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Latinos love food and we love to cook rich, delicious, fragrant dishes (generally, not all). We not only love to cook, but we love to smell the food we are cooking. There is nothing like coming home from a long day at work and smelling that Sofrito cooking! What about waking up to the scent of turkey bacon and eggs cooking? Ohhhh… Oh yeah, we very much love the smell of our food cooking. Usually all your neighbors also know when you are cooking too! Hmmmm, I’m getting hungry. Arroz con habichuelas! Ay Dios mio!
Not all people like this though. Asians also love to cook and derive as much pleasure from the art of food as we Latinos do, but not when it comes to the smells in the house. My wife is Chinese, and I have many Asian friends, they (generally, not all) prefer to keep the food smell from overwhelming the home. Most of them close the bedroom doors when cooking, they turn on the stove exhaust, and activate the fan pumping the air out of the house when cooking.
This morning I was making bacon for my son’s breakfast, my wife magically came out of the room from sleeping (she was off today) and told me “open the window, I smell the bacon”. TO THAT, my response was “So? You want some of this here bacon?” That deliciousness would make me wake up hungry. In fact it did make me hungry! And yes, yes I did, I ate some turkey bacon this morning. But as I stated early on, Asians (in general) don’t like food smells the same way Latinos do, my wife frowned at me and went back to sleep. Hehehe. That’s right baby, making bacon! (She still made me open the window though.)
This anti-smell practice is bizarre to me though, and honestly I doubt I will ever in my life bother with consistently opening a window and pumping air out the smell when I’m cooking. One, I find it trivial and silly, two I won’t ever remember to do that because we’ve never done it in any of my homes. But then again, to my wife’s great relief, I don’t cook too often.
How do you handle the food situation when cooking at home? Do you prefer the Asian or the Latino way? There is no right or wrong answer here, this is just a matter of preference!
Growing Up Bronx