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reheating fish at work... faux pas?

c
cgarner Apr 15, 2011 09:53 AM

It's Friday
It's Lent
I don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent

I had leftover breadded haddock and pierogies from last night's dinner, it's a mild fish

one thin filet and three pierogies

zapped it (no toaster oven) for 1 minute 30 seconds, stepped away during that time to grab mail, etc...
I was completely called out for heating fish up in the microwave at work.

Ok, so they made a joke of it, but I could tell that there was some resentment in that laughter.

so I eat stinky foods, I remember getting "the look" while eating Korean in the lunch room too

Is reheating fish at work still considered a faux pas???

  1. g
    Greek Chefs Daughter Jun 6, 2011 09:51 AM

    I have an entirely different reason to veto any re-heating of fish in a "common" microwave at work. Some people--myself included---have serious seafood allergies. The lingering smell can cause symptoms to flare up. I break out in hives and my throat begins to close if the smell is potent. I also would not be able to use that microwave until it has had a very good cleaning.

    1. n
      Number Jun 4, 2011 07:33 PM

      Yup. Bad idea. No eating super stinky food at work. Besides, fish is one of those "just as good cold" kinda foods.

      1. m
        mandycat May 24, 2011 05:07 PM

        When I worked for a company in Atlanta (I won't say which one except that their headquarters were on Peachtree Street and their principle product went "ringy-dingy" and you picked it up and said "Hello?") one of our co-workers was an Oriental gentleman who brown-bagged his lunch every day. Most days his lunch was a pleasant waft of soy sauce but about once a week he brought something that smelled exactly like a wet dog. I had to leave the premises until the stench blew through. He was such a nice man and such a valuable team member that no one complained but still .....

        1. Peg May 23, 2011 09:46 AM

          I'd have thought it a faux pas to reheat fish ANYWHERE - what kind of fish is edible after reheating?

          1. r
            Raids Apr 21, 2011 01:56 PM

            So, if I'm reading this right, it's inconsiderate and a sign of the paucity of the times that people eat strong-smelling food at work *unless* they are eating that food as part of their relationship to their heritage/ethnicity, in which case the complainer is a xenophobic WASPy jerk. Got it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Raids
              sunshine842 Apr 21, 2011 03:28 PM

              not sure you're really reading it right.

              1. re: Raids
                j
                joe777cool Apr 21, 2011 05:10 PM

                thats an interesting take.....not based on anything contained in this thread IMO....interesting none-the-less

                1. re: joe777cool
                  r
                  Raids Apr 25, 2011 05:59 AM

                  Okay, okay, my point is that there is no universal agreement amongst humans on the issue of nasty-smelling food. There are common themes, but they are mostly culturally-determined. Since most of us are committed to the idea that something isn't wrong just because english-germanic protestants don't do it, we probably shouldn't rely on general group agreement, as determined by the predominant culture, to be the arbiter of what is inappropriate office food and what isn't.

                  Probably we should just have a break room with a microwave that isn't in anyone's office and reheat and eat our food there. For me, the problem is that people eat and prepare food at their desks more and more often, when we should probably just adopt a taboo against that, or get used to the idea of working in an office that smells like a kitchen.

                  Having said all that, if all of my coworkers were complaining about my lunch, I'd eat something else just for the sake of keeping the piece. Personally, I'd rather smell fish curry every day at work than listen to my officemate smack away, open-mouthed, at whatever he's eating for one more second.

                  1. re: Raids
                    EWSflash May 22, 2011 02:14 PM

                    You work next to my husband??

              2. monavano Apr 20, 2011 05:30 PM

                One time I reheated the previous night's dinner of pasta in a white wine cream sauce. I had made the sauce with glugs and glugs of white wine and when it heated up, the office was like "holy cow, is it happy hour?"
                White wine wafts.

                1. j
                  joe777cool Apr 20, 2011 05:06 PM

                  Forget the office, my SO knows that fish - specifically tunafish - is never to be made in my presence. The smell can literally make me dry-heave. One of these days I will successfully ban it from the house.....

                  1. jmcarthur8 Apr 20, 2011 03:50 PM

                    I've always taken leftovers to reheat at work, and have a few personal taboos:
                    NO -
                    Fish
                    Garlic
                    Parmesan
                    Curry
                    Which covers a good portion of my leftovers, but I can make a sandwich and reheat the pungent leftovers for a 'smorgasbord' night at home. Whether I have coworkers or customers in the office, it's just rude to fill the air with my lunch.
                    Unless I am a little annoyed at the lady I work with, then just to tick her off..............;-)

                    1. a
                      AdamD Apr 20, 2011 02:45 PM

                      +1 Yup, faux pas. Although the lunchroom has quite a few smells in it, nuked fish is never good.

                      1. s
                        sedimental Apr 20, 2011 11:58 AM

                        Apparently, it is also bad form to micro fish in the morning in my own kitchen...my spouse just gave me the "what for" earlier :(

                        Apparently, a quick coffee warm up and fish don't go well together at 7 am.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: sedimental
                          sunshine842 Apr 20, 2011 12:24 PM

                          ugh. Fish at 7 am? I'm afraid I'm with your husband on that one.

                          (I'll eat lox on a bagel, but that's not microwaved...or better not be!)

                          1. re: sunshine842
                            s
                            sedimental Apr 20, 2011 12:35 PM

                            I didn't talk back....it really WAS revolting ;)

                          2. re: sedimental
                            Jay F May 22, 2011 11:42 AM

                            Fish and microwaves = not a good combo. And nobody loves fish more than I do.

                          3. monavano Apr 19, 2011 05:12 PM

                            Here's an idea. Make a sandwich. Save your reheating for dinner. At home;-)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: monavano
                              ttoommyy Apr 20, 2011 06:02 AM

                              I agree monavano. There was a time when people respected one another; it seems now we live in a time when people want to assert their rights over one another. Unfortunately people today think to back down from something like the situation at hand is a sign of weakness, when in reality it is a sign of compromise and respect.

                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                c
                                cgarner Apr 20, 2011 07:49 AM

                                Well, the weather is warming up a little here in the Delaware Valley so I guess I”ll just have to patient for my next bowl of bibimbap till it’s nice enough to sit out at the picnic table and slurp up my smelly delicious lunch!

                                I'm quoting myself here to show that I get that HEATING something up which has a smell that’s a turn off to most is off limits, but many days a week, lunch is my main meal of the day, I’m not working out and then coming home and eating a whole meal. The COMPROMISE as I mentioned above and others have mentioned before is to either not heat it up and/or take it outside so that it’s not overpowering anyone’s olfactory nerves… the compromise is not to tell others what they can and can’t eat for lunch (harsh)

                            2. r
                              redfish62 Apr 19, 2011 05:10 PM

                              "I was completely called out for heating fish up in the microwave at work.

                              Ok, so they made a joke of it, but I could tell that there was some resentment in that laughter. "

                              'I remember getting "the look" while eating Korean in the lunch room too'

                              Okay so we know going in that the poster was "called out" for what he/she heated, and that there was "some resentment." The poster has also gotten "the look" due to the poster's cooking habits at work.

                              It seems to me that if your cooking at work is causing "some resentment" among your co-workers, and that they are giving you the stink-eye over it, that this is a BAD thing.

                              Is it your STRATEGY to cause resentment among your co-workers? No?

                              I think the way to go is to ALTER YOUR COOKING HABITS while at work, to reduce the chance of causing further resentment. Others may disagree, and view the resentment as a positive thing, but based on my experience being resented by your co-workers is not a positive.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: redfish62
                                d
                                dingey Apr 28, 2011 11:06 AM

                                At the same time, I find all the fast food crap that co-workers eat in the breakroom to smell nothing short of horrifying, but nobody's kvetching about that.....

                                1. re: dingey
                                  sunshine842 Apr 28, 2011 11:39 AM

                                  but now that you bring it up...yeah.

                                  1. re: dingey
                                    c
                                    cgarner Apr 28, 2011 12:03 PM

                                    This reminds me of the game that my daughter plays with her friends: “Would you rather…”

                                    Would you rather smell microwave pop-corn or McDonalds?
                                    would you rather smell curry or kimchi

                                    1. re: cgarner
                                      ttoommyy Apr 28, 2011 01:41 PM

                                      McDonald's and curry. :)

                                      1. re: cgarner
                                        sunshine842 Apr 28, 2011 03:07 PM

                                        the point of the whole thread being, however, to please be aware of what you're subjecting others to...whether it's greasy fries, goat cheese, kimchi, or that bottle of "Chanel No. 5" you bought from that guy at the flea market.

                                  2. c
                                    cgarner Apr 19, 2011 01:57 PM

                                    I talked to my husband about this because he works in a very culturally diverse atmosphere (he’s a scientist) they never “yuk” someone else’s “yum” when it comes to smelly stuff in the microwave. It’s just a fact ‘o life when where you work is like the U.N. and you literally have food from all nations being nuked in the microwaves.

                                    Well, the weather is warming up a little here in the Delaware Valley so I guess I”ll just have to patient for my next bowl of bibimbap till it’s nice enough to sit out at the picnic table and slurp up my smelly delicious lunch!

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: cgarner
                                      sunshine842 Apr 19, 2011 03:18 PM

                                      there's a big gap between yucking someone else's yum and having to cope in a small professional office with something that smells like it shouldn't be eaten.

                                      Fish, microwave popcorn, lots of things made with cabbage --- if it's nauseating to *anyone*, it's out of line and should be enjoyed at home. I love smelly cheese -- but wouldn't ever subject someone to the smell of a good ripe cheese in the office...I *know* it's offensive.

                                      I'm not talking about the smell of spices -- I'm talking about things that someone finds physically offensive (ask most folks about the aroma of French andouillette cooking...it's the one food I cannot stand to even be in the same building with -- it literally turns my stomach and ruins my appetite....and I have as much right to be able to eat my lunch as the andouillette-eater.)

                                      1. re: cgarner
                                        monavano Apr 19, 2011 03:29 PM

                                        Tolerance is a good thing and if they all tacitly agree to tolerate stank, more power to them. Don't know if I could keep my lip zipped. Same goes for deodorant. I could not suffer in silence ;-0

                                        1. re: monavano
                                          EWSflash Apr 23, 2011 09:53 AM

                                          Wow- you just reminded me of something that I think needs to be said.

                                          Don't get any ideas about spraying a so-called air freshener around thinking you'll get rid of microwave food odors!!! You'll just be making it much much worse.

                                          My favorite aunt, on the subject of pine-scented air fresheners which were about the only kind you could get back in her day, usually used in bathrooms, said "It smells like somebody shit on a Christmas tree."

                                          1. re: EWSflash
                                            Jay F May 22, 2011 11:39 AM

                                            Air "freshener"...how can anyone believe in it?

                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                              monavano May 23, 2011 06:50 AM

                                              HAAAA!! Great laugh to start the morning ;-)

                                              1. re: EWSflash
                                                hyacinthgirl May 24, 2011 03:53 PM

                                                Air freshner no. But if something really stinky MUST be heated in the microwave, it does help for the offender to clean the inside of the microwave afterward and then heat up a cup of water with lemon in it. That tends to help with the smell, I've noticed.

                                            2. re: cgarner
                                              o
                                              odkaty Apr 19, 2011 04:55 PM

                                              This. It's a slippery slope.

                                              Long before fish or popcorn, I'd be banning eggs, pork, sausage, bacon and those foul microwave meals (speaking of chemicals!) but I'm not going to restrict someone else's lunches based on my personal preferences. That's just selfish.

                                            3. r
                                              redfish62 Apr 19, 2011 01:37 PM

                                              Imo it was extremely selfish and inconsiderate.

                                              1. sunshine842 Apr 19, 2011 12:34 PM

                                                I've had luck reheating *some* fish (especially if it's fairly thin filets; not breaded) by boiling a cup of water in the micro, then putting my covered fish on a thin plastic plate (like a paper plate) over the hot water (in MY office) for several minutes.

                                                It doesn't get hot, but it's at least warm enough to eat, and there's no smell. Stirring it into hot rice or vegetables also heats it up nicely without putting it in the micro.

                                                I used to work with a wonderful woman who reheated fish that was unfit for human consumption. It reeked of ammonia (but she seemed to not only not notice, but never suffered any consequences) and no matter how much we turned up the ventilation fans and opened doors, that fishy-ammonia smell hung in the air for *days* -- she'd reheat it on Friday, and even with everything running over the weekend (we ran 3 shifts, 7 days) -- it would still smack you in the face on Monday morning.

                                                The no-fish edict came after about the third episode -- we all adored her, so nobody wanted to hurt her feelings, but it was truly awful, and having a client walk in, hesitate, and wrinkle his nose was the final straw.

                                                1. NYCkaren Apr 19, 2011 10:21 AM

                                                  I think you have a right to reheat your fish. I've done it. I do notice when my co-workers do it but the smell goes away.

                                                  Someone burned a bag of popcorn in our office microwave and the smell has lingered for at least two weeks. Now THAT's a crime.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: NYCkaren
                                                    monavano Apr 19, 2011 11:00 AM

                                                    You never have the "right" to be inconsiderate of others, which I think nuking fish is just that. Who the hell wants to smell your stanky-ass fish? The odor does linger....way, way too long.
                                                    Eat your fish cold or not at all!
                                                    <over reactive rant over ;-)>

                                                    1. re: monavano
                                                      scubadoo97 Apr 20, 2011 09:43 AM

                                                      Agreed and as boss I get to say what can and can not be microwaved in my office. Rights? Funny

                                                  2. b
                                                    bdachow Apr 19, 2011 09:17 AM

                                                    I'm lucky that our office kitchen has a door on it. I love microwave popcorn and being ethnic, I love my various stinky foods. Fortunately, living where I do, one of the most popular food items is fish cakes made from salted dried cod. So no problem with me bringing in fish or other items of dubious nature. Count me lucky!

                                                    Unfortunately, as the world has become a more multi-cultural place, what one considers nice smelling is another person's offensive hence the adopted attitude of "you don't complain about my stinky, I don't complain about your stinky". Seems to work so far.

                                                    Good luck with that, I don't have fish at the office that often but when I do, I enjoy every last bite of it.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: bdachow
                                                      l
                                                      Lixer Apr 19, 2011 11:31 AM

                                                      I agree. Our kitchen is in it's own little room down the hall so maybe I have a skewed perspective on this. I think people should be free to heat up what they like since if no one could heat up something that anyone else finds offensive (How dare you heat up that pizza before me, it's not on my diet!!) then cgarner is right; we'd just be eating boiled chicken and rice. It's just a smell, it's not going to hurt you.

                                                      1. re: Lixer
                                                        l
                                                        Lixer Apr 19, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                        But I would like to add that it probably is best to just go with the flow in your office. If you get multiple comments and stares I'd back off the fish too. That said, I do try to eat my tuna and egg salads outside. :)

                                                        1. re: Lixer
                                                          t
                                                          Terrieltr Apr 21, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                          Previously, the microwave was right outside my office, in a little cubbyhole of an area that retained food smell ALL day. At 4:30, 5 in the evening, I would STILL be smelling other people's lunch every time I stepped through my office door. Pesto may smell great at lunch, but four hours later? It made my stomach turn. Even worse was when multiple people used the microwave, resulting in a layered odor that lingered for hours.

                                                          The odor issue has as much (if not more) to do with the space as it does with the food.

                                                      2. c
                                                        cgarner Apr 19, 2011 08:58 AM

                                                        Ok, I get it (see my embarrassed, red face) no fish, no Korean, no Vietnamese, especially after I’ve splashed some fish sauce on it, no Indian and NO microwave pop corn
                                                        Now I’m off to heat up my white rice and boiled chicken and warm skim milk with a side of wonder bread(KIDDING, just kidding)

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: cgarner
                                                          EWSflash Apr 23, 2011 09:45 AM

                                                          8^D
                                                          If you just managed ot warm your stinky food up to room temp, lots of foods are edible and there isn't near as much smell, if any.
                                                          Except for microwave popcorn.

                                                          1. re: cgarner
                                                            letsindulge May 22, 2011 11:34 AM

                                                            I was head chef of a full service cafe at a local software business. BTW it was a culturally diverse company. Now get this...There was a person who used the microwaves to heat their food from home everyday. Said person would also partake of the complimentary espresso, & hot beverage station a minimum of 5 times daily. I received from this person a leaflet that listed numerous ways to rid a space of cooking smells, particularly onions & garlic...*slap my forehead with my palm*

                                                            1. re: letsindulge
                                                              EWSflash May 22, 2011 02:11 PM

                                                              Unbelievable.

                                                          2. p
                                                            pasuga Apr 18, 2011 07:45 PM

                                                            In the mid-80s I was working for a start-up database marketing company. Maybe 25 employees. The office was in a converted elementary school, and the tiny kitchen (sink, frig, microwave, one table) was directly across the hall from the only large office, which the two co-owners shared. One of my friends started heating up her lunch (left-over halibut) while the owners were talking to a prospective client whom they were about to take out to lunch.

                                                            Directive came down the next day: NO FISH IN THE MICROWAVE!

                                                            1. manraysky Apr 18, 2011 12:26 AM

                                                              I have to agree with the majority here--no fish in the office microwave. The smell is just awful.

                                                              I used to work in a space that shared a half-wall with the communal kitchenette. Someone used to microwave fish for lunch almost daily. Everyday, our work space stunk for a least an hour. Not pleasant.

                                                              1. MinkeyMonkey Apr 17, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                I'm one who thinks that anything with a strong smell (good or bad) is not something to be eaten in a small place in which others can't just get up and leave, work place, class room, bus (I live where we have a regional bus and they allow food and beverages due to the long ride anywhere).

                                                                I love to eat left-overs for lunch as I have a small budget and hate wasting food but I don't re-heat stinky foods. If I bring fish, I just eat it cold and I usually go outside to the park tables unless I'm the only one there. I don't mind when others eat strong smelling food but I'm not easily bothered by it nor do I dislike food smells. My mother would snap if you re-heated fish anywhere near her My co-worker apologizes just for re-heating broccoli. I keep telling her I don't mind but I guess it bothers her so she finds it a bit rude.

                                                                I'd like it if we all were understanding of each others food needs such as using up leftovers but sometimes a small, shared space just doesn't allow for strong smelling foods.

                                                                I wouldn't have bothered me but I think you're right, it must have really bothered someone in your office.

                                                                1. jenscats5 Apr 17, 2011 05:51 PM

                                                                  I actually like fish lukewarm/cold from the fridge with mustard. So if I have to bring fish to work, I won't bother to even heat it....

                                                                  1. scubadoo97 Apr 16, 2011 03:51 PM

                                                                    Don't do it. I had an employee reheat some fish for lunch one day. Stunk up my office for the rest of the day. Smelled like burned rubber. It was nasty.

                                                                    1. CCSPRINGS Apr 16, 2011 03:34 PM

                                                                      Re-heated fish smells revolting. A coworker warmed a fish entree 'Lean Cuisine' in the microwave and it was baffling to me that anyone would consider that edible.

                                                                      BTW- I hate microwaves and got in trouble a few months back for starting an anti-microwave post on CH.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: CCSPRINGS
                                                                        cosmogrrl Apr 18, 2011 12:56 PM

                                                                        I hate microwaves too. And I don't own one, and probably won't anytime in the near future. I don't consider them unsafe, I just think they're a waste of space.

                                                                      2. ttoommyy Apr 16, 2011 07:17 AM

                                                                        We have a post-it note on our microwave at work with a picture of a fish in a circle with a diagonal line through it. Enough said. :)

                                                                        PS... I love fish, but can't stand the smell of it reheated at work. I think many others feel the same way.

                                                                        1. l
                                                                          laliz Apr 15, 2011 02:15 PM

                                                                          our office is diverse. There is a sign asking anyone who reheats fish to wipe out the microwave afterwards.

                                                                          1. t
                                                                            Terrieltr Apr 15, 2011 11:42 AM

                                                                            Strong smelling foods in an enclosed area are not pleasant. Even if it's something that I might otherwise find appealing, when the smell lingers, it's just nasty.

                                                                            1. raytamsgv Apr 15, 2011 11:02 AM

                                                                              It's only a faux pas if it bothers your co-workers.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: raytamsgv
                                                                                f
                                                                                ferret Apr 15, 2011 11:05 AM

                                                                                When it comes to communal dining facilities, erring on the side of caution is the rule.

                                                                                1. re: ferret
                                                                                  Veggo Apr 20, 2011 06:24 AM

                                                                                  Is herring on the side of caution?

                                                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                                                    v
                                                                                    vencogirl Apr 20, 2011 09:41 AM

                                                                                    lol.

                                                                              2. f
                                                                                ferret Apr 15, 2011 10:28 AM

                                                                                Love fish, but the last time a co-worker used the microwave to reheat fish I was at the head of the pack demanding a public flogging and lifetime ban from bringing in outside food (for her).

                                                                                One man's yummy "mild" fish is another's sensory nightmare.

                                                                                1. MandalayVA Apr 15, 2011 10:26 AM

                                                                                  If you got called out, yes, faux pas. As a seafood-hating former Catholic I got it priest-confirmed that it's "don't eat meat," not "must eat fish" on Fridays during Lent. Ironically how I started cooking as a kid was making myself spaghetti because my mother insisted on serving fish on Lenten Fridays.

                                                                                  1. v
                                                                                    vencogirl Apr 15, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                                                    I have to go with the majority here and say yes, it is a faux pas. If a smell is strong enough to affect your co-workers, than its too strong.

                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                      cgarner Apr 15, 2011 10:21 AM

                                                                                      I took my plate outside to eat at the picnic table, nobody like 'the smelly kid' that's for sure

                                                                                      1. m
                                                                                        Maximilien Apr 15, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                                        No.

                                                                                        don't sweat it.

                                                                                        1. dave_c Apr 15, 2011 10:15 AM

                                                                                          It depends upon your work place. The area I work in is very diverse so the microwave has food heated up from cuisines from around the world. We are fortunate to have a large area where aromas dissipate quickly.

                                                                                          Since your coworkers called you out, I would say yes it's a faux pas.
                                                                                          What I've done with strong food is wrap in a bag or saran wrap to minimize the aromas being sucked out and blown around the room by the microwave's fan. Also, I believe foods heat much faster when covered tightly.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: dave_c
                                                                                            Sooeygun Apr 15, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                                                            Other than microwave popcorn, most of the people in my office don't care either. Or at least don't care enough to bother complaining. We have a very diverse staff, so one minute it's Indian, then Thai, then Chinese, etc. And we have a good fan in the kitchen.

                                                                                            The only person that ever mutters about the smells, likes to eat canned chicken noodle soup, which I think smells horrible.

                                                                                            1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                              dave_c Apr 15, 2011 02:38 PM

                                                                                              Maybe the trick is to heating up fish in the microwave is to cook/burn some popcorn afterward. No more fishy smell. lol.

                                                                                              1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                letsindulge May 22, 2011 11:12 AM

                                                                                                ROFL!

                                                                                          2. monavano Apr 15, 2011 10:13 AM

                                                                                            big gaffe! P-U!!
                                                                                            (am sure you're otherwise considerate)

                                                                                            1. i
                                                                                              Isolda Apr 15, 2011 10:08 AM

                                                                                              Yeah, it was a gaffe. FTR, you don't have to eat fish on Friday if you're avoiding meat. You can simply go vegetarian on that day, at least when it comes to the office microwave.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                c
                                                                                                cgarner Apr 15, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                                                                in a hurry, it was just easier to throw the leftovers into my lunch bag and take off for work but you're right about the non-fish options

                                                                                              2. m
                                                                                                mpjmph Apr 15, 2011 10:06 AM

                                                                                                For me, it's right up there with microwave popcorn, and I like fish. I'm a bit sensitive though, we have very limited space, and the shared microwave at work is in my office.

                                                                                                21 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: mpjmph
                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                  TuteTibiImperes Apr 15, 2011 11:47 AM

                                                                                                  What's the deal with microwave popcorn? I can understand the complaints about fish and stinky foods that don't smell pleasant while being nuked, but microwave popcorn smells great. Is it just that the smell of the popcorn makes other people hungry?

                                                                                                  1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                    Sooeygun Apr 15, 2011 11:51 AM

                                                                                                    I find that a lot of people think microwave popcorn stinks. I know most of the people around my office hate the smell of it (including me). And it lingers in the air so long, that you are stuck smelling it for far too long.

                                                                                                    1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                      EWSflash Apr 15, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                                                                      +1- it smells horrible to me (and I love popcorn) and lingers for hours and hours.

                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                        TuteTibiImperes Apr 15, 2011 12:29 PM

                                                                                                        Hmm. I just made a bag of microwave popcorn to test the smell.... and it still smells great to me, I guess it's just one of those things. I didn't realize some people really hated it, I always thought the 'is somebody cooking popcorn' type comments were of the playful 'oh, I smell baking cookies but I'm on a diet' variety.

                                                                                                        1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                          jenscats5 Apr 17, 2011 05:47 PM

                                                                                                          I am one where the smell of popcorn disgusts me....I can't even eat popcorn anymore due to the smell of it cooking. I find the smell truly repulsive.

                                                                                                          1. re: jenscats5
                                                                                                            rockandroller1 Apr 19, 2011 11:32 AM

                                                                                                            +1, particularly the fakey, butter stuff that everyone makes. I can eat real popcorn that I make on the stove at home, but that microwave stuff just stinks so bad, and it does linger and linger forever. When I was PG, it literally sent me to the bathroom with puke in my mouth.

                                                                                                        2. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Apr 20, 2011 05:32 PM

                                                                                                          +2. i can't stand the smell of bagged microwave popcorn, and it lingers in the air *and* in the microwave.

                                                                                                          and to the OP, yes, nuking fish at the office is a bad idea. it's one of those odors you really can't control, and many people find it offensive.

                                                                                                        3. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                          jmckee Apr 19, 2011 10:51 AM

                                                                                                          I like some of it, but the brand in our vending machine smells dreadful. And even worse when somebody sets the timer on the microwave and walks off, scorching the bag.

                                                                                                        4. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                          monavano Apr 15, 2011 11:51 AM

                                                                                                          Microwaved popcorn smells like chemicals. It's disgusting, oily and hangs in the air forever. It is just totally selfish to heat it up and make everyone else smell it for an hour.
                                                                                                          Blech. Should be banned.

                                                                                                          1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                            i
                                                                                                            Isolda Apr 15, 2011 12:37 PM

                                                                                                            There are some brands of MW popcorn that smell fine, others that literally smell like vomit (Paul Newman's, for example) while they are cooking. I think most of them taste okay, though, once you get past that vomit smell.

                                                                                                            1. re: TuteTibiImperes
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                                                                                                              mpjmph Apr 15, 2011 12:40 PM

                                                                                                              I love the smell of popcorn in general, but I find most microwave popcorn has a very acrid smell. In my experience it's also prone to burning in office settings, which makes the smell even worse.

                                                                                                              1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                                Will Owen Apr 15, 2011 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                "I can understand the complaints about fish and stinky foods that don't smell pleasant while being nuked, but microwave popcorn smells great." I think so too, and couldn't imagine anyone disliking it until I met the current Mrs. O. She finds the smell repellent - not just the microwaved stuff, but theater popcorn, grilled fresh corn, whatever. So you can't make such broad assumptions.

                                                                                                                One common problem with office lunch rooms is they tend to be both tiny and badly ventilated, and that microwave oven gets cleaned HOW often? Usually only after someone's goat-and-turnip casserole explodes in it. I used to bring any and all of my favorite leftovers (and BOY do I love me some stinky food!), but then I was an inconsiderate food snob. Well, I still am a bit of a food snob, but if I were still inhabiting an office environment I would leave the fish or kimchi at home, or else eat it cold. That is actually not a bad thing to do with fish - bring a ziplock of salad greens, another with the fish, a small jar of dressing and a bowl. Breaded fish is probably not the best choice for this, though!

                                                                                                                1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                  dingey Apr 28, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                  But.....but I thought everyone LOVED my goat and turnip casserole! I try to hide in the less occupied parts of the building or outdoors (if weather allows) to eat my stankiest favorites....

                                                                                                                2. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                                  ttoommyy Apr 16, 2011 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                  I can't stand the smell of microwaved popcorn; smells like feet to me.

                                                                                                                  I have a friend who worked for a major French-owned company and she said microwaved popcorn was banned from their offices because the French find this smell offensive. And this coming from the land of stinky cheeses!

                                                                                                                  1. re: TuteTibiImperes
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                                                                                                                    MiriamWoodstock Apr 18, 2011 12:29 PM

                                                                                                                    I think it's that, whether you love or hate the smell, it smells really strong and lingers. It's the food equivalent of spreading out and taking up three seats on the subway... just a little out of proportion.

                                                                                                                    Luckily, my coworkers are very friendly to microwave popcorn :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                                      cosmogrrl Apr 18, 2011 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                      After having a room mate who make no other food, and after having the cube next to the kitchen, I have to say I hate the smell of microwave popcorn. Especially since I was in an office of gifted people who managed to burn it at least twice a week. Then there was the time black billowing smoke poured out of the kitchen as someone set the timer for 20 minutes and then left the kitchen. After I pleaded with the office manager, she agreed to not order any popcorn for the office. It's a bad smell, and it does linger for a while, and when you get to smell it 3 times a day you get pretty sick of it.

                                                                                                                      And yes, reheating fish is an office faux pas.

                                                                                                                      1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                        sueatmo Apr 18, 2011 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                        In my experience, the popcorn can be easily burned. Even if it isn't burned, the smell lingers for the rest of the day. If you want to stay friends with your co workers, don't make popcorn in the staff micro!

                                                                                                                        1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                                          PeterL Apr 19, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                          The office smells like popcorn for the whole day, maybe even beyond. Not the proper work environment.

                                                                                                                          1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                                            Jay F Apr 19, 2011 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                            Microwave popcorn smells like chemicals, not food. That's the deal with it.

                                                                                                                            I don't even microwave fish at home, it smells so bad.

                                                                                                                            1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                                                                              macca Apr 20, 2011 10:55 AM

                                                                                                                              The smell of microwave popcorn really makes me nauseous! Not sure about the smeil of microwaved fish. I like popcorn ( not microwaved), and I love fish- though I have never nuked it.

                                                                                                                              1. re: macca
                                                                                                                                susans Apr 26, 2011 02:25 PM

                                                                                                                                +1

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