Had covid 3 yrs ago and haven’t been able to hand the smell or the taste. I need substitutes for recipes… I know there is a spice called asafetida that can be use and taste like onion and garlic but before I spend $13 on a jar I wanted to see if anyone else has tried it and been successful . Thank you.

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    Howdy! Welcome to SA! Because of typos, it's not entirely clear what you're asking. Is it that you cannot taste onion and garlic anymore, or that they are too strong and you can't tolerate them?
    – FuzzyChef
    May 9, 2023 at 22:31
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  • 13 bucks!!! The regular supermarket stuff is bulked out a long way to make handling easier, but it's less than $2.
    – Tetsujin
    May 10, 2023 at 10:03

2 Answers 2


It’s quite possible that you will need to re-train your sense of taste and smell and discover what you do or don’t like again.

If onions are too strong for you right now, you might want to try green onions (spring onions or scallions) and slowly increase until you find a good level.

If you can no longer taste alliums, then I would recommend trying to find other completely different chemical compounds to try to find alternatives to make your good flavorful, rather than using asafetida / hing.

If you really want to try it, look to see if there are any specialty spice shops in your area and give them a call. If they sell it, they might be willing to sell you a smaller amount. (But bring a glass jar, it will stink through even heavy plastic bags)


First of all, sorry to hear about your problem, a loss of a sense, or at least an impairment of a sense is unfortunate, and I hope it eventually goes back to how it was. It looks like most people with post-covid Parosmia usually regain at least part of their sense of smell eventually, so there's hope!

If something tastes like onions and garlic it's very possible that it's going to be unpalatable, but only at a certain threshold. I would approach this with a series of experiments to determine how much of what type triggers a bad taste. I'd also test other strong flavors like ginger so you build a picture of what is unpleasant to you, and how much you can add before it becomes unpalatable.

Once you know what you want to avoid you can then make recipes which contain ingredients you like, or which contain amounts you can tolerate of what you don't.

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