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What to do if you lose your sense of smell? The well-known Dutch writer shows the solution

What to do if you lose your sense of smell? The well-known Dutch writer shows

How would things taste if you lost your sense of smell? This is a question that has become surprisingly common this year.

Anosmia - or "scent blindness", is a condition thought to affect about 5% of the population. But with the loss of smell and / or taste, two of the well-known symptoms of Covid-19, this lesser-known condition is now in the spotlight.

Not only have people not been able to smell or taste while being infected with the coronavirus, but many report long-term loss of these senses during recovery.

Dutch cookbook writer Joke Boon suffers from anosmia. She lost her sense of smell at the age of four as a result of a severe cold combined with tonsillectomy.

Despite this, she has written five cookbooks. How, then, does one experience food without the sense of smell? For Boon, this relates primarily to the brain, using a facial nerve.

Starting from the ear and branching into three strands towards the eyes, nose and jaw, the trigeminal nerve is responsible for sensory perception in the face. The nerve is intended to protect us from the stimulated danger for example, from smoke and ammonia. But certain food ingredients can also activate it.

I use this nerve a lot to "enjoy" my food, play with it. I can smell ginger, mint, mustard and pepper this way. "Pepper and ginger are warm and tingling, while mint creates a cold sensation," she says.

Boon says the color, texture and even the sound of the food also have big roles.