Stinky Maps: the App That Lets You Follow Other People's Noses

I've always thought that smells were one of the strongest indicators of place -- the beach smells of tangy salt; my high school smelled, oddly, of undercooked potatoes; certain streets in my neighborhood are overwhelmed, at the moment, with blooming jasmine. There's something psychological about it, and indeed it's been proven that smells can stimulate memory in astounding ways. So why not map the world's smells?

Sure, it's pretty subjective -- something that smells like greasy burgers to me might suggest another scent to you, but it's interesting to see where people's perceptions overlap. Also, I can think of some situations in which this app would actually be fairly useful, like that five-mile stretch of highway that passes a cattle feed lot, the smell of which invades every inch of your car no matter if your vents are closed or not. With Stinky Maps, you might think to plan a detour!

Searching around the Stinky Map on my iPhone, I find spots that people have listed as smelling like rosebushes, cheese, manure, cut grass, wet asphalt, and even a store that employs someone with bad breath. As for the app's practical usefulness, well, it hasn't exactly come in handy yet, but I'd say 99 cents is a fair price to pay for the novelty of discovering what other people think my city smells like.

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The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess
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Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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Bone Collector
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