Smells that are comforting to me. The ones that make me happy.
I have two favorites and they are somewhat unusual. Even though I grew up in the United States, these favorite smells of mine lean toward my Asian culture.
First happy smell of mine is fresh bread from an Asian bakery, preferably a Taiwanese bakery. I grew up eating Asian style breads and I still prefer eating these over Western style breads. To me, fresh red bean bun is better than croissant. I really like going to bakery when they have freshly baked breads because the smell of warm breads is wonderful. Some of the ingredients that the Asian bakeries used are for more the Asian palate such as taro, pork sung, red bean, and even green tea. I think cheese buns with hot dogs are a very Asian thing. It is so delicious.
There are European inspired breads such as cheese danish, brioche, and garlic bread for the younger crowds. Most of the newer Asian bakeries have both Asian and Western flavors. Best of both worlds! I just like going to the bakery in the mornings when they have freshly baked breads. It’s really a lovely carb heaven for me. I am also very lucky because 85C Bakery Cafe opened close to my house recently. Fresh Asian breads all the time!
My second favorite happy smell is…stinky tofu! Yes, I love that stinky smell. Most people will run away from it. I run towards it. This have to be a very Taiwanese thing. It’s easy to find the stinky tofu stall at the night market in Taiwan, use your nose and follow that sweet smelly scent. I really don’t know when I started liking it, but I never turned down a stinky tofu. There are two kinds of stinky tofu: fried and steamed. Fried one does not smell as strong as the steamed one. No surprise that my favorite is the steamed stinky tofu. The thing with stinky tofu is the taste is mild compare to its smell. It doesn’t taste smelly, it taste like tofu with the sauce they put on it. To me, stinky tofu is good eatin’ and that smell makes me happy. Very happy.