As humans we tend to find deep satisfaction in eating. What once was simply a requirement for survival has evolved into a source of entertainment. We peruse grocery store isles searching out delectable items to dance with our taste-buds. Our sense of smell is often intimately involved in the enjoyment we receive through eating. But what about those foods which assault one sense while pleasuring another? The following are foods that smell awful, but many say taste great.
Originating from Korea, this rotten-smelling side dish is definitely not going to have you excited to try it. It is made by taking vegetables, most commonly cabbage, radish, cucumber, and/or scallion, and fermenting them in a jar for months. If you’ve been adventurous enough to try it, you probably know the delicious taste greatly outweighs the rancid odor it emits.
Often referred to as the “king of fruits,” the durian is known for having a noxious odor. It can weigh up to 7 pounds and grow to be a foot wide. Once you get through the tough husk, the odor increases significantly, but the fruit itself tastes great, some compare it to almonds in the flavor department.
Not only is this dish often described as having a putrid odor, but it also has a slimy texture to boot. It is made from fermented soy beans, which probably explains the peculiar smell. This can be difficult for many westerners to eat, but once they get over their initial reaction, many find it absolutely delightful.
No, not processed, sliced cheese you have in your refrigerator. We’re talking about real, aged cheese and many smell like a cross between severe body odor and rotten eggs. Most often, the worse it smells, the better it tastes, making for quite a strange reaction when you try some cheese for the first time.
So, what actually causes certain foods to smell awful but taste great? Think back to your old science class and remember taste and smell are often linked together. This would make you believe if it smells bad it is probably not safe to eat. In some cases, this is true, but the answer to the discrepancy may lie in the evolution of the human species.
Back before refrigeration, modern medicine, and some of humanity’s other modern accomplishments, eating a food that smelled bad was not a good idea. This is because many of the processes for producing foods, like certain cheese, were done improperly and lead to infections or illnesses of some sort. Today, people are able to make these same foods, but they can do so without risk. In other words, our sense of smell has not caught up to our technological development and therefore it continues to try and warn us of potential risk.
Do you enjoy any of these foods regularly? Are there other dishes you think smell awful but taste great? Let us know in the comments below.