all, the month of December and just before school got out for Christmas break, he'd bake cookies. We'd come home to a kitchen filled with goodies. Lots of times, we'd pack them into boxes and go out in the evenings delivering them to friends and relatives.

The smell of a ham in the oven always reminds me of Sunday dinners after church.
post #13 of 28
If i remember my neurology, the smell centers of the brain are near those of emotional experience- and of course, animals are drawn to mates because of the smell, and are also angered by the smell of a rival, and i guess we need to remember, with great disgust, anything that made us sick, from the days of scavenging the wilds for roots and berries.

For me practically any smell from my childhood is powerfully evocative, in the good and in the bad.

The wet oak leaves that had soaked all winter under the snow, melting, refreezing, melting again, and the smell they let off in spring was like tea. I probably drink so much tea for its resemblance to the oak leaves, which probably fermented, like black tea has done.

the smell of crayola crayons, just opened, they bring me to a reverie of memories, coloring and drawing in my room, almost constantly

the smell of turpentine brings me back to art school, as if it were 40 years ago.

But as memories tied to food smells - not many there, probably because i keep eating those foods more or less. But black pepper has a smell that gave me an appetite, even if as a kid it was too hot for me. Still i remember my parents shaking on tons of it on the food, and the smell was so good, and i longed to eat it, but i didn;t like the feel on my tongue. It still spikes my appetite.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #14 of 28
[quote=bluedogz;240843]
Probably "breeze" might have been better. :)
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey, that reminded me of something.

On a cool Fall day in Elgin, Illinois, I smelled melted asphalt from road paving work. I was just starting first grade then. Now when I smell melted asphalt on a cool day it takes me back to that one distinct time.

It has to be a cool day, though, for some reason. Otherwise it's not the same.
post #16 of 28
The smell of walleye straight from the lake being pan fried in the bacon fat from breakfast. Fried potatoes in the same fat on the side.
post #17 of 28
For many years, the smell of kasha made me feel depressed and killed my appetite. Whenever we'd visit a particular aunt and uncle (when I was a child), the odor of cooking kasha permeated their house. I hated visiting them because my cousins were too old and too young (and too mean) for me (just right for my sisters) and my uncle was a cold, miserable man who picked fights with my parents. They didn't even have a dog or a cat I could console myself with. So the smell has for years signaled those experiences.
But one day, a few years ago, I was visiting friends who were cooking kasha (among other things) and my old reactions weren't there. Funny how time and new associations can change a sense memory.

However, I believe there are smells that transcend all events around them. The smell of cooking bacon makes me happy no matter what the situation!
Emily

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Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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post #18 of 28
The smell of ham sausage takes me all the way back to preschool. Takes me back more than 30 years. Iloved that sauges. When I lived in Virginia I found that same sausage in Walmart, haven't seen it sense....:lips:

My husband says his is hotdogs at the boys club. He had no money to buy them and he would be there all day other kids eating hotdogs.....
post #19 of 28
Is there a certain taste or smell that takes you back to another time?

I've been thinking about this since the thread started. I'd have to say no ....
post #20 of 28
How could it not? It's BACON, for heaven's sake!
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Too bad for you :crazy:
post #22 of 28
This seems biologically impossible. Humans are wired in such a way since the beginning of time so that they can recognize smell to keep them from running into mammoths or eating certain poisonous foods.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #23 of 28
The smells of late-Summer canning (tomato sauces, pickle relish, BBQ sauce) make me smile as I think of those happy summers spent with aunts, cousins, etc at the lake. ALSO

The smells associated with our very traditional Thanksgiving dinner for the same reason - - happy times with family. OH, ONE MORE

Home made bread toast with fried bacon :crazy:
post #24 of 28
Have to include the eggs fried sunny side up in the bacon fat with some splashed over the top to just barely warm the yolk. :D
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just now I got a big whiff of something else I love, the big smell of sagebrush that has been rained on after weeks of being dry. It hardly rains here in Summer, and the smell of rain is nice. The smell of sagebrush with a cool damp late-summer night's rain is a delicious smell :bounce:
post #26 of 28

Cotton Candy from the carnival..."fresh" "Hot" Buttered Popcorn

even though I can't usually eat it due to my being a "Chronie"...

(I love the smell of Napalm in the morning....smells like......)
(Sorry I went away for a while...I'm back now)
Cantor Posner aka ChefBoyof Dees

"An Armed Society is a Polite Society"--Robert A Heinlein

"You either Do or Don't Do...There is no TRY" --Yodah
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Cantor Posner aka ChefBoyof Dees

"An Armed Society is a Polite Society"--Robert A Heinlein

"You either Do or Don't Do...There is no TRY" --Yodah
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post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Big time weapon guy eh?
post #28 of 28
Smell of fried onion that immediately reminds me my high school days when we love to eat roadside restaurant and these kind of smell was common.

Oh Boy I miss those days ... no worry was just enjoying life :smiles:
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