Saturday, November 28, 2009

Food and Memory

I was listening to some of the NPR commentary on Thanksgiving, leading up to the holiday. One chef they interviewed said something about how much of the meaning we attach to food is associated with memory, and that memory probably accounts for most of what we find desirable in the foods we go back to again and again.

That got me thinking about pioneer food, of course. In itself, there's probably not much appetizing about pioneer food, or any other multi-generational food. We have so much variety in the grocery store today that we can make much tastier morsels that we would find from pioneer days. But we attach emotional significance to the pioneer items. The carrot or plum pudding serves as an example. Danish abelskiver are not particularly tasty (they are certainly nice) but there's more emotional memory attached to them for me so they become special.

Here's our assignment for today: List three foods that are tasty on their own, and three foods that are special because of memories you attach to them.


Sherm said...

Memories- Hard Pudding, Lumpy Dick.
Both because they were served by my grandmother to remember the pioneers even when I remember hearing her talk about traveling by wagon train to colonize a new area. Fresh buttermilk because I remember being a child.
Tasty- Southern barbecue, apple dumplings, fried chicken. All even better because they too have memories.

Shannon said...

tasty: sushi, crab dip, alfredo

memories: ableskivers, clam chowder, cranberry relish

Lane said...

Tasty: roast beef, blue cheese, fresh applesauce

Memories: ebelskievers, rack of lamb, carrot salad

Scarehaircare said...

Tasty - BLT's made with the first tomatoes from the garden, homemade ice cream, sushi

Memories - Swedish crullers, crytal pickles, homemade cranberry relish with the whole ground up orange my grandma used to make.

Shannon said...

My grandmother's cranberry relish also calls for a ground up orange--rind and all. Thanksgiving is not the same without it. In fact, I was thrilled to find Brock had a similar grinder to the one we used when I was growing up--the hand crank kind. That was one of the reasons I married him. :)