Saturday, June 23, 2012

Notes from a Canadian Fumehead

Via GeekyCanuckGirl

The Calgary Herald publishes Bruce Weir’s entertaining ramble through his personal smell associations. Weir is FirstNerve’s favorite kind of Canadian: to establish his olfactory cred he tells how he once cleared a disco by farting. Then he turns to the smellscapes of Calgary:
I’m also generally delighted by the reliable smell of beer that wafts over Inglewood from the Canada Malting Company on Bonnybrook Road. On a good day, when the wind is out of the south, that smell combines with the yeasty goodness of the Fleishman’s plant—it cranks out about 14 million litres of yeast annually—to produce a sensory knockout.
Along the way, Weir provides an interesting vignette about the sequence of aroma released during coffee roasting:
One of the first things to burn off is chaff, a papery coating that [head coffee roaster Tim] Houghton compares to a peanut skin and which smells a bit like hay as it combusts. At about 375 F, the beans go through the “first crack” and release a lot of oil. As that burns off, it produces aromas that Houghton calls “chocolatey and a bit like a camp fire.” Once the beans lose those substances, they develop flavours like “nougat, honey and chocolate,” he says.
Not bad, eh?

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