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Favorite Food Smells?

Glam Foodie Jul 5, 2010 04:07 PM

Mine include:

- The scent of a roasting chicken coated in olive oil and slowly sweetening garlic
- Lemon and white wine sauce
- Brown sugar cookies baking in the oven
- Freshly fried onion rings
- Farmer's market tomatoes that have a perfume no ordinary grocery store tomato could provide

What are yours?

  1. gmm Jul 16, 2010 05:10 PM

    roast chicken
    coffee- especially diner coffee (just the smell, not the taste)
    oatmeal cookies baking
    tree-ripened peaches

    1. tatamagouche Jul 15, 2010 12:43 PM

      Mine echo others'...as this gets longer I think I'll do a search to see what the most common answer is!

      Onions browning in the pan
      Turkey or chicken roasting in the oven
      Bread baking
      Kabobs from a street cart
      Roasted nuts from a street cart
      Fresh truffles

      4 Replies
      1. re: tatamagouche
        linguafood Jul 15, 2010 02:38 PM

        oooh. i forgot about freshly-roasted nuts! yesss, that's a nice smell -- warm cinnamon, and that nutty, buttery scent. and truffles... shaved over fresh tagliatelle.

        1. re: tatamagouche
          Passadumkeg Jul 15, 2010 03:19 PM

          Roasting green chiles in the huge tumblers out in front of the supermarkets at harvest time in New Mexico!!!!!

          1. re: Passadumkeg
            tatamagouche Jul 15, 2010 03:24 PM

            Oh, for crying out loud, how did I not think of that? Good one. (And in Colorado too.)

            1. re: tatamagouche
              Passadumkeg Jul 15, 2010 03:30 PM

              I can't frickin' wait. Three weeks from right now, we'll be landing in The Duke City!

        2. woodleyparkhound Jul 15, 2010 11:06 AM

          Bread, cookies, cakes, cobblers, etc. baking in the oven. Nothing like it! My second favorite would be turkey baking on Thanksgiving Day.

          1. monavano Jul 14, 2010 12:34 PM

            So many, so many. My favorite, if I had to pick, is braising stuffed cabbage.

            4 Replies
            1. re: monavano
              Passadumkeg Jul 14, 2010 01:13 PM

              Mona or cooking Kapusta (saurkraut).

              1. re: Passadumkeg
                monavano Jul 14, 2010 02:05 PM

                Pork and sauerkraut in the crock pot is heavenly.

                1. re: monavano
                  Passadumkeg Jul 14, 2010 02:09 PM

                  Amen! But I have never used a crock pot.
                  A Cooking Luddite

                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                    buttertart Jul 15, 2010 10:21 AM

                    They were a popular wedding gift when we got married (in the Stone Age) - I returned several and my mom glommed on to the one remaining. Never saw the use of them either.

            2. i
              Isoldamay Jul 14, 2010 12:27 PM

              Fresh mint. Cardamom seeds being crushed in a mortar. Ditto for cloves. Garlic fried in butter. The combination of balsamic vinegar and melted butter (cheater's beurre blanc), the smell of really peppery arugula being washed.

              1. r
                racer x Jul 12, 2010 12:30 PM

                A smell I miss from the sidewalks of NYC:

                honey - or is it caramel? - being heated in a pan to be cooked with cashews or other nuts from the "honey roasted nuts" vendors

                This is another one of those "smells a lot better than it tastes" smells.

                2 Replies
                1. re: racer x
                  Passadumkeg Jul 12, 2010 01:33 PM

                  Chestnuts roasting from NYC sidewalk vendors in the winter; the smell reminds me of Xmas.

                  1. re: racer x
                    Cheese Boy Jul 12, 2010 09:32 PM

                    Racer, Nuts 4 Nuts carts.

                    Look --> http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bi...

                  2. Passadumkeg Jul 12, 2010 04:39 AM

                    Fish & seafood in all forms except canned tuna (gag); call me un-American. I love the smell of fish frying, even the smell in the kitchen an hour after; the aroma of steaming clams is heavenly, lobster too; the smell smoking mackerel or scallops on my Brinkman; fresh caught planked salmon or hake on an open fire; steaming moules marinere; and the subtle sweet smell of sashimi.
                    Just for the halibut,

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                      buttertart Jul 15, 2010 10:18 AM

                      A plus one on yours, Passa, especially on the canned tuna - the poor tunas, what did they ever do to mankind to deserve such a dire fate when they are so much tastier raw or seared?

                    2. Emme Jul 12, 2010 01:18 AM

                      Roasting Chicken with Onion and Fennel
                      things with bay leaf
                      baked goods like cookies, gingerbread, most things with vanilla and cinnamon
                      Sauteed onions and garlic

                      1. invinotheresverde Jul 11, 2010 08:47 AM

                        Mine are pretty standard:

                        lime zest
                        perfectly aged Nebbiolo

                        1. steakman55 Jul 11, 2010 08:19 AM

                          The aroma when you walk into a steakhouse that cooks prime dry aged beef is without equal. It merely hints at the pleasures to come. Prime example: Keen's Chophouse in the garment district in NYC

                          1. s
                            shaebones Jul 11, 2010 12:53 AM


                            1. Cheese Boy Jul 10, 2010 04:53 PM

                              Veal Pizzaiola ... is tops on this list.
                              Garlic knots
                              Hot Apple Cider with cinnamon, allspice, and cloves
                              Curried lamb, goat, beef, chicken, or pork
                              Herb roasted chicken

                              1. m
                                MysticYoYo Jul 10, 2010 03:35 PM

                                - Basil! Iit's like perfume to me.
                                - Garlic
                                - Freshly brewed coffee
                                - Roasted turkey - unleashes the memories of Thanksgivings past

                                1. pikawicca Jul 10, 2010 02:22 PM

                                  Ripe quince
                                  fresh bread

                                  1. the_MU Jul 10, 2010 02:08 PM

                                    Freshly torn basil.
                                    Garlic fried in olive oil.
                                    Popping mustard seeds.
                                    Sesame oil.
                                    Bubbling strawberry jam about to go into the jar (have jam on the brain today!)
                                    Fresh curry leaf.
                                    Wood smoke, usually on my clothes from having cooked something over a campfire.

                                    1. boyzoma Jul 10, 2010 04:33 AM

                                      Beef Stew
                                      Pot Roast
                                      Spaghetti Sauce
                                      Turkey & Stuffing
                                      Celery & Onions (for the stuffing)

                                      1. Pata_Negra Jul 10, 2010 04:15 AM

                                        yeah almost everything already mentioned, save for anything that's sweet. (i don't like 99% of things sweet and their smells.)


                                        smell of Vietnamese, Thai and Korean restaurants
                                        beers and wines
                                        smoked flaky salt, malt, meats etc. actually, just about everything smoky that's not tabacco.
                                        freshly baked breads
                                        fresh herbs
                                        cherry tomato vines

                                        1. mariacarmen Jul 10, 2010 12:54 AM

                                          summer ripe fresh peaches, nectarines, plums, tomatoes
                                          fried potatoes
                                          sauteed or roasted garlic
                                          fresh sweet baguettes
                                          black truffles
                                          vanilla bean
                                          buttery scrambled eggs
                                          tortillas charred over a gas flame
                                          any runny, pungent cheese
                                          lays bbq potato chips
                                          (This sounds like my perfect last meal request!)

                                          1. s
                                            Smorgasbord Jul 9, 2010 11:20 AM

                                            ...Freshly cut up watermelon
                                            ...The smell on your fingers after you've finished cutting up tomatoes or strawberries
                                            ... Hot, homemade tapioca pudding
                                            ...For some reason the smell of Cadbury Mini Eggs makes me almost faint with pleasure; I don't really like the chocolate but I'll sit around huffing one of these packs like a glue fiend
                                            ...Microwave popcorn [again, don't really love to eat the stuff, but like the smell]
                                            ...Cut up limes
                                            ...Of course the aforementioned coffee brewing, bacon and onions frying, & freshly baked bread

                                            1. j
                                              jcattles Jul 9, 2010 10:22 AM

                                              Mushrooms & onions sauteeing in bacon grease-add a little thyme & it's even better

                                              Yeasty bread dough


                                              Spaghetti Sauce simmering on the stove-reminds me of growing up

                                              1. coney with everything Jul 9, 2010 06:33 AM

                                                That "bakery" smell...

                                                Agree on roasting chicken
                                                Garlic or onions sizzling in a pan
                                                Freshly cut lemon

                                                1. catchickmary Jul 8, 2010 07:00 PM

                                                  pumpkin pie
                                                  baking yeast bread or homemade cinnamon rolls
                                                  fresh brewed coffee
                                                  roasting chicken or turkey
                                                  baking gingersnap cookies
                                                  making candied ginger
                                                  sauteed onions and garlic

                                                  1. LindaWhit Jul 6, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                    Freshly baked apple pie
                                                    Freshly baked bread
                                                    Roasted meat (usually leg of lamb or a roast chicken)
                                                    Vanilla anything
                                                    Sauteed garlic

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                      mday Jul 10, 2010 05:15 AM

                                                      x2 for the fresh baked bread (too bad I'm a celiac).
                                                      hamburgers on the grill
                                                      fresh tomatoes
                                                      garlicky anything

                                                    2. MandalayVA Jul 6, 2010 08:45 AM


                                                      Toasting bread

                                                      Freshly popped popcorn

                                                      Pot au feu (I think I spelled that right)

                                                      1. jmckee Jul 6, 2010 08:14 AM

                                                        Garlic and lemon chopped together. Add ginger and it's danged near perfection.

                                                        Raw fresh ginger. Sometimes I'll buy a little piece even if I don't need it any time soon, just for the smell.

                                                        Absolutely perfect fresh ripe strawberries.

                                                        1. onceadaylily Jul 6, 2010 07:02 AM

                                                          So many that have already been mentioned upthread: coffee, garlic and onions cooking, meat on a grill, wine or beer hitting a hot pan, roasting chicken, and baked goods in the oven, soups and stews simmering on the stove, and barbequed pork.

                                                          Also grated citrus rinds, nutmeg, and freshly chopped herbs. My favorite herb smells are basil, rosemary and parsley (chopped parsley smells so clean, and green, like a just-mown lawn). I also quite like the smell of toast. And some teas (though I hate tea) are very pleasant as they steep (jasmine, earl gray, and red tea).

                                                          Last week, the boyfriend came home early from work, and exclaimed, "God, it smells good in here. I'm starving! Is it ready?" He came into the kitchen, and I was standing in front of a cutting board that held chopped carrots, onions and garlic. I explained that I was *planning* on cooking the mixture, but he could help himself as he pleased. He grumbled that it *smelled* like cooking, as if I had tricked him. So, I guess he would say that his favorite smell is . . . dinner.

                                                          1. b
                                                            Bryan Pepperseed Jul 6, 2010 06:48 AM

                                                            Onions on the griddle - even better with a cheesesteak cooking next to it.
                                                            Grilled burgers
                                                            Fresh baked bread
                                                            Mulled cider

                                                            1. linguafood Jul 6, 2010 03:47 AM

                                                              Onions frying in bacon fat.

                                                              1. RealMenJulienne Jul 6, 2010 02:06 AM

                                                                When you make a gumbo, the wave of steam that comes up out of the pot as the onion, celery, and pepper hit the hot roux.

                                                                The greasy wok-hei smell surrounding a good Chinese restaurant.

                                                                Hash browns frying.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                  Isoldamay Jul 14, 2010 12:24 PM

                                                                  Yes, yes, yes on the veggies hitting the roux thing! I could live on the smell of that for days. If it weren't so hot (and if my CSA had given me some peppers instead a billion zucchini and eggplants), I'd go make some gumbo right now.

                                                                2. t
                                                                  tastesgoodwhatisit Jul 6, 2010 01:00 AM

                                                                  Frying onions with fresh ground black pepper.


                                                                  Hot almond milk (particularly walking through the night market)

                                                                  The smell right after your put malt vinegar and salt on freshly deep fried french fries. Preferably ones bought from a chip truck in Quebec on a balmy summer night.

                                                                  The smell of sun warmed fresh fruit, picked at the perfect ripeness.

                                                                  Fresh mint.

                                                                  The smell as you peel a mandarin orange in the dead of winter.

                                                                  Freshly brewed good coffee.


                                                                  1. Popkin Jul 5, 2010 10:45 PM

                                                                    Vanilla beans
                                                                    Garlic soup
                                                                    Fresh bread. There is a baker at a local farmer's market that makes the most wonderful smelling rosemary focaccia.
                                                                    Roasted coffee beans (enjoyed the smell long before I developed a taste for it)

                                                                    1. r
                                                                      Riatta Jul 5, 2010 10:11 PM

                                                                      Tomatoes on the vine, not the tomatoes but the vine
                                                                      Fresh corn on the cob
                                                                      Fully ripened peaches and nectarines
                                                                      Yankee pot roast

                                                                      1. r
                                                                        racer x Jul 5, 2010 06:31 PM

                                                                        I do a lot of reheating of food in the microwave. I love how fast it is and how much less energy it uses (?) than the stove (electric), but I really miss the aromas that you get when you use the stovetop instead of the microwave.

                                                                        1. JerryMe Jul 5, 2010 06:29 PM

                                                                          Home made bread - freshly baked especially coming in after a cold day. Freshly sliced cucumbers - especially after coming in after a long hot, sweaty day.

                                                                          1. r
                                                                            racer x Jul 5, 2010 06:26 PM

                                                                            certain coffees*
                                                                            smoke from bbq
                                                                            really ripe nectarines

                                                                            *I'm not really into eating cinnamon-flavored foods, and I don't like coffee - I just like how they smell.

                                                                            1. a
                                                                              adamshoe Jul 5, 2010 05:43 PM

                                                                              Baking chocolate chip cookies, bread, a long braised brisket with onions, the aroma when you first open a vacuum sealed package of coffee. adam

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: adamshoe
                                                                                greygarious Jul 5, 2010 07:12 PM

                                                                                +1, and to further elaborate, both rising yeast dough and just-baked bread. Any cooked onions or onion/garlic combo. And apples cooking.

                                                                              2. j
                                                                                jenni49 Jul 5, 2010 04:41 PM

                                                                                Thanksgiving turkey & fixings, esp. pumpkin pie
                                                                                Sunday gravy with garlic simmering on the stove
                                                                                but hands down, #1 is bread baking in the oven! Irrestible!

                                                                                1. Jadore Jul 5, 2010 04:29 PM

                                                                                  Meyer lemon
                                                                                  Wood-fired pizza
                                                                                  Movie theater popcorn
                                                                                  Red wine deglazing in a pan
                                                                                  Pickles on a burger (I hate pickles but love the way they smell!)
                                                                                  Indian curry

                                                                                  1. v
                                                                                    Val Jul 5, 2010 04:14 PM

                                                                                    Probably at the top of my list is cinnamon...cooking on the stove or in the oven.
                                                                                    Next would be garlic.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Val
                                                                                      lucyis Jul 5, 2010 05:30 PM

                                                                                      We are sniffing sisters, Val. Cinnamon rules!

                                                                                      1. re: lucyis
                                                                                        jujuthomas Jul 12, 2010 05:38 AM

                                                                                        me too! love cinnamon above all. then vanilla, and chocolate. :)

                                                                                      2. re: Val
                                                                                        CreativeFoodie42 Jul 16, 2010 06:49 AM

                                                                                        I'd have to second the garlic. Roasted garlic is one of my favorite scents.

                                                                                        After that I'd have to head to fall and baking anything pumpkin - bread, pies, etc.

                                                                                      3. d
                                                                                        Diamond Jul 5, 2010 04:13 PM

                                                                                        So with you on all of these, especially the chicken and tomatoes.

                                                                                        I love:

                                                                                        - Grapefruit. I'm crazy for the stuff!
                                                                                        - Vanilla bean anything
                                                                                        - Coq au vin (I converted a poultry hater with the scent of it alone!)
                                                                                        - Homemade marinara sauce as it bubbles away on the stove
                                                                                        - Mongolian beef, the spicier the better

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