Do you have certain tastes and smells that transport you back to a certain time or place?
I certainly do, some of mine include things like:
- The smell of Coppertone or coconut oil reminds me of summer as a kid
- The feeling of cold and the smell of a gas stove reminds me of my Nana's cold Wellington house
- The unusual mix of coffee, car exhaust fumes and dog pooh remind me of France (!!)
- The smell of a nice strong espresso reminds me of Italy.
I love it how just catching a whiff of these smells can take you back – you see memories play back in your mind, remember how you felt at the time. With the smell coconut oil, I can even remember the feeling of the summer sun on my skin (and it feels nice, considering it's rainy and cold outside right now). I'm a wee girl and am playing at the beach during summer. On the sand is the technicoloured beach blanket that my family used and chilly bins and beach towels are scattered around. That is summer.
The smell of coffee, however is a different time and place. Fast-forward 15-20 years and we are in Italy. Take your pick of city or village. It's first thing in the morning and I'm on the hunt for my morning coffee. I could be with any of my travelling partners, but they're not really prominent as I am on my single-minded mission. I sleep-walk my way into a bar (which is more like a basic cafe) and order "un espresso, per favore". Standing at the bar whilst waiting for my coffee, I can smell coffee starting to surround me. It's comforting. My coffee arrives and I sip it quickly and leave "grazie mille!" – I'm finally awake.
Sometimes and only sometimes, does my morning espresso transport me back to Italy. Maybe it's the way that I prepare it, or my state of mind at the time. But I'm glad that it only happens sometimes, because it's nice for that memory to sneak up on you again. When I made an affogato the other day, I had that feeling of Italy... mmm yum, coffee and ice cream.
I love it when a dish is so simple but it's still delicious because of the quality of ingredients that you use. This is such a simple italian dessert but I love it. For me, it would have to be an after lunch treat, as I can't have coffee from about 5pm onwards, or else I won't be able to sleep and I start having crazy semi-awake dreams.
I can't stress any more, that for this dish you should use the best ice cream that you can find and your favourite coffee. Because that is all that this dish contains - coffee and ice cream - it is essential that these two ingredients are the best-tasting that you can afford.
Kohu Road vanilla ice cream was used for this recipe, it is deliciously creamy and really does feel luxurious. I've also tried their golden syrup flavour, which I think would go well in an affogato too. The coffee that I used is my current blend: Kokako Organic.
1 shot of strong espresso (50ml)
1 scoop of good-quality vanilla ice cream
- Make a shot of espresso or if using a plunger, make a small amount at double your normal strength
- Put a scoop of ice cream in a cup or small bowl
- Pour the coffee over the ice cream.
What are your favourite food smell memories? I'd love to hear them.
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