A couple of years ago my mother mentioned to me that she worried that we never had any traditions growing up. At the time I thought she was being silly, and listed off a number of things that I considered to be our family traditions. What I noticed was that as I continued to sort through my memories, that I could nearly smell and taste the food. In a lot of ways this little chat with my mother was us recalling the food and atmosphere of our past.
Since that time I have been slowly building up a list of recipes that I consider to be our families recipes. We had lost a number of them over time, and it has been difficult to get some of them ‘just right’. These recipes are some of my favourite foods, however I wonder how much of that has to do with the happy memories that I associate with the smell. Would the food taste as good in future if I received a distressing phone call while eating it?
I can think of a number of people who can’t eat certain types of food simply because they had a bad reaction to it once. To what extent do our memories impact taste? I can imagine an old couple sitting together over a meal, and sharing a small knowing smile as they take the first bite, each remembering events and times that they shared with this food.
Perhaps I’m just being silly, but I wonder what foods hold the most memories, and whether food will taste better over time when it is often shared with good company.