Saturday, February 5, 2011

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.” Helen Keller

My hometown delightful Dunedin, Florida


 The sense of smell is an incredible thing. Isn't it amazing how certain smells can conjure up a person or place that you have long since forgotten. The smell of a certain cologne that brings back the face of a boyfriend or father. Smells in the kitchen that bring back memories of fun-filled holidays.  For me it is the smell of smoke since my mom only cooks on high. 


 I grew up living in the middle of an orange grove. Our 3 street neighborhood was bordered on 2 sides with oranges, tangerines, & grapefruit. There is nothing like the smell of orange blossoms in full bloom. For anyone with allergies it was torture but it never bothered me. To this day I still have to stick my nose right into the blooms and inhale deeply. It's a heavenly smell. 
Orange Blossoms were named the Florida state flower in 1909
All that citrus had to be processed. About 2 miles from our house was the Hood's Plant that processed all that fruit into juice & other products. When the plant was processing oranges at full force the entire town of Dunedin smelled like oranges. Folks from Hershey, PA can understand what I'm talking about.
Even now 45 years later it is my favorite smell. 


Yesterday on my lunch break from work I skedaddled out for a bite to eat. I was in the mood for something. I thought it was Pad Thai but as I headed in the direction of the Thai Restaurant I caught a whiff of oranges in the air.  So I changed direction and went on to my local orange grove stand in Venice to get myself an orange creamsicle ice cream cone at Nokomis Groves instead. They make their own orange ice cream on site.  It has a very tangy deep orange flavor and twisted with the vanilla ice cream sends the flavor over the top. So cold & refreshing.
Nokomis Groves is a landmark in the Venice, Florida area


pure icy orange yumminess
Sorting the oranges inside the plant
Many varieties to choose from


They let you try before you buy
Years ago when I worked for Cracker Barrel Restaurant I waited on the family that owns Nokomis Groves. I didn't know who they were until the end of their meal. I overheard someone at their table talking about Nokomis Groves and I chimed in "OH, I love their Orange ice cream!".  The patriarch at the table kind of scowled at me and said "I've been growing oranges for 60 years and all anybody ever talks about is that dad gum ice cream".