We make lots of soup and it’s natural that the neighborhood is going to smell a little like whatever we’re making that particular day. Could be Split Pea, could be Vegetable. It may seem odd to roll down the car window and catch a whiff of chicken soup, but I’m sure the folks in the area appreciate it!
I grew up in a house full of wonderful aromas, thanks to my dad and mom always in the kitchen, cooking up a batch of soup or a memorable family dinner.
Certain smells trigger certain memories, and I was curious on why our sense of smell can have that effect. So, after searching around on the web, I found an interesting article by a Psychology Today blogger that answered a lot of my questions.
Dr. Jordan Gaines Lewis explains that smells are first processed by the olfactory bulb, which starts inside the nose and runs along the bottom of the brain. The olfactory bulb has direct connections to two brain areas tied to emotion and memory. So it’s no wonder that smelling a rose reminds you of an old boyfriend, or a specific perfume brings memories of your grandmother.
Our family certainly has some wonderful memories tied to the smell of food. For example, my dad often tested new products in our kitchen. One of the most memorable was his cheese testing. I know what you’re thinking… “Cheese? Don’t you mean soup?” Well, we make a macaroni and cheese product for our food service business as well. I remember coming home and noticing the smells of sharp cheddar vs. a nice American cheese. As a result, I have fine palate for cheese when it comes to my classy wine and cheese nights.
Our kitchen was and continues to be the center of our home and one of us is always cooking up a storm or chowing down. We come and go constantly (our schedules can be crazy!), but we always seem to connect in the kitchen and I think all of us appreciate the opportunity to sit at the family table to share a meal and catch up on our day.
And what if you lose your ability to smell? According to research, smell loss can affect your ability to maintain close personal relationships and can lead to depression.
That’s no surprise to me. My favorite smells are tied to childhood memories, good times, and special events, like holidays and family get-togethers.
What are YOUR favorite smells? Share them on Facebook with us!