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Can you smell the food chefs cook on TV (seriously)?

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Bostonbob3 Jul 17, 2007 02:30 PM

I was watching Rick Bayless this morning before work on "Mexico One Dish at a Time," and he was cutting up a habenero. I could literally smell it (I use habeneros fairly often).

Was I having a stroke, or does anyone else experience this? I mean it was a really strong sensation/smell, not subtle.

(Hmmm, now I can't feel my left arm...wonder if that's related.)

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  1. k
    KTBearW RE: Bostonbob3 Jul 17, 2007 04:15 PM

    Was it high definition TV? I can watch almost ANYthing if it's HD. It seems "realer" than real, and I am an addict. I don't doubt for a second that you could smell the habeneros.
    p.s. I enjoy that show, too.

    1. ChinoWayne RE: Bostonbob3 Jul 17, 2007 04:45 PM

      Oh sure. And when company who annoy me drop in, I tune in "Dirty Jobs" on Discovery Channel, and the house smells so bad, they all leave.... Then there was the time I watched Bear Grylls on "Man Vs Wild" squeeze the liquid out of some elephant dung and drink it, that was a very memorable smell, totally permeated the sponge cake I was making...

      3 Replies
      1. re: ChinoWayne
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        KTBearW RE: ChinoWayne Jul 18, 2007 06:18 AM

        Thanks Chino! Now I'm smelling AND tasting elephant dung juice. LOL! (yuck)

        1. re: ChinoWayne
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          Bostonbob3 RE: ChinoWayne Jul 19, 2007 10:59 AM

          Heh.

          Now I can smell sarcasm. :)

          1. re: Bostonbob3
            ChinoWayne RE: Bostonbob3 Jul 19, 2007 12:18 PM

            No, that's just the fish I was cooking, stinks up the house every time. ;-)

        2. revsharkie RE: Bostonbob3 Jul 17, 2007 07:04 PM

          Jokes aside, this really does happen to some people. I think it's called "synesthesia." Their brains are wired up in such a way that sounds have color, music notes have flavor, things like that.

          17 Replies
          1. re: revsharkie
            LindaWhit RE: revsharkie Jul 18, 2007 06:14 AM

            While it sounds kinda neat (musical notes have flavor), I'd be hard pressed to know what heavy metal music or rap music would smell or taste like. :-)

            1. re: LindaWhit
              revsharkie RE: LindaWhit Jul 23, 2007 09:11 AM

              You'd have to find someone who has this condition and ask them, I suppose. I've always thought it'd be sorta cool, but my guess is it's probably more of a nuisance because you can't really switch it on and off.

              1. re: revsharkie
                chicgail RE: revsharkie Aug 1, 2007 06:50 AM

                I am a synesthete and synesthesia takes many different forms. Somehow when our brains developed a crossed-circuit occurred that had different senses mixed together.

                I'm someone who sees letters and numbers in specific and unvarying colors (A = red; B = blue; C = yellow; D = brown; E = black), etc. That's the most common form of synesthesia (although each individual synesthete would have their own version of what color is associated with which letter).

                I can also "taste" food that I think about.

                Some of us hear music in textures.

                It's not at all a nuisance. I never thought anything of it. It was just normal and "how it was." It wasn't until a couple of years ago that read about this "condition" that I found out that not everyone's brain worked the same as mine. Now that I know, I think it's kinda cool.

              2. re: LindaWhit
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                roasted138 RE: LindaWhit Jul 23, 2007 05:24 PM

                Heavy metal tastes like a char-grilled skirt steak marinated in garlic and chiles. Rap music tastes like the best vodka and tonic you've ever had. I assume you weren't unneedingly bashing two genres of music that many chowhounders enjoy.

                1. re: roasted138
                  LindaWhit RE: roasted138 Jul 23, 2007 07:13 PM

                  I assume you weren't unneedingly bashing two genres of music that many chowhounders enjoy."
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  Of course not - although neither is my choice in music. But rap music and vodka & tonic? Hmmmm...don't seem like they "go together".

                  1. re: LindaWhit
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                    roasted138 RE: LindaWhit Jul 31, 2007 11:25 AM

                    Actually, some rap artists have their own brands of vodka.

                    1. re: roasted138
                      revsharkie RE: roasted138 Jul 31, 2007 05:14 PM

                      What does country music taste like? The real thing, mind you, not Big & Rich and their ilk. (Come to think of it, what's the difference in taste between someone like Hank Sr. and, say, Brad Paisley?)

                      1. re: revsharkie
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                        Bostonbob3 RE: revsharkie Aug 1, 2007 06:53 AM

                        Marty Robbins tastes like mole, or perhaps masa. Johnny Cash, more like BBQ.

                        1. re: Bostonbob3
                          revsharkie RE: Bostonbob3 Aug 1, 2007 04:27 PM

                          What do you suppose Willie Nelson's music tastes like? (No points for the obvious answer of pot brownies!) And what would the difference be between the taste of Hank Sr., Hank Jr., and Hank 3?

                          1. re: revsharkie
                            ajs228 RE: revsharkie Aug 1, 2007 04:36 PM

                            Hank Sr. is chicken fried steak and a hot cup of coffee. Hank Jr is BBQ ribs and a beer. Hank III is fried rattlesnake and a shot of whiskey.

                    2. re: LindaWhit
                      ajs228 RE: LindaWhit Aug 1, 2007 04:36 PM

                      The first thing that comes to mind for rap is Gin & Juice.

                      1. re: ajs228
                        gottasay RE: ajs228 Aug 3, 2007 06:11 PM

                        I second that rap's is Gin & Juice. Good one, ajs228.

                        Laid back...with my mind on my money and my money on my mind :)

                2. re: revsharkie
                  ajs228 RE: revsharkie Jul 19, 2007 12:56 PM

                  Really? I though it was called LSD.
                  I can sometimes almost smell or taste something I see on tv or in a movie. It also happens if I'm reading a really well written piece and they're describing food.

                  1. re: ajs228
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                    Bostonbob3 RE: ajs228 Jul 23, 2007 10:01 AM

                    Heh. It's been a lot of years since I did that stuff. :)

                    Flashbacks, perhaps?

                  2. re: revsharkie
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                    momjamin RE: revsharkie Jul 23, 2007 05:21 PM

                    My only reference to synaesthesia is the Bobs song of the name: http://www.lyrics007.com/Bobs%20Lyric...

                    It's more about music/sounds having color than flavor. And heavy metal is ultraviolet ;-

                    )

                    (If you don't know the Bobs, I can't really describe them. The wikipedia article is reasonable.)

                    1. re: momjamin
                      revsharkie RE: momjamin Jul 31, 2007 05:18 PM

                      It probably depends on how the wires are crossed.

                      Interestingly I read somewhere that the people who study such things believe newborn babies pretty much sense like this; their sense of smell, taste, hearing, and so forth are not differentiated when they're first born. It happens a few weeks or months (I forget exactly) into their development. I wonder if synasthesia happens when this development doesn't happen or doesn't happen fully.

                      1. re: momjamin
                        chocolateninja RE: momjamin Jul 31, 2007 11:39 PM

                        There is an excellent book on the synaesthesia phenomena, titled The Man Who Tasted Shapes, http://www.amazon.com/Man-Tasted-Shap...

                        Looks like the author has written another book as well (that I haven't read) titled Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses, http://www.amazon.com/Synesthesia-Sen...

                    2. hannaone RE: Bostonbob3 Jul 18, 2007 06:21 AM

                      Certain sights and sounds trigger memory, sometimes intense enough to "smell" things.
                      Since you are very familiar with habeneros, that's probably what happened.

                      1. Kajikit RE: Bostonbob3 Jul 19, 2007 09:19 AM

                        It's called olfactory memory... smells can trigger memories, and very familiar sights (like watching them slice the habaneros) can trigger a memory of a smell...

                        1. s
                          slacker RE: Bostonbob3 Jul 31, 2007 05:29 PM

                          I can smell and taste the olive oil and peperoncini every time Lydia cooks. But her olive oil is probably better than mine, so what I smell and taste is probably a bit off.

                          1. purple goddess RE: Bostonbob3 Aug 1, 2007 09:01 PM

                            I watch cooking programmes and I can smell things as they cook.

                            I smell the olive oil heating, then it changes as the onions and garlic are added. As. soon as I see the bacon added, my smell changes. When a TV cook cuts up the coriander, I can smell it.. if it's added to the pot, I can smell what happens.

                            I can watch chicken browning and smell it as the colour changes.

                            I can identify individual ingredients in dishes by smell alone.

                            I thought it was normal!!!

                            Isn't that what makes a Hound a Hound??

                            Do I need therapy???

                            (Don't answer that!)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: purple goddess
                              revsharkie RE: purple goddess Aug 2, 2007 05:55 PM

                              No, you don't need therapy. It may be unusual, but it's not a disease. Enjoy it.

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