Lights Camera English!

Take 48: Food Memories

Is there a food that takes you back in time? A candy bar, a dish, or a favourite dessert?

I have loads! Food from my childhood transports me back in seconds and I feel like I’m five again.

Apparently, memories involving food are more vivid that other memories. And this is because food memories involve all five senses: your sight, your sense of smell, your sense of taste, your hearing and your sense of touch! So they can actually be the strongest associative memories you can make.

Here are some of my childhood foods that trigger memories:

For breakfast? Caramel yoghurt or Rice Krispies, I can still hear them snap, crackle, and pop!

Lunch time? Cucumber sandwiches or cheese on toast with Branston pickle.

Dinner? Baked beans or spaghetti hoops on toast or Heinz tomato soup (it had to be Heinz!)

And for dessert? Sticky Toffee Pudding. Nothing beats it. Just thinking about it makes me smile. Or shortbread (which reminds me of Grandma)

And snacks? Where do I begin? Or rather, where do I stop?

  • Crunchie, a bar of chocolate-covered honeycomb. Delicious.
  • Curly Wurlies, caramel-flavoured chocolate in a silly shape.
  • Smarties, well, everyone knows smarties.
  • Cadbury’s Creme Eggs. Pure delight wrapped in sweetness. But only at Easter, they don’t taste good at any other time of year.
  • Penguin bars. P-P-P-Pick up a Penguin! (It’s funny, I even remember the marketing!)
  • Flying sauces that were so sour they made your cheeks suck in.
  • Wine gums (that never had wine in them but tasted great anyway)

I’m sure there were loads more. But these are the ones that somehow stick in my mind.

But it’s not really the food itself that makes the memory, is it? It’s the situation; the occasion, where you were, who you were with, how you were feeling. The food is really just symbolic for the story.

Whether a happy family Christmas lunch, baking with Grandma, picnics in the park, Friday night takeaways, birthday parties, or activity snacks, our memories of food are really our memories of our story and who we shared it with.

I’m surprised, that my list of childhood food is so short! But then, these food memories were all made in England, before my family moved to Switzerland when I was seven. So I guess it’s not too bad.

I have LOADS of Swiss food memories. But those are for another post.

I like memories. That’s why I’ve always considered it important to eat as much food as possible 😉

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