So I bought the ingredients for a terribly unhealthy microwave burrito enchilada-style casserole recipe today. The recipe, of course, called for enchilada sauce. So I went out and bought Las Palmas brand mild enchilada sauce along with the other ingredients. When I popped open the sauce, the kitchen was immediately filled with the pungent smell of dog food. Having no idea what the sauce was supposed to smell like, I put it in anyway, thinking the smell would go away.

After an hour in the oven, the smell was still there, and the heat made it stronger than ever. And when I tasted it, the sauce tasted of dog food. I've checked the can (the expiration date wasn't for another two years) and scoured the Internet, but I can't figure out any reason the enchilada sauce would take on this particular smell and taste.

Could anyone help me figure out why? It won't improve the casserole, but it will assure that I'm not insane for having this apparently unique experience.

  • 3
    Are you maybe sensitive to cumin? I've heard some people describe it as a body odor smell.
    – Preston
    Jul 6, 2015 at 2:01
  • 1
    How do you now what dog food tastes like?
    – TFD
    Jul 7, 2015 at 8:07
  • One does not have to taste dog food to know what it tastes like. You only have to smell it TFD. I think the the enchilada sauce was bad and just because the date was still good, you can have a bad batch. On the other hand, you just might not like that brand. My bet is that is was a bad batch and it just happens. Call the company or if you have the can, take it back to the place where you bought it. Exchange it, open it, taste and smell it and then call the company and tell them of your experience. I use salsa, food process it and use instead of enchilada sauce. No smell or taste of dog food
    – user33210
    Jul 11, 2015 at 6:26
  • @user33210 hard boiled egg smells like crap, does not taste like crap
    – TFD
    Jul 18, 2015 at 3:47
  • Las palmas is one of the reliably good brands. I'd second the possibility that you have some genetic taste impediment with one of the ingredients.
    – user57361
    Nov 1, 2018 at 23:49

2 Answers 2


It's because the enchilada container was mis-labeled at the factory :)

All kidding aside, if you purchased a sauce in metal cans instead of glass jars you may have picked up added flavors.


There may not be a proper seal on a portion of the can and enchilada sauce is acidic so; it most likely ate through the can (be it steel, aluminum or tin) which can make it taste like the can. Doesn't mean it was bad just not very tasty.

  • Melamine? Aluminium. For a can of food. Seems strange? Are you familiar with the brands canning process, or did you mean epoxy and steel?
    – TFD
    Jul 24, 2015 at 20:15
  • @TFD It's not mentioned on the can so it's hard to say, but some cans are lined with a thin 'membrane' of melamine to prevent the contents from reacting with the can itself. It's also not always melamine, sometimes paraffin or something else is used, but if you've ever opened a can of something and said "this has a metallic taste", it's likely because that membrane was damaged somehow and the contents reacted with the can. A good reason to avoid dented cans, or (ideally), go for 'canned' stuff available in glass jars first, then cans if you can't find it in glass.
    – user293
    Jul 26, 2015 at 14:52
  • @Tim Post melamine is a toxic chemical to humans. Safe levels are in the order of 1 mg/Kg, so not suitable in a can where implements might be used to scrape the can contents out. Cans are generally lined with various forms of epoxy (heat safe). They used to be lined with tin. If this membrane was faulty, the contents would quickly eat a hole through the can. Most canned goods are acidic
    – TFD
    Jul 26, 2015 at 20:15

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