Of course dirt is never wanted in food, but an earthy aroma or flavour is sometimes very welcome. The fragrance of wild mushrooms is reminiscent of the dark, mossy forest floor. Very dark-roasted coffee and cocoa beans reveal aromas and flavours that are familiar to anyone who’s spent time pulling weeds or re-potting houseplants. Red wines made from varietals like Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cabernet Franc can all display distinct aromas of mulch or black earth. Roasted nuts and even vegetables can smell and taste deliciously earthy as well —it’s a distinctly deep and elemental flavour that can’t be described in any other way.