Have you ever had the unfortunate situation where you are eating a wonderful meal while you have a cold? Your nose is all stopped up and you can't taste anything. It's such a bummer.
That's because our perception of flavor is a combination of taste and smell. I've heard about this experiment, but haven't tried it until today. Hold your nose while eating something. I just tried it with a piece of black licorice. With my nose held, I feel like I'm chewing on a piece of plastic. Barely any taste at all. But as soon as I let go of my nose, the unmistakable taste of the licorice flowed up through my senses. Try it--use a jelly bean or Skittle or something like that. Go ahead, I'll wait....
Pretty cool, huh?
It just goes to show you how important our noses are when we're eating or cooking or shopping. Don't be afraid to smell thing in the grocery store. (A ripe pineapple, for example, should smell like a pineapple! If it doesn't, choose another.) In the kitchen, if your nose tells you that something might be burning, check it--it probably is.
Here's an interesting article on the subject that I ran across. It's by a professional chef and really gives you an idea of how your nose can help you when cooking.
That's just my two scents.