Smell the taste of food

Updated on Jun 23, 2004 02:15 PM IST

My first recognition of importance of smell to taste was limited to alcohol and beverages, writes Vir Sanghvi.

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I first recognised how important smell was to taste many years ago – but, at that stage, the recognition was limited to alcohol and beverages.

Johnnie Walker had organised a session at which a master blender from Scotland would explain how various malt whiskies were blended to create the bottled Scotch we know as Red Label or Black Label. The session was interesting enough – fascinating for whisky-lovers, a category that does not include me, alas.

When it was all over, and we were meeting for a drink, I asked the blender if he would do a blind tasting for me. I would line up seven or eight whiskies and he would have to identify each with a single sip. This sounded difficult but the man did claim to be a master-blender. Besides, I thought evilly, imagine the story that will result if I slip an Indian whisky into the selection and the Scotsman fails to guess its provenance.

The master-blender was reluctant.

I persisted.

Finally we agreed on a compromise. He wouldn’t taste the whiskies. He would guess what they were merely by sniffing the aromas. The fool, I thought, we’ve got him.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Why hide the papers? Why keep the conspiracy theories related to Netaji Subhas Bose’s death alive? And why deny India the truth about the death of one of its great freedom fighters?

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