UnderCover Waitress: Chocolate, Not Roses

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate, Not Roses

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.


  1. My child taught me the importance of smelling food before tasting it. The smell-taste combination definitely heightens the experience.

  2. We have a huge chocolate cake in the fridge. Thanks for the wishes, I guess it came true!

  3. There is a ride at California Adventure called Soaring over California where you "fly" over different parts of California. The part where you're over orange orchards in the San Joaquin Valley totally reminded me of living in Fresno.

  4. When it comes to food, one of my all-time favorite smells is homemade split pea soup. It's a recipe I got from my mother. One time my wife and I were visiting, and we told her how much we loved the recipe. Mother blushed a little and said, "Well, to tell you the truth, I really got it from your father." And the Old Man immediately said, "And I got it from a French woman who sure knew her soup!"

  5. Home made split pea soup... mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  6. My husband just bought me 3 new giant "Pumpkin Spice" candles.


  7. Oh, I want some butternut squash soup now!

  8. You should read the book 'season to taste' about a woman on track to go to the CIA when she got hit by a car and lost her sense of smell. The book, besides sharing her story and recovery, is also about smell and how it affects our emotions, etc etc.

    1. Thank you for the recommendation -- I will look for that book!

  9. A bit more of a negative memory for me... having had once worked in a roofing company, I feel nauseous at the smell of roofing tar.


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