My Favorite Food Aromas

When I discuss food, taste is almost always the only sense that is brought up along with it. But I don’t believe I’ve ever given the aroma of food equal time. Let me address that slight. Below I’ve listed what are my favorite and least favorite aromas in the food world.

Favorite Aromas

  • Freshly Baked Bread: I have yet to meet anyone who despises the aroma of bread straight from the oven. Even the Wonder bread bakery in just north of Downtown Columbus, Ohio had wonderful aromas wafting from their bakery. The nutty/grain smell gives me such a warm feeling. Nothing even comes close to making me like I’m home.
  • Just Popped popcorn from a kettle: A movie theater just would not smell the same without popcorn. However, I rarely eat the stuff.
  • Sage: Out of all of the aromatic herbs out there, sage is the one that resonates with me the most. It smells like autumn and the woods. It makes me salivate just thinking about it.
  • Garlic and onions: I put these two together because I believe that they go together like peanut butter and jelly. When I go into a persons house and smell these aromas, I know that there’s a fair amount of cooking going on.
  • Coffee: Is there any food or drink out there that smells better than it tastes? And I love the taste of coffee, so that should demonstrate what I feel of its aroma. Everytime I get a whiff of it and its hearty woodsy/chocolate notes, I get a definitive sense of time and place – breakfast and my favorite coffeeshop or diner.
  • Fresh Whiskey direct from the still: Those of you who have ever been around a spirit safe will know exactly what I am talking about. Hints of the grain, both sweet and lascivious. If ever there was a aroma that defined “temptation” fresh whiskey from the still would be it.

favorite Food Aromas

  • Microwave Popcorn: For as much as I love the aroma of kettle corm, Microwaved corn makes me ill. It’s a little more astringent I believe, but really it comes from too many people burning microwave corn. It has turned me off of the stuff completely.
  • Kim Chi: I love me some Kim Chi, but oh lord does it stink. Fermented Cabbage? There’s simply no good aroma there.
  • Cowgirl Cremery’s Red Hawk Cheese: This is a great cheese, don’t get me wrong. But when I brought it to room temperature, it had the subtlety of a old gym sock. Stinky cheeses have a place in my heart, but even I recognize that the aroma can be a bit offputting.

I haven’t tried durian yet, so it’s not on my list. I’ve had no problems with natto nor with the fish sauces I’ve come across. These are the ones that get most people.

What are your favorite and least favorite aromas?