For example, did you know that you can sharpen your sense of smell by wetting your nose? Oh, you went to sixth grad science camp, too? Well, my mom didn't know this factoid but she quickly used her powers of reasoning and noted that it probably explained why smells were more pungent on humid days. Smart woman.
Try it yourself!Speaking of pungent things... I'd like to take this time to explain people's love/hate relationship with cilantro, the leafy part of the coriander plant. Well, I wont get into the 'love' aspect but I'll see if I can enlighten you on the hate part at least.
While there are foods I loathe, nothing comes close to the revulsion I have for cilantro. It affects me viscerally, causing nausea from the smell and often worse effects from the taste (I'll spare you the details). When I confide my true feelings for the leafy green, I'm either met with shocked faces or exuberhantly sympathetic 'Me too!'s. So what gives?
There are several theories, including some involving a genetic disposition to hate the herb but the one I'll go into today is the explanation for why many people think it tastes like soap or lotion. To me personally, it tastes like neither... But it does taste like danger and the following theory explains that just as well.
The characteristic smell of cilantro is made up of molecules that are the same or similar to many found in soaps and cleaning agents.
Well, our senses of smell and taste are tuned to evoke strong reactions because they are critical for avoiding poisonous or spoilt food. You wouldn't want to have to try something several times to find out that it makes you sick. You've probably had trouble overcoming this hardwired system when you tried to eat a food that you ate before getting the flu. It took me years and years to like eggs again.
So there you have it. That's one theory. It's probably not the whole story because certainly some people in cilantro-infused cultures despise it as well but it sure does make me feel better about my crippling aversion.