So this is the season of barbeques, fresh flowers, vegetables, herbs, and wonderfully warm air. We go to a gathering with countless options of good-looking food, but before we even enter the room, smells welcome us. Although humans do not have the best olfactory sense in the animal kingdom, we can still distinguish ten thousand different smells.
At the meal/barbeque/restaurant, we choose what our eyes are hungry for and then sit down to eat. If we skip the smell and just start shoveling, our bellies hurt before we realize it, and we have pushed past a point of comfort. (Appreciating the fragrance of yeast. Our soup in a sourdough bread bowl in San Francisco.)
Noticing what we smell while eating is important; it is the main factor in what we notice as the flavor of our food. Smell really is taste. And if we forget to taste, it's easy to create a disharmony between food and body.
Might sound a little crazy, but learning to smell takes practice. I think it's a sense that's way too easy to disconnect with. Given all the things we avoid inhaling living in a city, re-learning to breathe and smell takes effort.
Walking outside at night? Notice what you smell. On a porch with citronella candles burning? Notice what you smell. Re-learning to smell might help you re-learn to taste.
Looks like we've been gifted a beautiful sense to keep us connected with our environment and our body. Enjoy it.