A friend of mine, who works in food PR, recently told me about this amazing project she’s working on for a client. The project involves Joe Public posting food memories on to the companies Facebook page for the chance to win a Holiday worth £5k!
Now this post isn’t about that company, nor is it about wanting to bask on a sun drenched beach (well ok, maybe a little!). It’s more about my food memories. It had never occurred to me before that, like music and particular songs, we relate food to certain events or times in our lives.
So, here’s my life, mapped out as a food memory:
I don’t recall what my first ever food memory was but when I was a little girl growing up in Liverpool, I think of eggy fried bread and black pudding breakfasts with my grandad. I think of my grandmas roast dinners with indelible gravy made out of water and cornflower powder, not a spot of Bisto in sight! I think of my mum baking coconut loaf and up side down apple cake. I think of her trying to trick me that liver was red chicken! Yak!
I think of ten pence sweetie bags from the mobile shop and 99′er ice creams with strawberry sauce dripping all over my fingers. I think of summer days when a blob of vanilla ice cream was dropped into a cold glass of American cream soda lemonade. I think of Wham! bars (ok, sweeties aren’t actually food but as a ten year old Wham! bars, Highland toffees, Black Jacks, cola cubes… they were all part of my staple diet!).
As I grew older and our fortune changed, I think of trips to china town with my mum and Grandma for duck pancakes and hoi sun sauce. I think of cold winter evenings warmed up by a hot bowl of Scouse (Liverpool stew) and crunchy buttered bread. I think of minted lamb chops and mash and treacle pudding. I think of stinky fingers from Butterkist popcorn and luminous tongues from traffic light lollipops.
When I left home and moved to London, I was introduced to a whole new world of culinary delights. I think of Indian curry, made by an Indian, not out of a jar! I think of fish & chips on Brighton pier. I think of 3am drunken chicken wings and fries dipped in ketchup. I think of posh dinners out with my friends to Michelin star restaurants, tasting menus and celebrity chefs.
When the world called my name and I stepped on a plane, I think of black beans in Brazil, cerviche in Peru, grasshoppers in Thailand and crickets in Cambodia. I think of the best steak in the world in Argentina and poor girls super noodles in Sydney.
And then I met my man who introduced me to a cuisine that I had snobbishly turned my nose up at. Italian. I think of my mother in law teaching me to cook tomato sauce from scratch, my husband teaching me how to roll pizza dough without ripping it, my husbands Nonna teaching me how to make beef stew. I think of the delicious food I tasted for our wedding; porcini risotto, slow cooked stag with polenta, speck parcels and pink grapefruit granita. I hated Italian food but now I have grown to love it, to appreciate it.
My most recent and probably most treasured food memories are of me making food for my daughter. I think of her first taste of apple, of mashed sweet potato. I think of pouring over baby recipes to make her palate more enriched. I think of chicken and apricot curry, aubergine and basil pasta sauce and roasted lamb stew with rosemary.
You don’t have to be a foodie to create a food memory. Think about it and the flavours all come flooding back!
This has been a really thought-provoking trip down memory lane so I am going to tag some fellow bloggers, 1) because im nosey and want to know what their food memories will consist of and 2) well, why not?! Over to you:
Go on, share your story! If you do, dont forget to include the links… oh, and whilst you’re there, why not enter the comp, you just never know if you might win!
Memories…. it’s what the best dinners are made of!