Yesterday I was cooking with garlic (not unusual – I cook with garlic most days – I love garlic) and I was thinking how great garlic smells when it’s cooking. (It also tastes amazing, but that’s not so much what this is about.) It got me on to thinking about smell, and how powerful it can be. The smell of something can have a huge influence on how you feel about it, and is also one of the most powerful memory evokers. (As an aside – I often want to wear suncream as a perfume during the winter months, to remind me of happy sunny summer days.) And then I started thinking about all the senses, all involved in the culinary experience. Food is so much more than just taste. I decided to come up with a list of my favourite sights, sounds, smells and textures to do with food (and drink). This is definitely a work in progress, but here goes…


  • Roasting garlic
  • Freshly baked bread (there’s a reason they pipe that smell round super markets)
  • Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
  • Freshly ground coffee (and I don’t even drink coffee)
  • Offensively smelly cheese (a bit of a controversial one – but you just know that it will taste really good!)


  • Opening a bottle of wine, with a corkscrew, and then pouring the wine
  • Sizzling bacon
  • Popcorn popping
  • A boiling kettle (to make tea – obviously)


  • A really gooey brownie
  • Won ton
  • Light fluffy American pancakes (see picture)
  • A really tender steak
  • A runny yolk in a hard boiled or fried egg


  • A garlic head, cut in half
  • Piped icing
  • Sushi
  • Tiger bread
  • Sliced red onion


So, it’s a start. What about you? What are your favourite smells, sounds, sights and textures related to food and drink?

I’m going to think more about foods that have a really bad smell/ sound/ sight/ texture and whether they can still taste good…let me know if you think of any good examples.

For now, though, I’m going to go and look for other beautiful foods.


2 thoughts to “Sense-sational”

  1. This is definitely not related to food and drink, but one of my very favourite smells is cow muck. I love driving past fields which have just been muckspread and getting a strong whiff of it in the car. It, more than anything, evokes happy childhood memories for me.

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