HomeTechnologyInternetThe 'rancid' food odor that's dividing the internet

The ‘rancid’ food odor that’s dividing the internet

Do you smell what I smell?

A disgruntled partner has been arguing with their other half about a “rancid” smell emanating from their dishes – the boyfriend swears it comes from every piece of dinnerware they own, but the Reddit user who posted about it can’t get a whiff of it mystery get aroma.

“He says it happens when we cook with meat or eggs and the plates, bowls, and glasses aren’t washed properly afterwards,” the Redditor explained in a now-viral post. “Half the time he has to run the dishwasher twice.”

The friend, who is Arabic, said the best translation for the smell in English is “rancid,” although his partner, a Westerner, thinks that word is more appropriate to describe rotting flesh – something the user claims they ‘would absolutely smell’.

The rotten smell that emanates from dishes – even when they are clean – is a stench Westerners apparently can’t sniff out.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“I thought he was imagining it,” the Reddit user continued. “Then we had some friends over and we put a glass aside, he said it smelled rancid. The weirdest thing happened. All his Arab friends said they could smell it. But my friends (Western, like me) couldn’t.”

In an effort to get to the bottom of the smell, the user frantically took to a Reddit forum seeking help, and writer Lina Mounzer reposted it on Twitter this week.

Reddit thread
A Reddit caused a stink online after questioning their partner’s sense of smell.

“I knew her partner was Arabic and what the smell was before I got to the end of the question,” she stated, arguing that Westerners “can’t smell zankha” – the Arabic word for the smell – “even if it dizzying.”

“Zankha” has been roughly translated like a unpleasant odor that lingers on cups, plates and bowls which is often a consequence meat or eggs, especially when their remains mix with hot water. But apparently not everyone can smell the putrid smell.

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With more than 25,000 likes and 1,000 comments, foodies shared their thoughts in the Twitter thread.

“Is it that smell when you first wash egg plates with hot water, for example? Yes it’s a thing, now I have a word for it too, thanks!” a woman tweeted.

“They’re used to it,” another saidin reference to why Western noses cannot detect the scent.

“I’m half Arab so I can smell this from both sides, but I’m definitely annoyed by zanakha, especially post-eggs,” someone else wrote.

“OMG that is so true. My partner is French and every time I mention the ‘zankha’ smell after putting eggs in the plate he looks at me wondering what I’m talking about as he says ‘I don’t smell anything’ ,’ a person shared.

Stinky house
The “zankha” smell can only be eliminated by washing the dishes in cold water and vinegar.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“Yes – this smell is gross and seems to cling to glasses and cups especially,” someone else mention. ‘It’s great that there’s a specific Arabic word for it. I’ve always described it as an ‘egg’ smell, not rotten but foul. I would never use rancid to describe it.”

Until get rid of the unwanted smell of tableware, users suggested rinse dishes with cold water and vinegar before putting them in the dishwasher – a handy hack just in time for the holidays.



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