Cook With Your Nose

by Natalie Schloesser - Date: 2007-04-06 - Word Count: 345 Share This!

A strange title, but it caught your attention, didn't it? You might have expected suggestions of cooking with your recipes, your hands, your brain, your kitchen appliances, but your nose? Here's a quick explanation.

Do you remember the "trick" you used to do in school? Give a friend an onion to smell and an apple to eat and they swear the apple tastes like an onion.

Think of walking into a house where someone has been preparing dinner or a special holiday meal. What about walking by a coffee shop, or driving by a bakery? Our nose, although not our strongest sense, is often overlooked. Most of us have eaten meals that look fabulous when presented to us, but really don't taste that great. Compare that with how many times you have had a meal that smelled great but didn't taste that wonderful. For me, I tend to trust my sense of smell when it comes to cooking a lot more than my sense of sight.

Try this - open your spice cupboard or go to your spice rack and smell these: garlic powder, oregano, and basil. What do you think of? Spaghetti sauce! How about cinnamon, cloves, and allspice? Pumpkin or apple pie, anyone? Cook with your nose - if you're unsure what your dish needs, start sniffing.

We often relate spices and herbs to certain kinds of foods, and it's true; different cuisines use different herbs and spices (often according to what's available to their region). As mentioned above garlic, oregano and basil are thought of as Italian spices. Cumin and chilis are used in Mexican dishes. Germans tend to use parsley, chives, black pepper, and thyme, while Greek food often contains a variety including basil, bay leaf, oregano, parsley, thyme, tarragon, and mint (among others).

In the end, it all comes down to taste and what you like in particular. Learn what spices you like by smelling and tasting. The next time you find yourself standing over a pot simmering with a bland meal, you can hop over to your spice rack and start sniffing, ensuring a tasty outcome.

Related Tags: herbs, spices, cooking tips, cooking hints, sense of smell

Natalie is a work at home mom who loves crock pot cooking and quick and easy recipes in general. To view her crock pot recipes visit, which also includes a variety of helpful hints, cooking tips, quick and easy recipes, great products, and a fun and informative newsletter.

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