“The first condition of understanding
a foreign country is to smell it.”
– Rudyard Kipling
I love this quote. Think about how powerful our olfactory system is and what we associate with certain smells. How some are so sweet and aromatic, while others are so odd, so pungent; yet, you cannot seem to get enough of them....
And then other smells kind of grow on you...at first, they turn you off, but over time, you learn to appreciate them. That's how it was the first several times I made a roux in my kitchen in Herning. The smell, to Mads, was awful...he just could not figure out what it was and why I was making it!
Then over time, he realized that it was the very essence of most Cajun dishes. Now he "smells" roux in a very different way. He honestly appreciates it because of what it brings to his life.
I think Kipling was onto something....