Imagine wanting nothing more in the world than to be a chef. You start at the bottom of the barrel, as a dishwasher, learning from one of the most amazing chefs in your city while scrubbing pots, but you LOVE it. And then you're hit by a car and you completely lose your sense of smell. Without smell, you cannot taste, and if you can't taste, you can't be a chef.
This is what happened to Molly Birnbaum, a young woman who dreamed of attending the Culinary Institute of America, but who suffered the ultimate loss of a sense vital to her career choice and overall happiness with her life. We read about the deep depression Birnbaum falls into while recovering from her physical injuries, is forced to quit her job, and cancel plans for proper training in the culinary arts, and how she works to rebuild her sense of smell, while learning a whole lot about what our noses do for us.
Part food lit, part memoir, with some science mixed in, I lost myself in this book and managed to read it in one sitting. Even the more technical aspects about smell and taste as Birnbaum investigates whether or not she has chance of recovering, are incredibly interesting and I didn't gloss over as I usually would. The descriptions of smells no longer detectable were absolutely amazing and made my mouth water as I read them! I would never have given a second thought to not being able to smell and how much a person can't do because of that. Can't taste, can't tell if food has spoiled, couldn't smell smoke in one's house, etc.
A truly fascinating story, I definitely will not be taking my sense of smell for granted anymore!
Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way
Review copy provided by publisher