Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Burnt toast?

For the three readers of this blog that live in Salt Lake, I have a question(also applies to those in other cities)? Have you ever been driving around town and suddenly smelled an aroma that resembled burnt toast? I first encountered the smell during my drive to work a few years back, the smell always occured when going from I-15 south to I-215 east. Everytime I sensed the burnt toast smell, I wondered whether there was an underground movement of people purchasing burnt toast in some back alley. I did confirm that I wasn't crazy when a few others noted the same smell at the exact same spot on their commute. After a few years of throwing the burnt toast movement theory around in my head, I finally decided it was time to investigate. It was about a year ago, I smelled the familiar scent during my drive to work and went to find it. It wasnt tough finding the source as I drove through the industrial area just North of my house and right under the overpass where the odor always occurred. The thick smoke led me directly to the source of much wonder, a coffee bean roaster. After my discovery, I have since found many other roasters in the valley by using my nose. There is one that can be smelled while driving along I-80 in salt lake, located just north of I-80 and main street. Another more visible location is the salt lake coffee roasting company at 4th south and 3rd east. Note the plume coming from the top of the building in the picture below. The plume was more visible when I went to get my camera out and had almost disappeared by the time I snapped this picture.
So why all the stink? I'm not sure. Being the coffee drinker that I am, I realize the conundrum of my thoughts. If I lived right next door to one of these roasters, you better beleive I would be complaining about the smoke/smell. When the roasters are first fired up, they violate standard opacity (visible emissions) limits and the smell can be extremely acrid when they first get the process going. I was almost in tears this morning as I rode by the salt lake coffee roasting company and the smoke poured out. Since I only encounter the odor as I ride or drive by, I can tolerate the temporary shock to my senses. Guess I'm just another NIMBY whiner.


Rex Vallis said...

No burnt toast, but definitely a sweet soapy detergent smell on SR201 just east of Bangerter. It's nauseating. And it's everyday.

youarenotscottpeters said...

Theres been some smells coming from your cube lately that I wish smelled a little more like burned toast.

Jean said...

I have been wondering what that smell is for years! So it's not burnt toast but burnt coffee beans? I have been trying to figure out how someone could so consistently burn toast and why didn't they ever have bacon with their toast, which would surely be smellable if the toast was. Well, a mystery laid to rest. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have been smelling it for years when I drive my daughter to school. Husband thought we were crazy until he drove her one day going from 215 to south I15.
Thank you so much for cracking the mystery.