Have you ever been suddenly and instantly transported back to another time in your life? Did that moment occur upon tasting or smelling something?
You won’t be alone in this experience. It has happened to me on several occasions. In fact, it is most likely smell or aroma that is the trigger even if the vehicle for this has been your mouth. Remember the trick your mother taught you for taking your medicine. To be rid of the vile taste hold your nose whilst drinking/eating. These days’ children’s medication is not so much offensive as absolutely delicious – well according to my children – which is a little concerning actually but I digress.
So this aromatic time travel happened to me recently. A romantic breakfast; just the two of us (ok and the other patrons in the café). A delicious menu. The chosen omelette complete with spinach, portobello mushrooms, thyme and fetta. Too tempting to pass up. Food came. Looked fantastic.
With the first mouthful I was immediately transported back in time and the romantic moment was shattered. The fetta was made from goat’s milk.
The taste of goats’ cheese, goats’ milk or goats’ yogurt all send me reeling back to summer in the 70’s. Cruising past the paddock on my dragster with the t-bar stick shift in third. A gulp of air taken just before that critical moment prior to being enveloped in the pungent smell of billy goat.
Timing crucial, wind direction critical; to avoid flooding all airways with the pervasive smell of billy goat. Holding onto an impossibly long breath, lungs searing, until the moment you are able to exhale. Making sure that part of that exhalation involved forcibly expelling the potentially goat polluted air from the nasal passages.
If you have ever had the (dis)pleasure of taking in the aroma of billy goat you might understand my aversion. It is a thick greasy smell that clings to the hairs in your nose and lingers there long after you are well past the point of its origin.
Without fail if my taste buds come within yahoo of anything that has a hint of goat’s milk in it I am immediately transported back in time to those heady days of braving the passage past the goat. The freedom of hitting terminal velocity on the dragster with the closest thing resembling safety equipment being the obligatory thongs and the rainbow coloured tassels flying out of the ends of the handlebars.
Despite the joy of the memories the aroma lingers…
Note to self: next time check the origin of the milk that made the fetta!