My lovely wife was a recent unwitting accomplice in an olfactory crime of surprising magnitude.
We’ve made pretty good friends with Aldi. We’re not besties. Probably won’t ever be. Really, they’re rare, but when we find an occasional Aldi-branded misstep, they’ve usually whiffed pretty badly. In our experience, there aren’t many Aldi-branded products hanging out in the B-/C+ range. They tend to be either an A/A- or a D.
Though we have expunged a great many dietary sins from our lives, we still eat breakfast meat every Sunday morning, and three-quarters of the time it’s bacon. I have developed a significant preference for the thick-sliced bacon that is packaged stacked, like a deck of cards, because it’s always super-easy to handle. You’ll never be irritated by a poorly-aligned bacon slicer, or a slab that’s not conducive to being cut evenly, or both. (Can’t stand those tissue-paper-thin “slicelets” that you wind up stacking to cook as one piece, if you can ever straighten the damned things out enough to even do that.)
So Lea found some of that thick, stacked bacon at Aldi. It got the nod this past Sunday. And as I opened it, I noticed it said “maple-flavored” on it.
Hmmm. Usually the only thing I like that is overtly maple-flavored is real maple syrup. If some other product is maple-flavored, I tend to find it much too heavily applied, and it’s cloying. (Same with vanilla. I like vanilla ice cream, but if something says it’s vanilla-flavored, it’s always too much. Vanilla Coke? What is that? Vanilla is already one of the primary flavors of Coca-Cola. I’ll think “Vanilla Coke” is way too much. And I did. But I digress.)
So, yeah, that Aldi maple bacon. The smell was pretty strong when it was frying in the skillet, and my tummy was already a little tender, so I didn’t eat any of it. I sat with the family and had milk and coffee. The smell hung in the air, and it was still there when we came back from church, but that’s pretty normal too.
What’s not normal is that the smell is still there. As I type I cooked that bacon about 60 hours ago, and there’s a maple funk in the house that positively assaults you when you walk in. I mean, you stay in the house for a few minutes and olfactory fatigue takes it away, but go out and come back? Whap! It’s bad. I even got it a bit walking from my study to the kitchen a little while ago.
Even worse, its artificiality and its age have kind of teamed up to turn it even more unpleasant. It’s starting to smell like something that got peed on and then nobody cleaned it up. Ever consider that fake maple smell’s similarity to stale urine? Good times.
Lea has suggested that we make rosemary bread to cleanse the house. Probably not a bad idea.