Cooks, Follow Your Nose : My Article in Zester Daily

The best way to find a perfectly ripe tomato has little to do with its shape, color or size. It is the unmistakable scent of salty caramel that demonstrates a tomato is at its peak. While green tomatoes can be reddened with ethylene gas, furaneol, the compound that gives tomatoes their distinctive aroma, accumulates only when a fruit is allowed to fully mature on the vine. Strawberries and mangoes share the same compound, and other fruits contain analogous aromatic molecules when fully ripe…”

Zester Daily, a publication devoted to food and drink, has published my article Cooks, Follow Your Nose. In it, I share how understanding the role of aroma and the power of our nose is essential for eating well, despite the fact that most cookbooks and food shows rarely acknowledge this.  Hope that you enjoy it!



  • Suzanna: Brava to you, Victoria! And what a beautiful picture to accompany–that’s a real treat since we never “see” you on here.

    Glad to see your dovetailed passions for cuisine and fragrance are leading to formally published articles. Perhaps a cookbook is not far behind. August 15, 2011 at 9:44am Reply

  • Suzanna: Also, I should have known that portrait was taken by the wonderful Vera Klokova, whose work I admire from afar. Please let Vera know she has a fan here! August 15, 2011 at 9:48am Reply

  • Maureen: What a great article and also a great picture. You are very lovely and much younger than I had pictured…you are so knowledgeble I thought you were much more mature. This was the first perfume blog I ever read, and it is on my favorites list. August 15, 2011 at 11:27am Reply

  • Carla: I sniff my tomatoes and berries and peaches at the store before buying, and here in the US I feel that people look at me askance when I do so, but maybe I’m just imagining it. Our tomatoes will sadly ripen while we’re away on vacation. Poor timing. August 15, 2011 at 12:05pm Reply

  • dleep: Great article and a beautiful picture! August 15, 2011 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, Suzanna! I love the overlap between cuisine and fragrance. Plus, it is really interesting to see the recipes for perfumes in old cookbooks, which exist alongside the food recipes. August 15, 2011 at 10:39am Reply

  • Victoria: I will let her know, and I know that she will be delighted! I am a huge Vera fan myself. August 15, 2011 at 10:40am Reply

  • Lavanya: Lovely article, V. Thank you for the reminder to use smell while buying fruit and veggies (and cooking). It makes me also feel better about instructions on my blog like ” heat the spices in the oil till they are fragrant”..:)..I find that I unconsciously use smell a lot while cooking. My mother never measures while cooking and so it is difficult to get an exact recipe from her. After I came to the U.S I managed to recreate her Rasam purely based on my memory of the smell (and taste) of hers..Similarly, her Palak Paneer. August 15, 2011 at 12:17pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, Maureen! 🙂 I am so glad that you are enjoying my blog. August 15, 2011 at 3:15pm Reply

  • Victoria: At the markets here, I see people squeezing the vegetables and fruit (and sometimes very aggressively!) I don’t often see people smelling produce. August 15, 2011 at 3:18pm Reply

  • Victoria: I once tried to recreate the Georgian bean dish based on my scent memories. My grandmother also does not measure anything. And what is more, whenever she dictates the recipe, she forgets to mention half of the ingredients. 🙂 Not because she thinks that they are unimportant, but because to her, it goes without saying that you should add onion and dill to cabbage rolls.

    My MIL used to teach at the culinary school, so it is easier to get recipes from her. August 15, 2011 at 3:20pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you for your nice compliment on both! 🙂 August 15, 2011 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Musette: Great article (which I commented on) and you are just lovely!!!!

    I’m going to go pick some fresh basil now, to go with my fresh tomatoes. Yum! August 15, 2011 at 7:21pm Reply

  • Victoria: Mmmmm, fresh basil is one of the best scents of summer! Thank you for your nice words and your thoughtful comment, Anita. August 16, 2011 at 10:23am Reply

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