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Old 10-15-2014, 06:21 AM   #1
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Do you smell that? Roll the windows down...

on my way into work there's a place on route 80 a few miles out from the gw bridge that must have some kind of flavours or frangrance factory next to the highway, because as i pass that certain spot, i'm treated to a different food aroma every day.

some days are the aromas of butterscotch, or popcorn, lemon, cherry, roasted nuts, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, and so on. something different every day.

i often roll down the windows so i can get a good whiff of the aroma du jour as i pass by.

are there any places near you that make you want to stick your head out the window like a dog to sense a particular smell (or conversely roll up the windows because of a certain stink)?

i remember as a kid doing this as we would pass by the nabisco plant on rt. 208 to catch the fantastic aroma of freshly baked cookies.

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Old 10-15-2014, 06:35 AM   #2
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I live not far from what was once the most polluted lake in North America. When I was young the lake smelled like a urinal biscuit or a product called Saniflush. Today it is gradually being restored and the smell is gone.

We also had a rendering plant that always smelled like roast beast!

A Nestle's plant in a nearby city always smelled like chocolate.

Today we still have one coffee roaster that gives off a wonderful aroma, a commercial bakery that always smells like fresh bread baking and a Polish meat market that smells like kielbasa when they fire up the smoke house!
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:20 AM   #3
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In the 90's we used to have the heavenly aroma of baking bread just a bit south of downtown St. Louis; on car trips north to Cedar Rapids/Iowa City it was a delicious toasty oats smell. When the groves are in bloom it's a pleasure to drive up the middle of Florida through the honeyed orange blossom fragrance.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:45 AM   #4
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Just up the street and if the wind is blowing right, I get fried onions and the smell of steaks cooking from one of the restaurants.

Windows up going past the water treatment plant...

When we lived in Denver, the Jolly Rancher factory turned out some good smells.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:59 AM   #5
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In the 90's we used to have the heavenly aroma of baking bread just a bit south of downtown St. Louis; on car trips north to Cedar Rapids/Iowa City it was a delicious toasty oats smell. When the groves are in bloom it's a pleasure to drive up the middle of Florida through the honeyed orange blossom fragrance.
Sorry but Cedar Rapids stunk. It was not delicious to smell it every day.

Quaker oats, purina and Wilson all had different putrid smells that enveloped the city. It was gross.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:15 AM   #6
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We usually experience that sequence in reverse. First you smell something then rush to open all the windows.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:57 AM   #7
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I lived outside of Chicago as a kid, with a sugarless gum factory down the road. Mmm, tutti-frutti when the wind came from the right direction.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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Much of the garlic grown in the United States comes from Gilroy, California. Driving along the highway near there, you can smell the sweet aroma of roasted garlic. Mmm.

Otoh, I grew up in southeastern Michigan, across the river from a Labatt's beer factory in Canada. When the wind was wrong, we could smell it at the bus stop. Yuck.

There was a Chinese restaurant down the street from an apartment where DH and I once lived. I loved the aroma of toasted sesame oil and garlic that came out of there.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:10 AM   #9
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On a few trips to CA, driving from SF to the Monterey peninsula, we'd pass through Gilroy and just enjoy the aroma of garlic in the air.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:15 AM   #10
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There is a plant on the outskirts of our town that does ham and bacon.

The hams are done beginning end of October and through until just before Christmas and then they start again in February for Easter.

The bacon is all the time.

Sometimes when they are running full on with the hams the smokers make the town smell like it's on fire!
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Sorry but Cedar Rapids stunk. It was not delicious to smell it every day.

Quaker oats, purina and Wilson all had different putrid smells that enveloped the city. It was gross.
I don't recall specifically a Purina factory in Cedar Rapids. There could be; I just don't remember it.

But I DO remember a Purina pet food factory in Clinton, Iowa. I had to drive through that town many times back in the 1980s. I don't know if it's still the case, but a smell I can only describe as a weird combination of cereal and cooked, rotting flesh permeated the entire city. I could never get through there fast enough.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:34 AM   #12
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When I lived in Washington, DC and would visit Baltimore, MD, it was always a treat to drive near the McCormick spice plant. Depending on the item they were processing, it was almost too much to be tantalized with the aroma of oregano, or cinnamon, or vanilla, or... Yum, double yum. Every time we went and McCormick was going full tilt I always wanted to cook/bake something as soon as we got home.

On the other side of the coin, in our region there is a huge (and I mean HUGE) paper processing plant. Ugh! Anyone who has lived near or been in the vicinity of one of these places knows how, um, fragrant they can be. Sometimes it smells s-t-r-o-n-g-l-y like sauerkraut. I like sauerkraut but not as a room freshner.

Right now, where I currently live, the region is a large tobacco-producing community, so the tobacco barns have been fired and will be smoking for a few more weeks. It's not an unpleasant smell but, after a while, it becomes tiresome. What I really want to inhale is the smell of the autumn leaves. By frost the tobacco barns will be cold and I'll get my autumn leaf fix.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:03 PM   #13
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I don't recall specifically a Purina factory in Cedar Rapids. There could be; I just don't remember it.
Maybe it was Ralston I was thinking of. When we moved there we couldn't believe the stench...

CR is listed as one of the stinkiest places in the world on this site!

"CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA
Some people call Cedar Rapids “The City of Five Seasons,” where the fifth is “time to enjoy the other four.”

Well, Cedar Rapids also has an unofficial nickname: “The City of Five Smells.”

With I-380 running directly through it, Cedar Rapids, the second second-largest city in Iowa, is home to many grain processing plants, including General Mills and Quaker Oats, which is the largest cereal plant in the world. In Cedar Rapids, most people claim the smells emanating from processing plants are more or less innocuous, pleasantly redolent of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries or oatmeal, though some days, these sites can offer up a miasma of odors.

Burnt corn, stale, rotting garbage, and over-overcooked oatmeal are some of the more overpowering smells that combine into one nasty stench. Cedar Rapids is also home to the food manufacturing sites of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Cargill, and Ralston Foods. You’ll know when you get close to the town: It will beckon you with clouds of smoke emanating from the industrial center, followed by the smell."

Don't Go There: 5 Stinky Places - Peter Greenberg Travel Detective
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:12 PM   #14
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On Fri nights you can often smell pots of stinky tripe cooking (outside for smart people). Menudo for weekends is a very big deal in this neck of the woods.

On the other hand, when the citrus orchards are in bloom, driving from here in the Heritage Valley to the ocean is heavenly with the windows down. It's time like those I wish I had a convertible.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:44 PM   #15
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I agree, Katie, paper mills stink. But rather than smelling like sauerkraut, I think they smell like spoiled sauerkraut. If there is such a thing...

We have a small farm just behind us. West. Most time the wind blows from the west, or northwest. Fortunately, it's a small piece of land. Probably rented out to a corn grower. Anyway, one or two days during spring and fall we can tell when they are fertilizing. I can vouch for the fact that those smells are not chemical but are, in fact, bovine gold.

We pass a Frito-Lay plant when we run down I-395 to our closest Lowe's. Until I found out from a friend that the plant was there, I wondered why I would smell what I thought was stale french fry oil along that route. When I learned there was a Frito plant there, I realized that was when they were frying corn-based treats.

Back during my late-teen years, I did volunteer work at a Y. Along the route was a Wonder Bread plant. I could smell bread baking. Or at least that's what I thought until I told my Dad about it. Since he worked for competing Ward Foods, he told me that wasn't bread. It was the smell of the downfall of bread!

He had a kinder take on a different smell we experienced while driving into Cleveland along what would become I-77. We passed steel mills Republic Steel and another one. You could tell if they were just venting the ovens or heating metal by the color of the smoke from the stacks: white for steam, dirty red for in-use. That was how I could tell if I should hold my breath or not. When I would complain about the smell, my Dad would say "there is nothing wrong with it. That is the smell of men working and providing for their families". Dad may have made it only to 8th grade before he left school to help support his family, but he was the smartest and wisest man I will ever know.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:36 PM   #16
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On the way back and forth from work every day I pass a Maple Leaf Foods commercial bakery, which has great smells, depending on which way the wind is blowing, because I also pass right by Gil's Onions.
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:43 PM   #17
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"Do you smell that? Roll the windows down... "

Sorry but from the title I thought this thread was about folks who took a road trip after consuming copious amounts of beans.

Being a born Baltimoron I have to agree with Katie H that the McCormick plant was a great place to get aromas from.

And when I lived in San Francisco there was a coffee roasting plant that was heaven for the nose unless they burnt a batch.

Now I get the smells of the bay and the fresh seafood it produces.


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Old 10-15-2014, 05:48 PM   #18
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on my way into work there's a place on route 80 a few miles out from the gw bridge that must have some kind of flavours or frangrance factory next to the highway, because as i pass that certain spot, i'm treated to a different food aroma every day.

some days are the aromas of butterscotch, or popcorn, lemon, cherry, roasted nuts, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, and so on. something different every day.

i often roll down the windows so i can get a good whiff of the aroma du jour as i pass by.

are there any places near you that make you want to stick your head out the window like a dog to sense a particular smell (or conversely roll up the windows because of a certain stink)?

i remember as a kid doing this as we would pass by the nabisco plant on rt. 208 to catch the fantastic aroma of freshly baked cookies.
Sadly, the factory you pass now probably manufactures synthetic flavours.

Many years ago I used to drive to work past the McVitie & Price factory where they made digestive biscuits (like Graham crackers). Lovely smells first thing in the morning.
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:56 PM   #19
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Maybe it was Ralston I was thinking of. When we moved there we couldn't believe the stench...

CR is listed as one of the stinkiest places in the world on this site!

"CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA
Some people call Cedar Rapids “The City of Five Seasons,” where the fifth is “time to enjoy the other four.”

Well, Cedar Rapids also has an unofficial nickname: “The City of Five Smells.”

With I-380 running directly through it, Cedar Rapids, the second second-largest city in Iowa, is home to many grain processing plants, including General Mills and Quaker Oats, which is the largest cereal plant in the world. In Cedar Rapids, most people claim the smells emanating from processing plants are more or less innocuous, pleasantly redolent of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries or oatmeal, though some days, these sites can offer up a miasma of odors.

Burnt corn, stale, rotting garbage, and over-overcooked oatmeal are some of the more overpowering smells that combine into one nasty stench. Cedar Rapids is also home to the food manufacturing sites of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Cargill, and Ralston Foods. You’ll know when you get close to the town: It will beckon you with clouds of smoke emanating from the industrial center, followed by the smell."

Don't Go There: 5 Stinky Places - Peter Greenberg Travel Detective
What a shame. I always thought Cedar Rapids sounded a lovely place name.
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:07 PM   #20
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As a kid in Kaneohe, there would be just waves of mosquitoes.
Every so often "the bug man" would come by our house spraying this sweet, lovely something-or-another from his truck.
All of us kids would rush to the jalousie windows, which were open almost consistently, and breath deeply.
Now we know what that was, DDT
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