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tastes like... funny flavour associations

pinstripeprincess Jul 6, 2010 08:22 AM

when i was a kid, one of my first "ah ha!" flavour moments was when i realized that black cherry ice cream tasted like almond essence. some thousands of meals later and some more complex foods down the hatch, i've recently been having some really funny flavour associations and was wondering what other chows might have tasted?

most recently:
dehydrated tomato and vermouth - haw flakes
earl grey and salt milk chocolate - flintstones chewable vitamins (mostly the tea leaves left in the chocolate)
chardonnay - strong strong malt, like whoppers with a wine edge

when i mentioned it, some of the other diners agreed and so i know it wasn't my tastebuds going out of whack for the day. anyone else had some funny tastes like.... moments?

  1. mamachef Jul 29, 2010 08:12 AM

    I know it has to do with the enzymatic composition of foods, which can be tricky and subjective to one's own palate. I have eaten tomatoes that had the same "tang" as eggplant, blueberries also contain that almondy taste, as do peaches. Basil=soap is familiar to me, but only if it's dried basil, isn't that strange? Cilantro=no problem. Great thread.

    1. RealMenJulienne Jul 28, 2010 07:36 PM

      I don't taste much at all when I eat foie gras, just an indefinable richness which reminds me of potatoes. It hits the same spot as mashed potatoes or potatoes au gratin.

      1. e
        edintern Jul 28, 2010 11:24 AM

        papaya = vomit

        4 Replies
        1. re: edintern
          Sandwich_Sister Jul 28, 2010 12:16 PM

          Wait... How can that be? Papaya could taste like vomit if you regurgitated the papaya that you ate but if you ate a chili cheese dog with extra onions and regurgitated it then your vomit would not taste like papaya.

          Vomit would only taste like what ever food you regurgitated.

          1. re: edintern
            smartie Jul 28, 2010 07:34 PM

            OMG completely agree with you.

            1. re: edintern
              Emme Jul 28, 2010 08:15 PM

              i find both papaya and mango taste like dirt and maybe a little vomity...

              1. re: Emme
                buttertart Jul 29, 2010 06:28 AM

                The best description of papaya's taste and smell (at least the ones you get in the US) is from Adam Leith Gollner's totally swell book, "The Fruit Hunters": "vaguely unhygienic".

            2. s
              scarsdalesurprise Jul 26, 2010 01:42 PM

              Ginger Altoids taste like Pier One Imports smells.

              1. Bada Bing Jul 25, 2010 06:59 PM

                My wife, who has a prodigiously, indeed annoyingly, sensitive sniffer, insists that my high quality Spanish smoked sweet paprika smells like Band-Aids.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bada Bing
                  ttoommyy Jul 26, 2010 08:03 AM

                  I totally get that!

                2. Cheese Boy Jul 24, 2010 09:56 PM

                  I do not go near Subway sandwich shops because of the foul odor they emit. It's my understanding that the odor is that from their breads proofing amidst everything. If I owned a sandwich shop as they do, my sandwich shop would smell welcoming, not like theirs that reeks of stale beer combined with stale urine and the smell of cheap cold cuts.

                  Stinky, stinky, and stinky again. Thankfully, my tastebuds tell me not to go in there !!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Cheese Boy
                    Sandwich_Sister Jul 25, 2010 06:44 AM

                    I worked at a subway when I was in college, that smell would attach itself to my clothes. I'd wash my work clothes right away. yeck

                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                      MysticYoYo Jul 25, 2010 01:06 PM

                      Agree with cilantro tasting like soap but I'm another one who has grown to love it, but in moderation. Ginger tastes like I've gotten a spray of perfume in my mouth or what eating pot pourri must taste like. I find it overpowering when it's sliced thin and served with sushi, but I love it minced in recipes and Asian marinades. Friend of mine professes to despise ginger but I served Ginger-Cilantro rice with dinner one night and she could not stop eating it.

                  2. tatamagouche Jul 24, 2010 12:23 PM

                    What are haw flakes?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tatamagouche
                      EWSflash Jul 24, 2010 05:30 PM

                      In the Asian groceries haw candy is hawthorne berry candy. Maybe it's the same?

                      1. re: EWSflash
                        pinstripeprincess Jul 25, 2010 04:58 AM

                        same thing. they come in very thin discs that are rolled together like coins. they're quite sweet.

                    2. Glencora Jul 24, 2010 09:38 AM

                      Had pizza last night with mushrooms, Gorgonzola and truffle oil. I thought of this thread, because I kept tasting anchovy. It was very vivid. (Can a taste be vivid? I think so.)

                      1. Passadumkeg Jul 15, 2010 03:45 PM

                        The only thing that tastes "just like chicken" is iguana.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                          tatamagouche Jul 24, 2010 12:21 PM

                          I thought guinea pig kind of did...

                          1. re: tatamagouche
                            Passadumkeg Jul 24, 2010 01:09 PM

                            Nah, more like rat.

                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                              tatamagouche Jul 24, 2010 01:30 PM

                              that may well be...but I'm very happy not to know personally.

                          2. re: Passadumkeg
                            Sandwich_Sister Jul 24, 2010 02:48 PM

                            I think a lot of the reptiles and amphibians taste like chicken. I think Frogs legs taste a lot like chicken.

                            1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                              ttoommyy Jul 26, 2010 08:06 AM

                              "I think a lot of the reptiles and amphibians taste like chicken. I think Frogs legs taste a lot like chicken."

                              The FN show Food Detectives with that Ted guy from Queer Eye did a segment on this. It has to do with something called a "slow-twitch muscle." All the animals you mentioned have this type of muscle and therefore they tend to "taste alike."

                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                Sandwich_Sister Jul 26, 2010 08:13 AM

                                hah very interesting. I didn't know that.

                              2. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                Passadumkeg Jul 29, 2010 05:01 AM

                                Frog's legs! Boy it's been a long, long, time since I went frog geeking. Oh, for the summer night of youth.
                                The ones is Asian restos. just don't taste the same.

                            2. pinstripeprincess Jul 15, 2010 11:48 AM

                              a couple other things i remembered:

                              baco noir that tasted like werther's originals.
                              early grey and honey ice cream... fruit loops.

                              1. meatn3 Jul 14, 2010 06:34 PM

                                Years (and years) ago when I smoked cigarettes as a teen I discovered that if you were drinking lemonade and smoked an Old Gold it tasted just like caramel. This did not work with any other brand of cigarettes in my experience.

                                1. f
                                  foodftw Jul 14, 2010 04:24 PM

                                  Gin always tasted like carrots to me (an ex always drank gin & tonics).

                                  1. Sandwich_Sister Jul 14, 2010 03:16 PM

                                    Oh two more

                                    Gator Tail taste like buttery chicken

                                    Apple Cider Vinegar taste like the base of a sour patch kid.

                                    1. s
                                      smartie Jul 14, 2010 02:45 PM

                                      basil tastes like liquorice in jars of tomato sauce like Ragu

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: smartie
                                        ttoommyy Jul 15, 2010 04:20 AM

                                        That actually makes sense, since there are types of basil that have a pronounced anise flavor to them.

                                      2. m
                                        misterkot Jul 14, 2010 11:38 AM

                                        snyder's honey mustard onion sourdough pretzels taste like mcdonald's hamburgers.

                                        They're one super-processed food compared to another, but i liked the pretzels enough to at some point hate them.

                                        1. i
                                          Isoldamay Jul 14, 2010 10:45 AM

                                          I think very dark coffee beans smell like canned tuna, and I love coffee. Underripe mangoes taste like pine trees smell, yet I've never met a mango I did not like.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Isoldamay
                                            ttoommyy Jul 14, 2010 01:23 PM

                                            "I think very dark coffee beans smell like canned tuna"

                                            YES! I knew there was something I was forgetiing! I've thought this almost all my life. This is a fascinating thread.

                                          2. Popkin Jul 13, 2010 04:36 PM

                                            This reminds me of the time my husband told me to close my eyes and think of cocoa puffs. He then held the jar of generic beef soup base in front of my nose. From a very specific distance (not too far/not too close) it smelled exactly the same.

                                            1. tracylee Jul 13, 2010 04:29 PM

                                              Not taste, but smell - Years ago, I walked into the kitchen where the coffee pot had ground and brewed beans on schedule, and the fresh coffee smelled like peanut butter to me. Hasn't happened since, but it was definitely wierd.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: tracylee
                                                Parrotgal Jul 14, 2010 11:25 AM

                                                My smell thing is the Coors plant in Golden, Colorado, smells like artichokes. Are hops and artichokes related?

                                                1. re: Parrotgal
                                                  Sandwich_Sister Jul 14, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                  I always thought brewed hops smell like tea.

                                                  1. re: Parrotgal
                                                    LA Buckeye Fan Jul 24, 2010 03:52 PM

                                                    I live near a budweiser plant. I always thought it smelled like cooked green beans.

                                                2. b
                                                  bdachow Jul 13, 2010 12:27 PM

                                                  I bought an instant powdered lavender milk tea that reminded me instantly of wafer biscuits. Yum!

                                                  1. invinotheresverde Jul 13, 2010 11:23 AM

                                                    Laphroig smells like smoke and black magic markers.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                      Blush Jul 26, 2010 01:23 PM

                                                      Yes! It does!

                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                        RealMenJulienne Jul 28, 2010 07:32 PM

                                                        I think Laphroig and any other scotch smells like used band-aids.

                                                        1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                          buttertart Jul 29, 2010 06:28 AM

                                                          Another bandaidy thing: some Italian red wines.

                                                      2. woodleyparkhound Jul 13, 2010 11:15 AM

                                                        jackfruit = Juicy Fruit gum

                                                        1. monavano Jul 13, 2010 10:01 AM

                                                          Many cured meats, especially Sopressata, zing me with a bouquet of formaldehyde right in the nose. I believe it's leftover from when I took Gross Anatomy and spent many hours smelling the stuff. After several weeks, ANY bland food took on the nose/flavor of formaldehyde.
                                                          I was put off of bread and chicken for months.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: monavano
                                                            LA Buckeye Fan Jul 24, 2010 03:51 PM

                                                            so your fetal pig in bio lab didn't make you hungry for a blt?

                                                          2. ttoommyy Jul 13, 2010 08:56 AM

                                                            I think Frito Lay's corn chips smell EXACTLY like a dog's paws. Or vice versa.

                                                            13 Replies
                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                              monavano Jul 13, 2010 09:57 AM

                                                              Yes! Especially my Bichon Frise's paws. I like to call him my little Frito Bandito.

                                                              1. re: monavano
                                                                ttoommyy Jul 13, 2010 11:08 AM


                                                              2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                jhopp217 Jul 14, 2010 10:56 AM

                                                                I've always said that Cool Ranch Doritos smell exactly like body odor. But I love the taste.

                                                                1. re: jhopp217
                                                                  ttoommyy Jul 14, 2010 01:25 PM

                                                                  "I've always said that Cool Ranch Doritos smell exactly like body odor. "

                                                                  For me it's canned chicken soup. Certain BO smells just like it! lol

                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                    Sandwich_Sister Jul 14, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                                    oh yeah that soup DOES smell like BO!

                                                                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                      monavano Jul 14, 2010 02:54 PM


                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                      southernitalian Jul 14, 2010 04:06 PM

                                                                      When I was little I used to wonder why crowded subway cars always smelled like chicken soup. Took me a few years to figure out it was BO.

                                                                      1. re: southernitalian
                                                                        RealMenJulienne Jul 28, 2010 07:28 PM

                                                                        This thread is really interesting. So much is based on association. I love the cumin-heavy smell of a bowl of chili, but if I smelled the same thing standing behind a fat guy on the subway I would want to puke.

                                                                    3. re: jhopp217
                                                                      tracylee Jul 14, 2010 03:59 PM

                                                                      For me, it's shallots that smell like BO. I had the odor stick to a cutting board permanently once and ever since then, I can't stand them!

                                                                    4. re: ttoommyy
                                                                      LA Buckeye Fan Jul 24, 2010 03:48 PM

                                                                      My family has always referred to puppy paws as corn chips pads.

                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                        Vetter Jul 24, 2010 10:41 PM

                                                                        Awesome, we're not the only ones! We always joke about her frito paws.

                                                                        1. re: Vetter
                                                                          smartie Jul 25, 2010 06:02 AM

                                                                          English McVitties Digestive Biscuits are what my doggies' paws smell of.

                                                                        2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                          BeefeaterRocks Jul 25, 2010 10:52 AM

                                                                          Ok, fess up. How many of us smelled our dogs paws??? Mine smelled like dirt, could there be a difference between country dog paws and city dog paws?

                                                                        3. meatn3 Jul 13, 2010 08:44 AM

                                                                          We were sampling a fresh young Thai coconut at work. After tasting the coconut water a coworker said "Capt. Crunch!"

                                                                          It has been over 40 years since I have had that cereal, but the coconut water instantly brings back that taste association!

                                                                          1. shanagain Jul 13, 2010 08:18 AM

                                                                            You're going to think I'm nuts, but black olives taste like monkey bars smell.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: shanagain
                                                                              ttoommyy Jul 13, 2010 08:54 AM

                                                                              If you mean black olives form a can, then it's the metallic taste you are associating with the monkey bars. I totally get it!

                                                                            2. Emme Jul 11, 2010 08:05 PM

                                                                              cilantro/ginger/blue sweettarts - soap
                                                                              silver canned (caffeine) diet coke - vodka (exacerbated by an unfortunate high school incident)
                                                                              pepto bismol - root beer

                                                                              1. AndrewK512 Jul 10, 2010 12:50 PM

                                                                                Root beer - toothpaste

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: AndrewK512
                                                                                  LA Buckeye Fan Jul 24, 2010 03:46 PM

                                                                                  You take that back!

                                                                                2. Sandwich_Sister Jul 10, 2010 12:25 PM

                                                                                  Speaking of whoppers I think they taste a lot like a chocolate stout.

                                                                                  French Fries dipped in a Wendy's frosty - apple pie a la mode crust

                                                                                  Lavender - soap

                                                                                  Escargot - buttery garlic mushrooms

                                                                                  licorice - cough syrup

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                                    shanagain Jul 13, 2010 08:19 AM

                                                                                    I just can't get behind lavender in food for that reason.

                                                                                    1. re: shanagain
                                                                                      Sandwich_Sister Jul 13, 2010 05:33 PM

                                                                                      yeah i can't get behind it much either but I'd bath in it :)

                                                                                      1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                                        tatamagouche Jul 24, 2010 12:20 PM

                                                                                        On my 8th bday, my grandmother sent me some lavender bath sachets and I thought they were candy, handed 'em out at my party. Oops.

                                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                          Sandwich_Sister Jul 24, 2010 02:46 PM

                                                                                          Hahahah that is pretty hilarious. My friend came back from India and had us try an Indian breath freshener. After tasting it, it tasted like soap to me, I thought she had given my potpourri. lol.

                                                                                  2. BeefeaterRocks Jul 10, 2010 11:22 AM

                                                                                    Frozen spinach/dried up lawn clippings

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: BeefeaterRocks
                                                                                      LindaWhit Jul 13, 2010 09:32 AM

                                                                                      Which begs the question just HOW you know what dried up lawn clippings taste like? ;-)

                                                                                    2. monavano Jul 10, 2010 10:37 AM

                                                                                      I'm stating the obvious here; cilantro=soap. At least that was my first impression, and I associated it with a certain punishment for being sassy ;-)
                                                                                      Now, I love it. Can't pile on enough.

                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: monavano
                                                                                        mday Jul 10, 2010 01:20 PM

                                                                                        Agreed. I couldn't eat anything with cilantro growing up & my mom just didn't get it!

                                                                                        1. re: monavano
                                                                                          Isoldamay Jul 14, 2010 10:41 AM

                                                                                          Agree. I still hate cilantro by itself and have to hold my breath while chopping it, but if I leave it out of a dish, I miss it. I think it must be magic.

                                                                                          1. re: Isoldamay
                                                                                            monavano Jul 14, 2010 10:54 AM

                                                                                            You know, the funny thing is that I grew to love it! Why I tasted soap the first time I ate it and why I no longer associate it is a mystery to me.

                                                                                          2. re: monavano
                                                                                            jhopp217 Jul 14, 2010 10:59 AM

                                                                                            Why is it that I've read a million boards with this analogy and I just don't see it. I love the smell and the taste

                                                                                            1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                              monavano Jul 14, 2010 11:07 AM

                                                                                              I've heard it's a genetic thing with some people picking up different aldehydes which exsist in cilantro, while others dont. Also, repeated exposure to eating cilantro can reshape how one enjoyes it. I'm sure glad I kept at it.

                                                                                              1. re: monavano
                                                                                                tatamagouche Jul 24, 2010 12:19 PM

                                                                                                Actually, every once in a while, I can see what those who smell soap are talking about; I get a whiff. But mostly I don't. It's odd.

                                                                                            2. re: monavano
                                                                                              southernitalian Jul 14, 2010 04:04 PM

                                                                                              And basil tastes like Irish Spring.

                                                                                            3. Sandwich_Sister Jul 10, 2010 07:48 AM

                                                                                              the obvious - Natto - smells and taste the stinky feet.

                                                                                              Sea Urchin - Pumpkin Custard

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                                                jhopp217 Jul 14, 2010 11:00 AM

                                                                                                tastes like stinky feet???? Hmmm?

                                                                                                1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                  Sandwich_Sister Jul 14, 2010 11:04 AM

                                                                                                  hahaha I knew someone was going to give me a hard time about that. Taste like stinky feet smell. :)

                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                calliope_nh Jul 9, 2010 05:22 PM

                                                                                                I have had (more than once) chocolate bundt cake that I thought tasted like Play Dough smells. I have never discussed this with anyone.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: calliope_nh
                                                                                                  smartie Jul 14, 2010 02:46 PM

                                                                                                  yes yes I so get that! Usually the packet ones like Duncan Hines or Sara Lee

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