Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Extra - crossed signals

I used to love pickles.  Growing up I could eat an entire jar all by myself.  But are the flavors of things supposed to remind us of the aroma of places?    For example I remember eating a Vlasic pickle spear as a teen and THE FLAVOR of THAT pickle reminded me of THE SMELL of a building I visited as a child.  The building was a church that was pretty new.  I can only guess that either the odor of the paint, polyurethane, wood, or carpet has the same properties of the vinegar that is part of the Vlasic pickling process.

Years later, each time I took a bite, it brought back strong memories of that new church building.  I don't remember eating any pickles at the church, I just remember the smell of the building.  I swear that nothing traumatic involving pickles happened to me there to trigger the memory.  My childhood memories at the church are fun.

I have not eaten any Vlasics post stroke because I don't like pickles any more, they actually make me nauseous now.  The only pickley things that I can stand are cornichons and relish.  But I'm fairly certain that if, today, I were to bite into a crunchy brined cucumber manufactured by Vlasic the taste would catapult me back to the late 70's which is the last time that I visited the church.  When I've eaten other pickle brands that experience didn't happen.  Strange right?  The stranger thing is that I don't recall eating anything else that has ever had THAT affect on my senses.

In fact I also remember having conversations with soda drinkers who'd be loyal to the taste of either Coke or Pepsi.  I did a taste test once and could not distinguish between the two soft drinks. Cola was cola to me.  Although Mr. Pib, Dr. Pepper and Tab had very distinct flavors.

I guess this is why there is a profession called an ear nose and throat doctor.  Someone to specialize in the connection between sinus/nasal passages. I've never been to an ear/nose/throat specialist.  So I wonder if they study how taste-buds enter into the equation as well.  I just left myself wide open to jokes hun?

"No Dale, that is why there is a profession called a psycho therapist.  Because you're talkin' real crazy!"

So has this ever happened to you?  I wonder...

AYI0200748 - red signal

[Disclaimer: This post is not intended to defame any of the manufacturers or their products in any way,  I'm just telling a story.  Photo #1 is courtesy of Google & #2 courtesy of]


  1. The strongest of the 5 senses attached to human memory is the sense of smell. It's acute. Were you to stop and think, you'd find that there were other smells that catapult you back to the same place again and again. It's magical, mysterious and EXCELLENT FUN!

  2. After I had my first child, it took me at least 10 years to be able to eat the foods that I ate during that time. The association with nausea was overwhelming!

  3. Smell and taste are definitely extremely closely related, but while I don't think it's the same thing what you're describing makes me think of synesthesia. I have a bit of that, a slight ability to experience sound as color and pattern. I wonder if it's a related type of brain function when your memory of one sense is triggered by a different sense?



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