HOLIDAY SPICES – A CRASH COURSE
Gingerbread baking in the oven, mulled wine stewing on the stove, fresh, grated nutmeg garnishing the eggnog. It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas. Is that how the song goes? No? Perhaps it should, because nothing says the holidays quite like the aroma of spice.
On The Nose
They say smell is the most powerful trigger of nostalgia. One whiff of the body spray you used in middle school and you’re right back to that first awkward kiss, braces and all. Proust famously coined this phenomenon an “involuntary moment” – when a memory is suddenly awakened by a scent, taste or sound. For some, the holidays are all about the smell of cloves. For others, it’s cinnamon and nutmeg. Of course, the aroma you might associate with the holidays has a lot to do with the country, culture or traditions you grew up in.
Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me – I’m the Gingerbread man. You’ll likely recognize this iconic refrain from the famous story, The Gingerbread Man. According to the Smithsonian museum, this piece of folklore is actually part of a larger genre about “goodies gone wild.” The Fleeing Pancake stories, as they are known, all contain the same ingredients: a cheeky little baked good popping out of an oven, a race to escape and an ill-fated end.