Today's Let's Blog Off topic is "When Smell Takes You Back." For many people, aroma and scent are strong triggers for memories.
I have an incredibly strong sense of smell, or so I'm told. Driving through the flat, agricultural lands of Yolo County, California many years ago, I said to my companion, "I smell onions."
He shrugged and said, "Well, there is an onion field over there. You can smell onions?"
"Yeah." I was equally surprised that he could not smell a thing.
Being the human bloodhound has its down sides. Any noxious odor in the air and I have trouble breathing.
The scent of food, however, is almost as important to the experience of eating as staving off hunger itself.
The smell of coffee in the morning = sunrise, birds chirping, the pitter-patter of toddler feet running down the hallway (why do children always wake up first?)
The smell of corn tortillas being lightly fried in peanut oil = homesick for California, Spanish, and good Mexican food.
The smell of spicy hot chocolate on the stove = winter, my children are playing in the snow.
The smell of butternut squash soup = extremely cold out, we have a fire in the wood-burning stove. I associate winter soups with fires in the hearth.
The smell of cucumbers = the cucumber patch I grow every year is doing well.
And so on. Every food has its smell, and each of those smells is part of an association in my mind.
Happy Valentine's Day. I wish for you aromatic chocolate.