food memory essay

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Why food memories are so powerful

Eating foods may evoke powerful emotional memories that may live deep within your subconscious (Credit: Getty Images/lucky_spark)

I was only three years old when my parents, sister and I emigrated from Leningrad in the USSR to the United States in 1980 as “traitors”, losing our Soviet citizenship and turning our backs on Communism for the “evil capitalist West”.

I was the catalyst for my family fleeing from a city and country that no longer exist. My sister had a rare kidney problem and Soviet doctors thought she was going to die, so I was born to “replace” her. Most Soviet families only had one child, as it was too expensive to support any more. Fortunately, she survived, but due to rampant anti-Semitism in the USSR, my Jewish father could only find a job that forced him to travel a lot and my mother couldn’t handle taking care of two children alone. My parents didn’t want us to suffer any longer, and when they chose to flee, they thought we’d never return.

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After arriving in the US and taking a series of Greyhound busses, we settled in San Jose, California. My sister and I learned about life in the former Soviet Union through bedtime stories, infrequent letters and middle-of-the-night phone calls.

Twice a year, the author received packages with Russian dolls from her family in the USSR (Credit: Getty Images/KevinDyer)

Twice a year, the author received packages with Russian dolls from her family in the USSR (Credit: Getty Images/KevinDyer)

Twice a year, our Leningrad relatives mailed us packages with black-and-white family photos, vinyl records from the state-owned Melodiya label, children’s books, stacks of Russian matryoshka nesting dolls, dark chocolates and wooden toys with stencilled Cyrillic writing on the boxes. The smell of the dark chocolates and shaved wood from the toys permeated the parcels. Mom read my sister and I the birthday cards and letters because we couldn’t decipher the cursive writing.

Instead of bridging the distance between us during the Cold War, phone calls from our Russian relatives were a loud interruption. Many Soviets didn’t have a home phone, and family members who did thought that the Soviet spy agency, the KGB, was tapping their line. Our relatives had to travel an hour to the central post office in Leningrad to make a five-minute call to the US. Due to the 10-hour time difference between us, we received calls in the middle of the night and had to yell loudly into the receiver to hear each other over the static. In fact, as a child, my main memories of my aunts and paternal grandmother were of being woken up so we could scream at one another on the phone in my parents’ bedroom. Both physically and emotionally, Russia felt a world away.

When I returned to Russia at age 18 for the first time since our emigration, Leningrad had been renamed St Petersburg, the Soviet Union had fallen and Russia was now a sovereign country. I stayed with my maternal and paternal aunts whom I hadn’t seen in 15 years. We only really knew of each other’s existences through old photographs, letters and strained calls. And though I could communicate with them in fluent Russian, I found it uncomfortable to do so all day.

St Petersburg is known as the ‘City of White Nights’ and is one of the world’s most northerly metropolises (Credit: Getty Images/Delpixart)

St Petersburg is known as the ‘City of White Nights’ and is one of the world’s most northerly metropolises (Credit: Getty Images/Delpixart)

Adding to my feeling of emotional distance, I arrived in St Petersburg in June. The ‘City of White Nights’ is one of the world’s most northerly metropolises, and seeing both the sun and the moon in the middle of the night not only made it hard for me to fall asleep, but also hard to get my bearings in such a foreign place.

Unexpectedly, I first felt a connection to my childhood when my mom and I visited her friend’s small dacha (summer home and garden) outside St Petersburg. As my mom and her friend chatted, I wandered towards small patches of unfamiliar berries growing in the garden. Without knowing if they were edible, I plucked some unusually small, wild strawberries from their stems and slowly bit little morsels. Sweet and succulent in my mouth, its juice dribbled down my tongue to my throat.

“ How do I know this flavour? ” I instantly thought to myself. “ These aren't like California strawberries. ”

Unknown to her, when the author was a young child she used to devour wild berries in the former USSR (Credit: Getty Images/Svetlana Kondrashova)

Unknown to her, when the author was a young child she used to devour wild berries in the former USSR (Credit: Getty Images/Svetlana Kondrashova)

Eating the garden’s strawberries and red and black currants was like gastronomic déjà vu. I chewed the skin and licked the round seeds off my teeth, delighting in the familiar taste of the sour juice that popped from fruits. But how did I know their taste and texture?

Eating the garden’s strawberries and red and black currants was like gastronomic déjà vu"

With red-stained lips and a palm full of berries, I slowly approached my mother to ask about these curious currants and small strawberries. My mom smiled, and she told me that I used to devour zemlyanika (wild strawberries), smarodina (currants), kruzhovnik (gooseberries) and chernika (wild blueberries) as an infant and toddler in the summer – especially when we went to our dacha in the countryside in Pabradė, Lithuania, on holiday with our extended family.

I returned to California two months later, but the distinct taste of these foreign-yet-familiar berries stayed with me long afterwards and has led me to search for an explanation for this unexplained food memory.

Eating foods may evoke powerful emotional memories that may live deep within your subconscious (Credit: Getty Images/lucky_spark)

According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, my brain knew I loved these berries although I had no recollection of having ever eaten them.

“Food memories involve very basic, nonverbal, areas of the brain that can bypass your conscious awareness,” she told me. “This is why you can have strong emotional reactions when you eat a food that arouses those deep unconscious memories. You can’t put those memories into words, but you know there is ‘something’ that the food triggers deep within your past. The memory goes beyond the food itself to the associations you have to that long-ago memory, whether with a place or a person.”

You can have strong emotional reactions when you eat a food that arouses those deep unconscious memories"

The subconscious, scientific reason why I remember loving strawberries so much as a child in California was connected to what I couldn’t remember about zemlyanika as an infant in Lithuania. Zemlyanika, it turns out, was what led my mother to place fresh strawberries by my bedside each morning on my birthday, and likely steered me towards a job of planning strawberry and raspberry plantations in Bosnia in my early 20s. 

Still, I wanted to taste the berries where I’d first discovered them. So in 2005, 10 years after my first trip back to the former USSR, I travelled to Pabradė in eastern Lithuania on a dual mission: to find my beloved berries and track down the man who had helped my family and so many others escape the Soviet Union.

Sasha Shapiro was a local barber in Pabradė who spent roughly 20 years secretly helping other Soviet Jews flee the USSR by sending mail abroad so that they could find relatives willing to sponsor their emigration. Soviet citizens who were caught communicating with the West by the KGB could have been arrested and were often sent to Soviet Gulags in harsh places like Siberia. Since KGB censorship was less strict in Lithuania than it was in Leningrad, and because Shapiro was a small-town barber who never caused problems with authorities, he wasn’t afraid of the KGB intercepting his mail.

For nearly 20 years, the father of Misha Shapiro (centre) secretly helped Soviet Jews flee the USSR (Credit: Susanna Zaraysky)

For nearly 20 years, the father of Misha Shapiro (centre) secretly helped Soviet Jews flee the USSR (Credit: Susanna Zaraysky)

My mother knew that she had a long-lost uncle who had settled in St Louis, Missouri in the 1920s, but since Stalin had banned communication with the West in 1937, my mother’s family had lost contact with him and didn’t have his address. In the late 1970s, my mother secretly approached Shapiro to ask if he would be willing to mail a letter from his address to the St Louis City Hall requesting their help locating him in hopes that he would sponsor our immigration to the US.

Shapiro agreed, and were it not for his heroism (and the fact that the mailroom clerk at the St Louis City Hall happened to be a stamp collector, took particular interest in the envelope’s Soviet stamps and gave the letter to an assistant in the mayor’s office), we may never have made it to the US.

I arrived in Pabradė without knowing Sasha’s surname or how to find him or his family. Located on the banks of the Žeimena river just 14km from the Belarussian border, Pabradė is a quiet town where the Polish population outnumbers Lithuanians and Russians. I bought a bag of brusnika (loganberries) from a lady by the bus station and asked her if she knew of a barber named Sasha. She informed me that Sasha’s real name was Zisko Shapiro and that he had died, but that I could find his son, Moisej ("Misha") Shapiro, who was also a barber, at the same barbershop where his father had worked. By the time I had located Misha, several people in the small town had already told him that a foreigner walking around with a bag of red berries was looking for him.

“You came all this way just to meet our family and to find berries?” Misha asked. 

Misha invited me to his house to have dinner with his family, and while Misha’s wife prepared the table with black bread with eggs and sprats (little salted fish), white bread with cheese, local apples and tea, I did my small part to return Sasha’s generosity. I taught Misha’s daughter and granddaughter how to use translation software on their new computer so that they could correspond with the descendants of other Soviet families Sasha had helped who now lived all around the world. Some of whom had written the Shapiros to learn more about their family history.

As an infant, the author's extended family used to gather at this summer garden in present-day Lithuania (Credit: Susanna Zaraysky)

As an infant, the author's extended family used to gather at this summer garden in present-day Lithuania (Credit: Susanna Zaraysky)

My trip to Pabradė wouldn’t have been complete without finding the berries and the dacha my family used to rent, but I had no idea what the house looked like and I didn’t have any photos of it. All I knew was that my parents rented one room in a single-story home from a Polish woman named Pane Regina. Each summer, our extended family used to take trains nearly 700km south from Leningrad to spend time wandering in the forest, playing in the idyllic countryside and tasting foods we couldn’t eat during Russia’s many ration shortages.

My aunt had made me a map of Pabradė with Soviet street names to find the dacha. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the street names had changed, so I asked many people on the street if they knew Pane Regina’s house. Finally, someone told me that she had died but that her son still lived in the house, number 48, across the forest. Crunching through the woods, I spotted a single-story home with a triangular roof, a big garden and Regina’s son, Alik.

Alik invited me in, and I spent an hour picking currants and wild blueberries from the dacha garden and nibbling gooseberries and wild blueberries from the surrounding forest. I felt like a child again. The old photographs and stories of my extended family having picnics in Pabradė came back to life in vivid colour.

Even though I was too young to remember life in Pabradė, I thought about what it was like to be there eating berries with my cousins, singing songs in Russian and eating boiled potatoes with melted butter and dill while sitting in a field. I imagined how my mother quietly approached Sasha to ask a secret favour. And I wondered what it was like when she later received news in Pabradė that my father had been hit by a car in Leningrad after submitting our exit visa application. He eventually recovered, though he still thinks the KGB punished him for applying to leave the USSR.

After crunching through the woods, the author (right) found the son of the dacha owner and her beloved berries (Credit: Susanna Zaraysky)

After crunching through the woods, the author (right) found the son of the dacha owner and her beloved berries (Credit: Susanna Zaraysky)

“Because food memories form without any conscious editing, they take on all the attributes of the situations in which they were acquired,” Whitbourne told me. “They also can become associated with the activities involved in the act of cooking the food: the chocolate cupcakes a close family member taught you to make when you were young become part of a larger experience with that person. Your recollection of family meals, similarly, take on additional emotional meaning that then become associated with those smells and tastes.”

Biting into these wild berries wasn’t just a single Proustian moment, but an entire chapter of my family’s past that I had to reassemble"

In French writer Marcel Proust’s seminal novel, In Search Of Lost Time, he recounted how eating a madeleine cake as an adult instantly evoked memories from his childhood of seeing his aunt dip her madeleine cake in tea. Ever since, any involuntary memory that evokes your past has been known as a “Proustian moment”.

For me, biting into these wild berries wasn’t just a single Proustian moment, but an entire chapter of my family’s past that I had to reassemble.

Today, these wild berries remain my personal connection to my early years in the former USSR and I am thrilled to eat them on the rare occasions when I find them. Since feeling like I came full circle with my family’s debt to the Shapiros, I’ve returned to Eastern Europe many times, and have even tried to bring my beloved berries back with me to California – much to the displeasure of US Customs. But when I’m home, I know that come January, I can still expect fresh strawberries from my mom on my birthday.

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food memory essay

moving writers

moving writers

Move the writing. Move the writer.

The Food Memory Narrative

If you’re anything like me, those few short weeks between fall and winter breaks are nothing short of an anxiety inducing shopping/baking/grading/wrapping/tying-up-loose-ends extravaganza. Each year, the time sandwiched between breaks seems like too little or not quite enough.

But a few years ago, I cooked up a new dish called Food Lit. Food Lit was inspired by the Navajo Kentuckians , one of the best sessions I’ve ever attended at NCTE . To offer you the Happy Meal version of this session, teachers in two regions educated their students on “good food.” Students learned about topics such as food insecurity, obesity rates, and food integrity. Students grew gardens, educated their communities, and even prepared meals with food they harvested. Some even studied food and nature-centric literature like Mark Twain’s “The Bee.”

After attending this session, I began cultivating an inquiry into food in my own classroom and savoring the delicacy of “between breaks” learning.

One assignment that fires up my students’ brains is the food memory narrative task. You can read more about what we’ve been up to in Food Lit here and from years past, here and here .

Food is such an important, driving force in our lives. We share and create some of our most important stories surrounded by food. It comforts us, nourishes us, and heals us. So far, I haven’t met a student who didn’t have one special dish or fond food memory to look back on.

That’s what the food memory narrative is about.

I first ask students to examine these mentor texts:

Savoring Memories of Sunday Dinner from NPR Memories of Meals Past from The N ew York Times

Jeruselem: A Love Letter to Food from NPR 

I remind them that they are reading (and listening) to expand their understanding of “good food” but also to read as writers who are sharing their connections to a special dish.

This year, I asked students to share their mentor text noticings in a Google Form. Here’s some of what they came up with:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What I’ve found is that food is an easy sell with students – it is relatable, its appeal universal, and my students enjoy reflecting on their “memories of meals past.” Here’s an example of how one student made this writing her own:


But the cherry on top? Our Food Lit Family Dinner, the day everyone brings in their favorite, most meaningful dish to share with the class.

Some of the biggest hits this year? Pizelles (or as one student called them: “cookie waffles”), King’s cake (somebody gifted me the baby), “brookies” (a delightful brownie/cookie duo), pepperoni rolls (a unique West Virginia snack and my contribution), tried and true homemade mac and cheese (what’s not to love), and West Indian curry (which you can read about below).


For me, this assignment does at least two things: it encourages a different bite of the narrative apple, and most importantly it continues to build and strengthen classroom culture. And that’s one recipe that can’t go wrong.

What works for you in your classrooms in the weeks between breaks? What activities inspire student writing and build classroom culture? I’d love to hear from you! 

Leave a comment below, find me on Twitter  @karlahilliard , or connect with us on  Facebook!

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“Very Nice Blog!!!

Please have a look about ” Food consulting

I LOVE this. I think I may give it a try with my seniors who tend to not get invested in much in terms of writing. This very personal connection (and a food feast!) may draw them in. Thanks for sharing!

Did you ever have an actual rubric and explanation of the Food Narrative? I didn’t see it in your links.

Hi Jennifer! I don’t have a rubric. This assignment was squeezed into the end of our term before exams, and while we were guided by the mentor texts, I assigned completion points if students included a recipe, a narrative telling the recipe’s story, and included a photo. If I’d had more time that week, I would’ve asked students to generate a rubric based on their mentor text findings. As far as explanation of assignment, I think I’ve called it Food Memories Recipe Task in the links. It was one of those assignments that took shape with classroom discussion. The basic instructions are to determine a special recipe and tell its story. Hope this info helps a bit!

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Mind & Mood

Boost your memory by eating right

How diet can help—or harm—your cognitive fitness.

Before you cut into a big T-bone steak with French fries, here is some food for thought: Research suggests that what we eat might have an impact on our ability to remember and our likelihood of developing dementia as we age.

Take that steak you're about to slice into, for example. It's loaded with saturated fat, which is known to raise blood levels of unhealthy low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Other kinds of fats, such as trans fats, do the same thing to LDL.

LDL cholesterol builds up in, and damages, arteries. "We know that's bad for your heart. There is now a lot of evidence that it's also bad for your brain," says Dr. Francine Grodstein, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The diet and memory connection

As evidence of this effect are the results of a study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital, published online May 17 in the journal Annals of Neurology . Women in the study who ate the most saturated fats from foods such as red meat and butter performed worse on tests of thinking and memory than women who ate the lowest amounts of these fats.

The exact reason for the connection between diets high in saturated and trans fats and poorer memory isn't entirely clear, but the relationship may be mediated by a gene called apolipoprotein E, or APOE. This gene is associated with the amount of cholesterol in your blood, and people with a variation of this gene, called APOE e4 are at greater risk for Alzheimer's disease. "About 65% of individuals who wind up with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease in their 60s and 70s have that gene," says Dr. Gad Marshall, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.

How does the APOE e4 gene contribute to dementia? Researchers aren't exactly sure, but they have discovered that people with this genetic variation have a greater number of sticky protein clumps, called beta-amyloid plaques, in the brain. These plaque deposits, which are associated with the destruction of brain cells, are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

The connection is a little clearer when it comes to memory loss that's related to blood vessel damage. The buildup of cholesterol plaques in brain blood vessels can damage brain tissue, either through small blockages that cause silent strokes, or a larger, more catastrophic stroke. Either way, brain cells are deprived of the oxygen-rich blood they need to function normally, which can compromise thinking and memory.

Foods for memory

If saturated and trans fats are the food villains, then mono- and polyunsaturated fats may be the heroes in the dietary battle to preserve memory. In particular, the Mediterranean diet, with its menu of foods that are high in healthy unsaturated fats (olive oil, fish, and nuts) has been linked to lower rates of both dementia due to Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment (MCI)—the stage of memory loss that often precedes dementia.

The Mediterranean diet includes several components that might promote brain health:

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil help improve the health of blood vessels, reducing the risk for a memory-damaging stroke.

Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to lower levels of beta-amyloid proteins in the blood and better vascular health.

Moderate alcohol consumption raises levels of healthy high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Alcohol also lowers our cells' resistance to insulin, allowing it to lower blood sugar more effectively. Insulin resistance has been linked to dementia.

Can food preserve memory?

Although certain foods do seem to protect memory, our experts say research on the subject is still too preliminary to recommend any specific memory-enhancing foods. "The truth is, we still don't know a lot," Dr. Grodstein says. "So I don't think we're ready yet to identify a brain-healthy diet in the way we are a heart-healthy diet."

Yet doctors are finding that what's good for the heart may also be good for the brain. Protecting the blood vessels by following a heart-healthy diet might just protect the mind too. "A lot of the cardiovascular risk factors have been shown to be risk factors for dementia, including dementia due to Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Marshall says. When you eat a heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated fat, you reduce your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, all of which are believed to contribute to memory loss.

So what are the components of a heart-healthy diet? They're very similar to the ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, which so far carries the strongest evidence of any diet-related intervention for preserving memory, Dr. Marshall says.

The Mediterranean diet includes

fruits and vegetables

whole-grain breads and cereals

beans and nuts

very limited red meat

no more than four eggs per week

moderate wine consumption (one glass a day for women).

Supplements and memory

A number of dietary supplements claim to improve memory, concentration, and focus. These products often contain blends of supposedly memory-boosting ingredients such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids—some of which are found in the Mediterranean diet.

The trouble with these products is they're largely untested. "There's a lot of information out there on supplements that isn't evidence-based," Dr. Marshall says. "And it's not to say some of them might not work. We just need better proof." Many supplements that have been studied against a placebo (inactive pill) have not been shown effective for treating or preventing dementia due to Alzheimer's disease.


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food memory essay

Sandra Gutierrez and her father | Photo courtesy of the author

August 02, 2017


By Sandra Gutierrez

Chronicles from the Nuevo South

W e all have an emotional connection to eating—anyone who has ever soothed hurt feelings or mended a broken heart with food will agree. Food can appease sadness, albeit only temporarily, and sometimes be a silent companion while we try to come to terms with loss. Food can also bring back a memory of a loved one and revive long-passed moments. I call these food memories.

I’ve never forgotten my first taste of bamboo shoots at a Chinese restaurant in Miami Beach with my Papa, or our many adventures discovering the taste of frog legs, snails, baby eels, or fish eggs. He taught me the joy of cutting into a slab of prime beef, still juicy and pink; to twirl sauced pasta on a spoon so that more would make it into the mouth; to add enough chile to bean dishes so that the palate danced without burning to numbness; and yes, to savor my first sip of beer. Some of those first tastes became the butt of many jokes, but others remained so deeply engrained in memory that they became a source of comfort and joy.

M iami Beach, 1970. The six-year-old girl held tightly to her father’s giant hand as they walked briskly through the sun-scorched streets. Her tiny legs had a hard time keeping up with his long strides. It had been a long day of shopping and sightseeing—they were exhausted and hungry. Her mother and brothers had preferred to hide from the heat in their air-conditioned hotel room. But the little girl and her father had bigger plans.This wasn’t the first time that they were going on a dinner date; nor would it be the last. They were food buddies—for life.

“Papa, where are we going?”

“I’m going to take you to eat something you’ve never tasted before. How would you like to try bamboo?”

“Grandmother has a fence made out of bamboo.”

“Yes, she does. Would you like to eat it?”

“Are we going to eat a fence?”

“Yes. I’m going to take you out to eat fence, cooked with chicken and vegetables in a delicious sauce.”

The restaurant was spartanly decorated, the walls a pale sky blue, with white and silver formica booths and red and gold paper lanterns hung from the ceiling. The father ordered from the menu in broken English, which the girl spoke rather well. She paid attention to every word he said—and at no time did she hear him mention any fence. Still, the girl imagined cutting into a miniature fence, piece by piece. She was delighted to get her own bowl of rice and two chopsticks, but she was eager to see the pièce de résistance. Soon, they were presented with two tall, stainless-steel tureens, covered with high lids. Her father lifted the lids, one by one, letting the aromas escape in whisps of steam.

“Ah . . . here you have them,” said the father. “Bamboo shoots!” He pointed to the thinly sliced, beige, and rectangular tiles nestled between diced chicken, carrots, celery, and onion.

He watched her closely as she carefully speared through one piece with a single chopstick and lifted it to her nose. She sniffed it—it didn’t smell like a tree. She studied it—it definitely didn’t resemble her grandmother’s fence of giant round stems, covered in thick, woodsy nodes. It wasn’t green like the grass attached to the bamboo she had seen in her tropical homeland, either.

“Are you sure this is fence?” she asked dubiously.

“I promise.”

Her father spooned some of the food onto their plates and pointed to all of the little pieces of fence. Then he took one, ate it with gusto, and asked her what kind of adventure it would be if she didn’t try a little bite? So her teeth bit into a slightly crunchy piece, and it burst with briny juice; it was coated in smooth white sauce that tasted of chicken soup. She took a bigger bite and swallowed—then she smiled. She had discovered that food could be an adventure.

I recently asked my friend Debbie Moose, who has authored myriad books, among them Buttermilk: A Savor the South Cookbook, if she could remember her first taste of buttermilk. She answered with a food memory.

“My earliest memory about buttermilk is about my father,” she said. “He grew up in the country in Iredell County, North Carolina. When my mother would make cornbread for dinner, he’d have the leftovers as a snack later in the evening. He’d crumble it into a glass, then pour in enough buttermilk—left from making the cornbread—to just cover it, stir, and let it sit for a few minutes until it became sort of pudding-like; then he ate it with a spoon. He did this every time we had cornbread.”

Teaching someone to cook can build comforting food memories that last a lifetime, memories that bring back feelings of deep love and shared intimacy while you learned to measure, stir, shape, season, and taste beloved recipes. Every time I bake almond cookies and roll them into powdered sugar, still warm from the oven, the spirit of my Tía María is near me. I can almost see her hands handling the fragile cookies so they won’t crumble. Perhaps it helps that I still make them with her old hand-carved wooden mold. When she taught me to bake almond cookies, she knew that she would leave me soon—she wanted me to remember her every time I baked them. Forty years later, I still do.

O ne of my dearest friends and my soul sister is Virginia Willis, who is a beloved, Southern author of five books, including the James Beard Award-winning Lighten Up, Y’all . Whenever we cross paths in each other’s hometowns, we make it a point to cook for one another. We keep it simple, often roasting a chicken or grilling steaks, and we always prepare a recipe that brings back memories of someone we love. For Virginia, this is often a batch of flaky biscuits, rolled and cut by hand.

“Sometimes I feel like I was born in my grandmother’s kitchen—it figures so prominently in my memories,” Virginia recently shared with me. “Undoubtedly, making buttermilk biscuits is one of my earliest and most favorite cooking memories. She’d roll out the dough and let me punch them out with her aluminum cutter, then let me make a handprint with the scraps of dough. It’s the same recipe I use today. Several years ago, I was teaching my godchild Ruby how to make biscuits. I reached to the board and took a nibble of the dough and said, This tastes like my childhood. She took a nibble and looked at me and said, Your childhood tastes good! ”

Those of us who have found a vocation in foodways—not just a career—often have a strong emotional connection to food memories. I’ve spent my adult life trying to comfort others through food because I feel enormous joy while doing it. And it’s nourishing for the souls of others.

I’ve seen a grown man cry over a bowl of corn ice cream with praline sauce; it reminded him of eating caramel corn with his dad at a state fair. I’ve observed my students recall their grandmothers, mothers, fathers, or someone long gone when tasting a dish I prepared for a class.

There is cathartic power in food memories. They soothe and they strengthen.

G uatemala, 2017. The little girl is big now, but she still dreams of food adventures with her father—if only there was more time.

“Papa, please eat something.”

“I can’t taste anything.”

“Just a couple of bites, please.”

“I’ve no appetite. Remember our adventures when I’m gone.”

“Promise that you’ll find new ones so that when I see you again we can share more.”

“Just not yet . . . just one more bite.”

The food memories will remain. There must be a corner table in heaven, a place where one can meet with those we’ll forever love. A place where food memories come to life once more.

I’m counting on it.

“Chronicles from the Nuevo South” is a part of our weekly story series,  The By and By .   Enjoy this story?   Subscribe to the Oxford American .

Sandra Gutierrez

Sandra A. Gutierrez is author of four cookbooks, including The New Southern-Latino Table. She is the 2017 Grand Prize–winner and Internet Category–winner of Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s MFK Fisher Awards for Excellence in Culinary Writing, for her Oxford American story “A Voice from the Nuevo South.” She discovered her activist voice at the Southern table.

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My Favorite Food and Childhood Memories essay

My favorite food since I have been very young is a hamburger topped with cheese, cooked medium rare. An obvious reason for why this would be my favorite food is the fact that a cheeseburger is the single best tasting food that has ever been prepared. There are, however, many other explanations for my choice, which are rooted in sociological factors related to the environment in which I raised. These factors have no doubt crept themselves into the subconscious of many other Americans, making the burger an enduring icon of American cuisine. It is through the American ideals it encapsulates, and its association with hypermasculinity that, “The Cheeseburger,” has undergone and maintained a nation-wide adoption and adoration, that has undoubtedly affected my preference for it.

Many basic characteristics of a burger are closely associated with fundamental principles of American culture. One such example is the ubiquity of fast foods and comfort foods. It is no accident that fast food culture has been adopted so strongly by the American people, more so than most other countries. Fast food taps into our nation’s consciousness, satisfying deep-rooted American values. Americans appreciate efficiency; they like things to be reliable, inexpensive and easy, and burgers embody those qualities, both as a fast food or gourmet option. As well, Americans like having freedom in their choices, and a burger’s flexibility in its recipe is in line with this sentiment. In his book, Hamburgers in Paradise: The Stories Behind the Food We Eat, Louise Fresco argues, “what made McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box, the once ubiquitous White Castle, and their like such successful companies was not the hamburger itself, nor the franchise system that has enabled it to penetrate all markets, but the systems and technology used to ensure that identical hamburgers would roll off production lines all over the world to be served to a public that knew exactly what to expect.” When in doubt of what to order, most will rely on the trustworthy cheeseburger when one cannot makeup his or her mind. In addition, fast food culture serves as an archetype of American exceptionalism and innovation; the postwar growth of fast-food chains coincided with the rise of the United States on a global scale. The period of industrialization is when America came of age, and America was the leader in industrializing food. There was this sense of pride in the “American Project” in which food became a staple element. It is for these reasons that there are elements of nationalism surrounding our perception of the burger. Like most Americans, I have an inherent loyalty toward my country, and the “American-ness” of burgers contributes to my love for them.

In The Importance of Living, philosopher Lin Yutang asks, “what is patriotism, but nostalgia for the foods of our youth?” Even in our very heterogenous society, the “burger and fries” remains as an iconic duo in our national cuisine. This meal triggers a sensation of nostalgia; it has strong symbolic ties towards a time where things were indefinably easier and better – an allusion towards “the good ole days.” This sentiment is so widespread and deeply entrenched in our society and rituals. I, along with most Americans, enjoy the simple pleasures in life. I appreciate traditions and a sense of family, and eating a burger triggers a memories of Barbeques and cookouts, activities that combine these appreciations. Barbeques are recognized as staples of “the American culinary canon,” such that there are even a few national holidays associated with them (i.e. Labor Day and Memorial Day). As well, among my fondest childhood memories are times when my father and I would grill burgers (stuffed with cheese and bacon) with my grandfather in his backyard in Florida. Rachel Herz explains in her book, Why You Eat What You Eat, the reasoning behind some of America’s food choices. She claims, “comfort foods are usually foods that we ate as children because, when it comes to aromas and flavors, our first associations are the ones that stick most indelibly.” For this reason, whenever my dad or I spot a stuffed burger option on a menu, we know exactly what to order. This sense of yearning has even crept its way into popular culture: many television series elicit an emotion of homesickness. One such example of this is in the series, Riverdale. Riverdale utilizes food, specifically, the “burger and fries,” to create sensations of longing for a simpler time. This response is provoked in many Americans, as they can all collectively resonate with their own respective memory of being a carefree child eating as much junk food as their young hearts desire. Watching the protagonists in Riverdale frequent Pop’s Chock’slit Shop creates this unconscious envy within the viewer, and consuming a burger functions as a subtle reminder of memories of a recent past, providing a small taste of the pleasure that is longed for. I can personally relate to this TV show sentiment: I have lived in New York City my entire life, and one of my favorite characteristics of my home is its diner culture. For over ten years, I would spend nearly every Friday afternoon at EJ’s Diner; my grandmother and I would frequent her local diner on weekends; my friends and I loved diners for quick meals, and we would end almost all of our nights at City Diner – and almost every time, I could be counted on to order a burger and fries. It is for these reasons that I hold a burger so near and dear to my heart.

Sexism and gender stereotypes are issues that still plague humanity. Although gender roles have changed over the years, they still remain prevalent and powerful within the United States. While gender biases might only be present in a subset of our population, their existence still has a profound effect on our society as a whole. Notions of hypermasculinity have created momentum for men to strive to become the “ideal stereotypical male” which bleeds into most aspects of our culture, including culinary customs. Similar to how a fancy, protein free salad is considered to be a feminine food option, most forms of beef, and meat in general, have a more “manly” connotation attributed to them. The greasy, calorie-laden cheeseburger is the poster-child food choice for the stereotypical American male. The evolution and prevalence of mass media has allowed it to become a major vehicle in the expansion of toxic masculinity. Professional sports is a fundamental component of American culture, yet, it mostly adheres to a male-dominant crowd. Stereotypical gender roles imply males as the “stronger, superior sex,” which has led to male divisions to be more widely celebrated than their female counterpart. What does the stereotypical sports viewer look like? It is an overweight American male in young adulthood, holding a beer in one hand and a burger in the other. What further constructs this sentiment are the advertisements that are aired during these games. A major offender of toxic masculinity suggestiveness is Carl Jr., a prominent fast food franchise. Carl Jr. has received a lot of backlash for many advertisements it created because of the not-so-subtle sexist elements integrated in them. Yet, these ads are still aired and are repeatedly produced and played. One such example is the advertisement released in 2012 that is widely considered to be among the most sexually explicit TV commercials. It stars American supermodel Kate Upton eating a burger, but with blatantly obvious sexual allusions. This commercial feeds into “the man’s” sexual appetite, which aims to connect the viewer’s sexual desire with a craving for that juicy burger that Kate Upton seemed so satisfied by. Another good example is the X-men themed advertisement that Carl Jr. aired in 2014. This commercial premised a female shapeshifter morph into an athletic and attractive adult male as she took a bite out of the X-Tra Bacon Thickburger as the words “MAN UP” took over the screen. This is a great demonstration of how the media plays on widespread hypermasculine sentiment to evoke a connection between man and meat. A recent study showed that Americans spent over half of their total leisure time watching television (Giddens et al. 79), so it is implausible to believe that the constant bombardment of subliminal messages did not only further promote hypermasculinity, but also the categorization of burger consumption as a “manly” behavior. While there are many other negative qualities that I do not possess that are implied with hypermasculinity, I believe that I have fallen victim to taking enjoyment in conquering a juicy double cheeseburger and feeling like a man.

While my initial hypothesis solely regarded appetitive qualities, I have come to the realization that my passion for a cheeseburger transcends the experience that occurs on my taste buds. While grateful for the liberty to shape my own food self, there is no doubt that many sociological factors have contributed to which foods I favor over others. It is the combination of its patriotic undertones, its association with my fondest memories, and the machismo that it elicits that has motivated the cheeseburger to transition from a childhood preferred food item to a meal I would blissfully eat every day. 

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Food Memory Essays Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Mexico , Food , Chili , Spices , Taste , Meat , Sauce , Vitamins

Words: 1200

Published: 01/11/2021


National cuisine is regarded as an integral part of each culture. In modern conditions, each national cuisine is characterized by its desire for separate identity and uniqueness. The authenticity of Mexican food seems to be identified owing to an extraordinarily rich variety of spices. I remember savouring the culinary delights of Mexico at the age of 10, when I visited my aunt. Although I vaguely remember all the ingredients, the air was so pungent with the smell of spices. Besides, my aunt used fresh herbs to get the authentic Mexican taste. Mexican cuisine is a wide assortment of flavors. Being rich in vitamins, chili delight the eye and the stomach in various dishes. The ancient methods of cooking the leaves with pork, beef, goat, lamb or chicken are not only the delicious, but also rather useful pleasure. Sea and lakes provide a rich selection of fish and seafood. The highlight of Mexican cuisine lies in its simplicity and almost unlimited possibilities of variations and combinations (Arellano, 2012). Mexican cuisine is rich in spices and sauces, particularly there are about 80 varieties of chile pepper, characterized by the color and the spicy flavor. It is believed that the use of chile pepper in large quantities has beneficial effects on digestion. The culinary style, which today is called Mexican. Over time, it has become original and easily distinguishable, even though it is a fusion of various culinary traditions. Since Mexican food has its roots in the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs and Mayas, whenever I consumed extremely spicy meal, a sense of honour and respect overwhelmed me. Salsas is a so called fiery hot sauce, optionally containing pods of chili and tomatoes (Fordham & Cruz, 2012). It is served with boiled fish, meat, poultry, beans and eggs. Mexican dishes are richly flavored with various spices and herbs as well as unique sauces all shades of color, smell and taste. The most famous is definitely the burning chili sauce. Probably several hundred varieties of chili are used in varying degrees, namely fresh or dried, as well as from mild to fiery and devilishly hot. Some canned peppers make a fresh, sweet and sour syrup, while others are stuffed with minced meat and cheese. Interestingly, chili is present in almost all Mexican dishes, in addition to desserts and sweet pastries. Fordham & Cruz (2012) argue that the hottest sauce is called salsa, which is a paste of finely chopped tomatoes, onions and chili, seasoned with coriander and garlic. Interestingly, the salsa can be prepared from the fruit, but still with hot pepper. Besides, I recall my aunt making a cream at home, beating the usual cream with a teaspoon of natural yogurt. The hot climate of Mexico determines a large selection of beverages, thus Mexicans quench their thirst with a variety of fruit drinks. Mexican nature has given the world such a wonderful fruit like avocado. Under dark green, bumpy skin hides a gentle oily flesh, which is enough to mash with a fork to get the finished dish. Avocado seasoned with lime juice, finely chopped onions, herbs, salt and chile is the recipe of Guacamole, one of the most delicious Mexican sauces. It is usually served with tortillas. Avocados are a part of many salads, sauces, as well as it is added to meat, fish and poultry. I recall a soup of avocado with chicken broth turned out to be a delicious one. In general, soups appear to be an indispensable part of Mexican cuisine. Modern views on the quantitative and qualitative human needs for nutrients are reflected in the concept of a balanced diet. According to it, people get the required amount of energy through certain nutrients, such as proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates and fats, fatty acids, mineral salts, and vitamins. The uniqueness of meat is due to its high energy, balanced amino acid composition of proteins, the presence of bioactive substances and high digestibility. From the consumer point of view, it is the raw material, which can be used to prepare thousands of dishes, meeting the needs of any gourmet. According to Arellano (2012), Mexican cuisine uses mostly pork and beef, which are prepared using extinguishing sauce. Meat is the main supplier of protein, as it contains vital building tissues of the human body amino acids that are ideally balanced and provides a comprehensive synthesis of tissue proteins. Fats that are in meat cause the high energy value of meat products as well as the formation of aroma and taste. When it comes to snacks, corn tortillas is particularly popular, as it is used for creating numerous recipes. Spicy corn tortillas stuffed with vegetables and enchilada sauce, and rolled in a special “envelopes” are called burritos. It is worth noting that Mexican cuisine is characterized by not merely by being pungent. Not all Mexican dishes are spicy and strongly flavoured, some of them, such as vegetable soup, have a delicate, mild flavour (Fordham & Cruz, 2012). If spices are added, and then a sense of proportion, the taste will be soft and harmonious. Not all dishes contain chili, and even those that do, can be prepared in an acute or in a bit milder form. Hot pepper sauce, prepared from a mixture of different varieties of spices, tends to add a specific flavor and sharpness. It is worth noting that Mexican cuisine is characterized by not merely by being pungent. Not all Mexican dishes are spicy and strongly flavoured, some of them, such as vegetable soup, have a delicate, mild flavor. If spices are added, and then a sense of proportion, the taste will be soft and harmonious. Not all dishes contain chili, and even those that do, can be prepared in a bit milder form. Each of us, smelling the aroma of particular dish, immediately draws the picture from a distant happy childhood. Food memory, namely the memory of the taste and smell is probably one of the most durable, since a person tends to draw an instant vivid picture from the past. Mexican cuisine, it is used in various foods and sometimes unexpected combinations, forming a wide variety of food flavors. A distinctive feature of Mexican cuisine is seductive aromas of spices added to food, which indicates the richness of taste. Mexico is a country, where every person feels the atmosphere of joy, happiness and unforgettable adventures. Spicy food, refreshing drinks and delicious deserts make Mexico even more appealing. One of the indisputable advantages of Mexican dishes is that they are easy to prepare at home, since recipes for simple ingredients, with a few exceptions is relatively easy and there are not too complex garnishes and decorative elements.

Arellano, G. (2012). Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. New York NY: Scribner. Fordham, B., & Cruz, F. F. (2012). Real Mexican Food: Authentic recipes for burritos, tacos, salsas and more. Ryland Peters & Small.

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I am due to post here, but can’t organize my thoughts to give you something adequate. Here’s an essay I just wrote on a food memory.

The sun poured into the room through the large skylights . White tablecloths peppered a white room. My Father and I were consumed with the preparation of hors d’oeuvres for my grandparents’ 50 th anniversary party. With not enough money to throw a full lunch or dinner we settled on a teatime gathering of all of their friends, replete with tea sandwiches and a champagne punch.

We had sliced the cheese and vegetables the previous night for the cheese and vegetable trays, and needed only to make the punch and sandwiches. Hunched over a mandoline with several peeled English cucumbers, I slid the moist green flesh over the cold steel blades again and again. The counter, covered in juice, glistened in the sun, casting off the sweet, crisp scent of cucumber. I lifted away the mandoline to reveal the thin strips of cucumber heaped delicately in the middle of the cutting board. Setting them aside, I began to square off a loaf of thinly sliced pumpernickel. The dense, dry bread stood in stark contrast to the impossibly thin cucumber strips and the neatly trimmed squares longed for companionship.

With a teaspoon I dabbed a sour cream and chive spread on to the squares, gently pushing the mixture to the corners. I reached over to the smoked salmon, tearing rough squares and placing them on the bread. Finally, I twisted a mound of the fine julienne of cucumber on to the sandwiches. And it is here that I succumbed to weakness.

I stuffed the first one in my mouth. The crispness of the cucumber, the sourness of the cream, and the smoothness of the salmon washed over me. The flavors and textures danced around my mouth, like an over-choreographed boy band. What a guilty pleasure this was, to eat the first of my creations as a horde of Frank Sinatra-loving, cane-wielding geriatrics bore down on this retirement community recreation center. With a stern look from father I was torn away from the American Bandstand of flavor dancing in my mouth.  I finished assembling the rest of the sandwiches with one hundred percent less Dick Clark, and moved on to mixing champagne punch.

I hadn’t really consumed any alcoholic drinks at this point, unless you count a bowl of oranges soaked in champagne once, so I was in new territory. However, thanks to my Spartan courage and fond memories of booze-soaked fruit, I set about mixing the two gallons of sorbet with several liters of 7-UP and fresh oranges. Combining the mixture with several bottles of champagne, the resultant drink was transcendent. A most beautiful shade of pink, the punch had a creamy texture but a lightness imparted by the citrus and carbonation. The drink melted and oozed over your tongue, but escaped the heaviness of ice cream due to the effervescence of the sweet elixir.  I quaffed more than a couple cocktail glasses of this otherworldly concoction before I was so rudely cut off.

I include this memory for a whole host of emotional reasons that might not be readily apparent. The recollection of this memory is bittersweet; while I loved being able to prepare good food and serve my friends and family, this memory holds more meaning in what is absent. As the great philosophers, and glam metal band Cinderella so elegantly put it, “you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone”, and I could not agree more.  I was not as close to my grandmother and grandfather as I would have liked and I harbor lasting regrets for it. Indeed, this essay makes only passing mention of my grandparents. However, food factored prominently in my grandfather’s life. Whether it was his peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches, chipped ham barbecue, or his weekly salmon dinner, food became a way for me to connect with and remember a man that I hardly knew. I was lucky to have known him, and I’m lucky to have shared this and other food memories with him.

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Essays About Food: Top 5 Examples and 6 Writing Prompts

Food is one of the greatest joys of life; it is both necessary to live and able to lift our spirits. If you are writing essays about food, read our guide.

Many people live and die by food. While its primary purpose is to provide us with the necessary nutrients to carry out bodily functions, the satisfaction food can give a person is beyond compare. For people of many occupations, such as chefs, waiters, bakers, and food critics, food has become a way of life.

Why do so many people enjoy food? It can provide us with the sensory pleasure we need to escape from the trials of daily life. From the moist tenderness of a good-quality steak to the sweet, rich decadence of a hot fudge sundae, food is truly magical. Instead of eating to stay alive, many even joke that they “live to eat.” In good food, every bite is like heaven.

5 Top Essay Examples

1. food essay by evelin tapia, 2. why japanese home cooking makes healthy feel effortless by kaki okumura, 3. why i love food by shuge luo.

6 Prompts for Essays About Food

1. what is your favorite dish, 2. what is your favorite cuisine, 3. is a vegan diet sustainable, 4. the dangers of fast food, 5. a special food memory, 6. the food of your home country.

“Food has so many things in them such as calories and fat. Eating healthy is important for everyone to live a healthy life. You can eat it, but eating it daily is bad for you stay healthy and eat the right foods. Deep fried foods hurt your health in many ways. Eat healthy and exercise to reduce the chances of any health problems.”

In this essay, Tapia writes about deep-fried foods and their effects on people’s health. She says they are high in trans fat, which is detrimental to one’s health. On the other hand, she notes reasons why people still eat foods such as potato chips and french fries, including exercise and simply “making the most of life.” Despite this, Tapia asserts her position that these foods should not be eaten in excess and can lead to a variety of health issues. She encourages people to live healthy lives by enjoying food but not overeating. 

“Because while a goal of many vegetables a day is admirable, in the beginning it’s much more sustainable to start with something as little as two. I learned that with an approach of two-vegetable dishes at a time, I would be a lot more consistent, and over time a large variety would become very natural. In fact, now following that framework and cooking a few simple dishes a day, I often find that it’s almost difficult to not reach at least several kinds of vegetables a day.”

Okumura discusses simple, healthy cooking in the Japanese tradition. While many tend to include as many vegetables as possible in their dishes for “health,” Okumura writes that just a few vegetables are necessary to make healthy but delicious dishes. With the help of Japanese pantry staples like miso and soy sauce, she makes a variety of traditional Japanese side dishes. She shows the wonders of food, even when executed in its simplest form. 

“I make pesto out of kale stems, toast the squash seeds for salad and repurpose my leftovers into brand new dishes. I love cooking because it’s an exercise in play. Cooking is forgiving in improvisation, and it can often surprise you. For example, did you know that adding ginger juice to your fried rice adds a surprisingly refreshing flavor that whets your appetite? Neither did I, until my housemate showed me their experiment.”

In her essay, Luo writes about her love for food and cooking, specifically how she can combine different ingredients from different cuisines to make delicious dishes. She recalls experiences with her native Chinese food and Italian, Singaporean, and Japanese Cuisine. The beauty of food, she says, is the way one can improvise a dish and create something magical. 

4.   My Favorite Food by Jayasurya Mayilsamy 

“There is no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap. My love for Pizza is very high. I am always hungry for pizza, be it any time of the day. Cheese is the secret ingredient of any food it makes any food taste yummy. Nearly any ingredient can be put on pizza. Those diced vegetables, jalapenos, tomato sauce, cheese and mushrooms make me eat more and more like a unique work of art.”

Mayilsamy writes about pizza, a food he can’t get enough of, and why he enjoys it as much as he does. He explains the different elements of a good pizza, such as cheese, tomato sauce, other toppings, and the crust. He also briefly discusses the different types of pizzas, such as thin crust and deep dish. Finally, he gives readers an excellent description of a mouthwatering pizza, reminding them of the feeling of eating their favorite food. 

5. ​​ Osteria Francescana: does the world’s best restaurant live up to the hype? by Tanya Gold

“After three hours, I am exhausted from eating Bottura’s dreams, and perhaps that is the point. If some of it is delicious, it is also consuming. That is the shadow cast by the award in the hallway, next to the one of a man strangled by food. I do not know if this is the best restaurant on Earth, or even if such a claim is possible. I suspect such lists are designed largely for marketing purposes: when else does Restaurant magazine, which runs the competition, get global coverage for itself and its sponsors?”

Gold reviews the dishes at Osteria Francescana, which is regarded by many as the #1 restaurant in the world. She describes the calm, formal ambiance and the polished interiors of the restaurants. Most importantly, she goes course by course, describing each dish in detail, from risotto inspired by the lake to parmesan cheese in different textures and temperatures. Gold concludes that while a good experience, a meal at the restaurant is time-consuming, and her experience is inconclusive as to whether or not this is the best restaurant in the world. 

Essays About Food: What is your favorite dish?

Everyone has a favorite food; in your essay, write about a dish you enjoy. You can discuss the recipe’s history by researching where it comes from, the famous chefs who created it, or which restaurants specialize in this dish. Provide your readers with an ingredients list, and describe how each ingredient is used in the recipe. Conclude your essay with a review of your experience recreating this recipe at home, discuss how challenging the recipe is, and if you enjoyed the experience.

Aside from a favorite dish, everyone prefers one type of cuisine. Discuss your favorite cuisine and give examples of typical dishes, preparations for food, and factors that influence your chosen cuisine. For example, you could choose Italian cuisine and discuss pasta, pizza, gelato, and other famous food items typically associated with Italian food.

Many people choose to adopt a vegan diet that consists of only plant-based food. For your essay, you can discuss this diet and explain why some people choose it. Then, research the sustainability of a plant-based diet and if a person can maintain a vegan diet while remaining healthy and energized. Provide as much evidence as possible by conducting interviews, referencing online sources, and including survey data. 

Essays About Food: The dangers of fast food

Fast food is a staple part of diets worldwide; children are often raised on salty bites of chicken, fries, and burgers. However, it has been linked to many health complications, including cancer and obesity . Research the dangers of fast food, describe each in your essay, and give examples of how it can affect you mentally and physically. 

Is there a memory involving food that you treasure? Perhaps it could be a holiday celebration, a birthday, or a regular day when went to a restaurant. Reflect on this memory, retelling your story in detail, and describe the meal you ate and why you remember it so fondly.

Every country has a rich culture, a big component of which is food. Research the history of food in your native country, writing about common native dishes and ingredients used in cooking. If there are religious influences on your country’s cuisine, note them as well. Share a few of these recipes in your essay for an engaging piece of writing.

Tip: If writing an essay sounds like a lot of work, simplify it. Write a simple 5 paragraph essay instead.

For help picking your next essay topic, check out the best essay topics about social media .

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food memory essay

Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.

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Psychologists Explain Why Food Memories Can Feel So Powerful

Taste Senior Editor, HuffPost

An old photo of a birthday boy. The combination of the food with the celebration and the people attending it is just the recipe needed for making powerful food memories.

Most of us have a memory of a food that takes us back to childhood. It can be as simple as a candy bar that we used to get as a treat during our youth, or more involved like a lemon bar recalling your first baking disaster. No matter the importance, memories involving food are vivid ― and they sometimes feel more evocative than other types of memories.

“Food memories are more sensory than other memories in that they involve really all five senses, so when you’re that thoroughly engaged with the stimulus it has a more powerful effect,” explains Susan Whitborne, professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts.

You’re not just using your sight, or just your taste, but all the senses and that offers the potential to layer the richness of a food memory.

Psychologist and neuroscientist Hadley Bergstrom , assistant professor of psychology at Vassar, takes it one step further. Bergstrom told HuffPost that “T aste memories tend to be the strongest of associative memories that you can make,” and explains that it’s because of a survival tactic called conditioned taste aversion .

Conditioned taste aversion is basically what happens when you get food poisoning and as a result, develop an aversion to a dish, ingredient or an entire restaurant for a certain amount of time.

“With conditioned taste aversion the effect of the sickness is so profound that even though you get sick hours after you’ve eaten the food, you’ll still make these extremely strong memories about what food you ate and where you ate the food,” Bergstrom said.

While this doesn’t directly relate to some of our happy childhood food memories, it does make a case for just how powerful our food memories are.

Our senses and survival tactics aren’t the only elements at play when it comes to food memories. The situation ― where you were, who you were with, what the occasion was ― adds the most power to our nostalgic taste memories.

“Food memories feel so nostalgic because there’s all this context of when you were preparing or eating this food, so the food becomes almost symbolic of other meaning,” Whitbourne says. “A lot of our memories as children, it’s not so much the apple pie, for example, but the whole experience of being a family, being nourished, and that acquires a lot of symbolism apart from the sensory quality.”

“The idea of nostalgia,” Bergstrom says, “is that the sauce [for example] is associated not only with yummy pasta, but also with grandma and her home ― that’s because food is so reinforcing. All of this stimuli in the environment become associated with the reinforcing properties of that yummy pasta sauce.” Bergstrom, as a neuroscientist, uses food in his behavior studies for this very reason.

That’s the nature of food memories. They aren’t just based on the facts, or our need for survival, but are shaped by the context ― the company, the situation and the emotions involved.

My step-mom always recounts how great her grandmother’s vanilla pudding was when she made it for her as a kid. She, at 57 years old, has been trying to recreate it since she was old enough to be cooking in a kitchen. It’s a flavor she can practically taste through her memory of that dish, but one that she has not been able to reproduce successfully. And it’s because she can’t recreate the context. She can make great vanilla pudding, but she can’t go back in time to the excitement she felt as a child for being given such a treat, by a person who was such a loving and nurturing force in her life.

Bergstrom concludes, “This is in the reinforcing nature of food, and that is what drives memory formation in the brain.”

Before You Go

Julie R. Thomson - Taste Senior Editor, HuffPost

Julie R. Thomson

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My Favorite Food Essay | What Makes A Favourite Food?, My Favorite Food Essay for Students and Children

March 3, 2023 by Prasanna

My Favorite Food Essay: Do you know your own favourite food? Do you like it because it tastes good or because it reminds you of home? In this essay, we shall explore what makes a particular food a favourite and why. There are many different opinions on what is a favourite food. For some people, their favourite food might be something sweet whereas for others it could be a savoury dish. Some of the most popular choices as a favourite food include pizza, burgers, sushi and pasta. In addition to this, flavours also play a role in what is a favourite food.

Some people prefer something with a strong flavour whereas others prefer something light and subtle. In addition, the variety of cuisines makes it hard for people to decide which cuisine they like best. The best way to choose a favourite food is to look at the different elements that are involved in that particular food. For example, if you would like to choose a favourite food that is sweet, then look at the numerous desserts that are available in the food market. It is also important to look at the other foods that are available so that you can make a comparison of them with your favourite food.

What are My Favourite Foods?

Thoughts that come to mind about my favourite food, nutritional value of chicken and health benefits, disadvantages of eating chicken, favourite healthy foods, conclusion on my favorite food essay, faq’s on my favorite food essay.

When it comes to my favourite foods I lean towards a bit of everything. These foods have all left a taste in my memory, whether it was the first time I had them or the 1,000th time. Some of my favourites are:

However, my absolute favourite food is chicken. I just love it! It’s soft, juicy, and perfectly moist. I also love how easy it is to cook with it. I also enjoy the combination of all the different flavours and textures. It’s a really versatile and easy ingredient to use, and you can put so many different flavours into something simple. It’s really good with all kinds of flavours, spices and herbs. Chicken also contains a lot of protein, which is good for my body.

When I think of chicken, the first thing that comes to mind is a warm and inviting meal. My favourite dish is chicken piccata, but I think it’s really hard to beat the classic chicken noodle soup! I’ve always loved chicken soup, ever since I was really young. My dad used to love cooking for us and he did it all the time. For example, on the weekend he would make fresh chicken soup and fried rice for us to eat. I always thought it was delicious! I’ve always liked chicken soup ever since then.

When I eat it there is a certain amount of satisfaction, and for some reason, I just can’t get enough of it! But the most important reason that I love chicken is that it reminds me of home.

Chicken is a very nutritious food that provides a variety of health benefits and is quite low in calories. It is high in protein and has all the essential amino acids. It also contains various vitamins and minerals that are important for your body. Chicken also has less fat than other types of meat, which makes it a healthier alternative. In view of the nutritional value of chicken, it is crucial that you consume it regularly if you want to remain healthy and fit.

Perception of Chicken Around The World

Chicken is a popular type of meat in most countries, and is the main source of protein for many people. It can be cooked in a variety of different ways, and it’s commonly known as the universal “fast food” because it’s fast to cook. Chicken is also a very versatile food that can be slathered with sauce and used as a meat replacement in many different recipes.

Moreover, chicken has been a staple of the diet in most cultures for centuries. It is certainly one of the most popular foods in the world, and I cannot imagine any meals without it. Most people will eat chicken as part of their daily routine. It’s a cheap, convenient, and high-quality protein that can be served with many different ingredients and spices to create delicious dishes. Cooking chicken at home is also much more fun than going out to buy expensive steaks or store-bought dishes.

For one thing, chicken is the most consumed animal source of food on the planet. Though it is healthy for humans, there are some potential dangers associated with this type of diet. Eating undercooked/ raw chicken can increase the risk of contracting salmonellosis, a bacterial infection that can cause severe diarrhoea, fever and vomiting. Symptoms can appear in as little as three to four hours after the infection. Additionally, the proteins found in the chicken are not recommended for people with kidney problems. Chicken is also low in iron, vitamin C, folate, zinc, and other important nutrients which are necessary for good health.

My Favorite Food

My favourite healthy food is tomatoes. I love tomatoes because they have a high nutrient content like vitamin C and fibre, which makes them one of the best foods to eat if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Tomatoes are also an excellent source of antioxidants that can help protect us from cancer and other diseases. I also ensure that I drink adequate quantities of water as it helps me stay hydrated. I also like to eat pasta, because I can eat it without feeling guilty. I know that it is healthy for me and does not have any added ingredients. This is why I feel comfortable eating it, even though I am picky about my food.

My favourite food is healthy, it’s also delicious and can be chosen in different ways. I like chicken and tomatoes because they’re nutritious. In my opinion, the healthiest food for us humans is plants. This is because our lifestyle is more sedentary and we require less calories than ever. Regardless, a healthy lifestyle is paramount and eating well is part of that. Also, a healthy diet is one that should be varied and balanced.

Question 1. What is your Favourite food?

Answer: Chicken is my favourite food because it has a high protein content and is also low in fat. It’s easy to cook, versatile and quick. All of these make it perfect for your diet. Plus it’s low in calories and has a reasonably low price tag.

Question 2. How do I write about my favourite food?

Answer: Include the name of your favourite food and provide a brief overview of the dish. Explain why it is your absolute favourite and how it relates or reminds you of something. It is also a good idea to explain why you like its taste or texture.

Question 3. What is everyone’s favourite food?

Answer: There is a lot of debate around what people’s favourite food is. There are many different opinions. Some people like to eat chicken, while others love pizza. I like both but my favourite food is chicken because it has a unique flavour and texture.

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During my early twenties, I developed a passion for cooking. The deeper I delved into the art of cooking quality food, the more I realized the amalgamating properties it held. Little did I know, this hobby was something my new wife Jenn and I did not share. The first indication that there might be a problem in the kitchen occurred with a simple request one evening after work: “Honey, I would like some bacon,” I said. To my astonishment, my bride declared, “I don’t know how to cook bacon, I don’t even like bacon!

” I knew this woman for seven years—my high school sweetheart—and I never knew she didn’t like bacon.

“Who doesn’t like bacon anyway? It’s un-American! ” I said. No wife of mine would ever dislike bacon. And even if you didn’t like it, how could you not know how to cook it? Exasperated, I explained how you begin with a cold pan, as not to scorch it.

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I continued, showing her how not to overlap the bacon, but not to leave too much space either. The conversation continued and I took jabs where I could.

She contended that she did not like bacon because of its texture; I argued it was because she did not know how to cook it right. I couldn’t really blame her though, she came by it honestly. My mother-in-law cannot cook—at all. She has a rotation of three to four meals that come from a can or a package.

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Hamburger Helper was commonplace growing up in that house. A simple meal such as spaghetti is a botched experiment in “homemade cooking. ” Her recipe consists of un-doctored, canned sauce poured onto over-cooked, mushy noodles, that she stirs the entire time they are boiling.

Sometimes, she’ll even add a couple of frozen meatballs from a bag. To our delight, most of our meals with the mother-in-law take place in a restaurant, where it’s safe. We are able to enjoy the occasion of food and family, while actually being able to stomach the food. It is the aforementioned reasons that my wife could not cook when we first got married; she simply was not taught or even exposed to the practice of cooking. She was also rather close-minded when it came to new things. After-all, Hamburger Helper only came in so many varieties.

It was up to me to change all this—to teach her to cook, and open her mind to new flavors. I grew up with real home-cooked meals. My dad, now an engineer, was once the chef at a local restaurant in our hometown of Marion, Illinois. He imparted in me an appreciation for real food, and dispelled the myth in my mind, that “mom” was responsible for putting dinner on the table. Years later, dad is a still a major influence in my relationship with food, which in turn strengthens my relationship with him.

For the past ten years, going to dad’s house for Sunday dinner has been tradition—first me, then my wife, and now our three children. Dad and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on certain things, but there is an emulsifying, unifying power that quality food possesses, that helped heal our relationship. Even before the modern days of Sunday dinner began, my dad was my inspiration to learn to cook, and I aspire to be the same for my children. One factor that enhanced my appreciation for cooking was the time I spent in my early twenties watching the Food Network.

There, I watched Emeril Lagasse cook up his latest masterpiece with a “BAM! ” I attempted to emulate many of his dishes, some even with success. It was in this time period that I actually began to develop some culinary skill. My mother was my faithful and willing test subject. Her only complaint was the disaster I left in my wake. I could cook, but would somehow manage to destroy the entire kitchen in the process. One of my favorite dishes I picked up in this time period was a simple bologna recipe I picked up from Emeril, which became an oft-requested Super Bowl staple.

Emeril’s Favorite Brown Sugar-Crusted Baked Bologna1: An all-beef bologna, smothered in Dijon mustard and brown sugar, and slow-cooked for five hours. The resulting deliciousness is served on fresh, white bread with yellow mustard. I never would have thought bologna could become gourmet, and it was with this dish I learned it is often the simpler recipes that have the most impact. This taught me that delicious cuisine doesn’t necessarily take hours of preparation alongside fancy ingredients. Sometimes, all a simple recipe needs is a creative twist to turn it into something incredible.

It took some time, but Jenn came around. The more I encouraged her to try new things, the wider her horizons became. She began to cook, and found she was actually a natural in the kitchen. And how did I finally get her to eat bacon? While she was pregnant with our first son, she would eat anything. I would come home from work to find family-size boxes of macaroni and cheese decimated. I knew this was my chance. I started sneaking bacon into dishes, and onto sandwiches—anywhere I remotely thought I could fit it in. Lo and behold, she found she actually liked it!

Now that we both have a healthy appreciation of cooking, we keep a strong focus on it in our day to day lives. Despite our busy schedules, it is a priority of ours to eat together as a family whenever possible. Because of our passion for a unique blend of health and great taste in our diets, our children are always trying, and usually liking, new foods. We can already see in them an appreciation for good food, and an affinity for family meal time. What’s the number one request for just about any meal? Bacon, of course.

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Food Memoir

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Childhood Food Memories Essay Example

Childhood Food Memories Essay Example

When I was young, I stay together with my fraternal grandfather, grandmother, family and aunties. Often my mother and grandmother will be the homemaker, taking care of me and doing the chores at home. Being a traditional Asian family and not very well to do then. Most dinner we had it at home and prepared by my grandmother and mother. Then my favorite past time was to catch variety show and dramas on television. As the dining table have limited amount of seats, not everyone ate at the dining table. A few of us will get our share of dinner and sit in the living room to catch our favorite television programs.

For myself then being the youngest and favored by my grandmother and other aunties, often do not go into the kitchen

to get my share of dinner. I will rather stay in the living room continue watching my favorite television programs and wait for my dinner. As such my grandmother will get my portion of dinner and add in the different dishes that she had cooked into the plate of rice. When she was doing that, she will routinely add in any accompanied sauces of the dish into my plate of rice. And the end of state of my dinner will be a plate of rice in a mixture of sauce with the efferent dishes.

She will often mixed up the plate of mixture before passing it to me for my dinner. Even though all the different dishes were cook brilliantly and tasty, after the "mixing" done by my grandmother, the dinner became disastrous. Because of this, I dislike having dinner tha

was serve by my grandmother as it feel like having a plate of "pig feeds". That when I started getting my own dinner from the kitchen. From then on, whenever I had my meal, I will never mix different sauces in my meal. I always organize my meal so that I will never mix different favors of dish together hen eating.

I will taste and savor each dish by its own to appreciate the taste and not tarnish it by mixing it together with other dishes. Due to this habit I become less inclined to use condiments when having my meals and preferred enjoying my meal as it is. Now, whenever I see parent's mixing up the meal and mashing up almost everything for their child, it will trigger the memory of my grandmother. Even though I never like her helping me to get my dinner, I still missed talking and spending time with her. An Essay on Childhood Food Memories By anarchic

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Chocolate & Zucchini

Childhood Food Memories

Nounours à la Guimauve

Yup, yet another food-related meme, for which I was tagged by both Pascale and Jacqueline . This one has you indulge in the reminiscence of five childhood food memories. Here are mine!

Les Nounours à la Guimauve When we had a little pocket money my sister and I would drop by the boulangerie around the corner from school to buy candy. The display case was visible through the window so we would stand there for a little while trying to decide what to get, for once inside, the boulangère , paper bag in hand and an eye on the growing line of more worthy customers, had little patience for hesitant children. Malabars bi-goût (huge pink chewing-gums that made the coolest bubbles, the bi-goût variety having two flavors), chewy ribbons coated with acidulated sugar (red was my color of choice), edible necklaces, and my all-time favorite: the chocolate-covered marshmallow teddy bear, from which I would bite the head off first — quick painless death for the teddy bear. Maxence and I still buy them occasionally, whipping them out in the late hours of a party and watching everyone’s eyes open wide with childish gourmandise .

Le Poulet Rôti du Dimanche For lunch on Sundays, my mother would often make her perfect roasted chicken, with sauteed potatoes and green beans. The chicken made plenty of juice, and the much-anticipated treat at the end of the meal was to soak it all up with pieces of fresh baguette. At some point though, my parents decided this wasn’t the healthiest thing you could feed your kids or yourself and we stopped doing it, but I still remember how we all gathered around the baking dish in the sun-drenched dining-room (it’s always sunny in my memory), expertly maneuvering our forks to get the wonderful caramelized bits and salty juices on the thin crunchy baguette.

Les Sandwiches au Nutella My favorite breakfast for years on end was a Nutella sandwich. Two square slices of white bread would be toasted, one would be spread with the world’s most popular chocolate-hazelnut paste, the crusts would be sliced off and the whole thing cut in two rectangular halves. I loved it and can still feel the thick sensation of velvety chocolate sticking to the roof of your mouth while you chewed on the warm crunchy bread. It wasn’t very big really, but I had a small appetite and often couldn’t finish it. And instead of throwing it out, I had a habit of taking it back to my (very messy) room “for later”. The leftovers were promptly forgotten in the back of a shelf or inside my little desk, quietly getting stale until my mother discovered them days later.

Les Coquillettes au Jambon et au Gruyère If my memory serves me right, this was what my mother sometimes cooked for us before my parents went out for the evening. I don’t remember being at all bothered that they were going out without us, and in fact I really liked seeing both of them get all dressed up and ready to go while we sat in the kitchen in our pajamas, eating our bowls of elbow macaroni tossed with shredded ham and gruyère cheese (grated with our vintage orange mouligrater). I still crave this from time to time, it is still delicious and I still serve it to myself in a bowl, but I don’t wear the bib now.

Les Amandines When we were on vacation in the mountains during the summer we often bought pastries at the local bakery for the goûter (the afternoon snack) and my personal favorite, available from most all bakeries, was the Amandine: a little tartlet filled with frangipane (a mix of butter, sugar and ground almonds), covered with slivered almonds and topped with a translucent glaze and half a candied cherry. The cherry I usually discarded, but the tartlet I devoured. There was something comforting about having a standby favorite I always went for and always liked, shielding me from the vertigo of too many choices. How odd it is to remember that and how differently I feel now, constantly yearning for new tastes and new experiences!

And let me now pass the baton to Adam , David and Julie !

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About Clotilde

Clotilde Dusoulier is a French food writer based in Paris. Her focus is on fresh, colorful, and seasonal foods, making room for both wholesome, nourishing dishes and sweet treats.

An enthusiastic explorer of flavors and observer of culinary trends, she leads private walking tours in Paris, contributes to international food and travel magazines, and writes cookbooks and guidebooks. She lives in Montmartre with her husband and their two little boys. Learn more »

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What Your Earliest Food Memories Say About You

New research shows how childhood food memories affect your relationships now..

Posted  August 19, 2017

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Everyone has childhood memories of family meals, ranging from holiday gatherings to the ordinary breakfasts, lunches, and dinners served around the kitchen table. Perhaps your mother had a flair for preparing Sunday morning blueberry pancakes, or your father was a pro at making Thursday night grilled cheese sandwiches. From pleasant conversations to painful tension and arguments, family meals run the full emotional gamut. Without realizing it, these emotional memories, associated with both the food you ate and the atmosphere in which you ate it, have become part of your adult sense of self. In a recently published study, Elisabeth von Essen and Fredrika Mårtensson (2017), of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, examined the relationship between food memories from one's early years with resilience in young adulthood. The Swedish team believed that the positive associations between food and family help establish a strong base on which future coping skills are built.

An intriguing notion that von Essen and Mårtensson point out is that food choices and meals serve to tell the much larger part of the story of who we are and how our lives have developed. Being a vegan can become a central aspect of your sense of self, but so too are the food habits and customs you learned through your family. Moreover, as the authors observe, “different dishes and meals help to add rhythm to everyday life…” and “preparing, cooking, and serving food is … an ‘unexpressed intimacy ’” (p. 210).

You can probably relate to these concepts in terms of your current relationships. Do you and your partner spend a considerable amount of your time together around the kitchen counter while you chop, snip, and saute? Is sitting down to a long and luxurious dinner a high point of your evening? Or are you and your family more utilitarian, using meals as a chance to refuel and go on to the next event in your busy life? How you spend your food-related times together defines a key element of your relationships. You may have even sought a partner who shares your views on food, cooking, and mealtimes, or at least come to accommodate to your partner’s if you feel that your relationship would otherwise suffer.

The Swedish researchers proposed that it is those attitudes toward food derived from your memories of your earlier experiences that have a bearing not only on how you and your partner spend time together, but more deeply on your sense of security in relationships. Attachment theory, the framework adopted by the authors, proposes that the “secure base” you form in infancy provides you with the greatest resilience toward the challenges you face as you develop into adulthood and beyond. However, you can still bounce back from early difficulties when your identity begins to develop in the transition to adulthood. It's when you start to establish supportive relationships with your friends and new romantic partners that you can overcome earlier difficulties. You may look differently at your parents and be able, as they note, to “re-evaluate a negative role model.” Food can help you navigate that process and, as they state, “act as a buffer against uncomfortable memories” (p. 211).

To test their ideas about the use of food memories by young adults to help create a life narrative, the authors conducted an intensive analysis based on food memory interviews of a sample of 30 young adults ranging from 18 to 35 years old. The three participants whose interviews were chosen for in-depth analysis were on a vegetarian or organic diet , or alternated between vegetarian food and meat. The authors delved into the material by attempting to elicit the narrative, or life story, that the participants told about themselves in relation to food. In the interviews, participants were asked to describe major turning points in their lives and then to describe their relationship to food before and after the turning point. Each of the three narratives then became an illustration of how food and attachment became connected for the participant.

The first narrative involved “using food as a secure base.” The participant whose interview fit this pattern told of how the soup with bread he cooked and ate with his mother became associated with security and togetherness. He returned to his memories of these good times when sharing meals with his adult friends, and he still recalled fondly the times he spent in the kitchen helping his mother prepare these simple but nourishing meals.

A second participant, by contrast, had a rocky history with food, having experimented with a number of extreme dietary fads. In childhood, she had grown up eating anything that could be microwaved, having a mother who worked nights and a father who was an alcoholic . When she herself became a mother, she was concerned about providing her own son with a healthier and more stable diet. She reported that, after a great deal of struggle, she was eventually able to feel good about her eating habits. Nevertheless, she feels she’s still too preoccupied with food, and that it takes too much of her energy. This pattern reflects what in attachment theory is known as the anxious /ambivalent style. People who experience this approach in their adult relationships similarly can be preoccupied and uncertain of their partner's love.

The third participant, reflecting a more dismissive attachment style, also had a dismissive attitude toward food. She experienced an eating disorder in adolescence in response to a childhood characterized by the separation and divorce of her parents. As she entered young adulthood, she moved in with her boyfriend whose attitude toward food was very different from hers. He expected to eat “proper meals” on a regular schedule and to spend time together both cooking and eating those meals. She was currently, as the authors noted, struggling to overcome her tendency to downplay both food and romantic feelings toward her partner; in other words, “to figure out how to integrate food with the new life situation including a partner” (p. 214).

This study, though small in scope, shows the role that food, and your memories of food, can play as you navigate your own life experiences. Think back on your own earliest memories of the meals you ate as a child and also, as importantly, to the emotional associations you have to those meals. Did you feel that mealtime brought you together with the important people in your life, or were they those hurried affairs in which you microwaved food that came out of a box? When have you used food to help comfort you during periods of stress ? Or was food always a source of stress, so that you try to focus as little as possible on the meals you prepare? How do your feelings toward food play out in your closest relationships now, and particularly in the way that you and your partner negotiate mealtimes?

Your food memories can sustain and influence your psychological as well as your physical well-being. If those memories are painful ones, the findings of von Essen and Mårtensson suggest that it’s never too late to rework them into a story with a happier ending.

Follow me on Twitter @swhitbo for daily updates on psychology, health, and aging. Feel free to join my Facebook group, " Fulfillment at Any Age ," to discuss today's blog, or to ask further questions about this posting.

Copyright Susan Krauss Whitbourne 2017

von Essen, E., & Mårtensson, F. (2017). Young adults' use of emotional food memories to build resilience. Appetite , 112210-218. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2017.01.036

Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. , is a Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her latest book is The Search for Fulfillment.

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food memory essay

Role of Food in Memory and Emotion

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Nursing & Health , Psychology

Anatomy & Physiology , Psychological Theories , Nutrition & Dieting

Brain , Emotional Intelligence , Importance of Food

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Best Memories Of Food: My Best Memory With Food

food memory essay

Show More My best memory with food is when I used to go over to my grandma and grandpa’s house after every day of school. I would always get my mom to make me a turkey sandwich with mayonnaise, mustard, and cheddar cheese on sweet honey wheat bread. The bread always had a fluffiness to it and it was always soft with a golden brown color. My grandma always had mass amounts of the ingredients that were always better than the ones bought at the grocery store. She always told me that meat and bread freshly cut is way better than the ones that are cut and frozen for an extended amount of time for the customers to buy. She worked at the nearest grocery store’s bakery and butcher shop so she always had access to the freshest ingredients. Every day after a …show more content… He was always joking with me whenever I visited him and grandma and despite that he always joked with me, I disliked him. When he died I still ate a sandwich that day. I ate it while watching my twin cousins cry on their mom’s chest and while my grandma talked about it too my mom, I felt nothing. I never went over there again after school for my own reasons which I don’t remember today. I don’t think my family ever thought of it whenever I showed no feeling to my grandpas death. When it became Christmas, I decided to visit her with my family and she told me that I was just like him, same love for sandwiches and that we both had to have chips with them. I apologized to her. Nowadays, I always think about him. I grew up never having a grandpa figure and whenever he was still around, I never considered him as one. My grandpa on my dad’s side had died due to the same reason. He died before I was born and In turn, I never met him. I regret not getting to know my grandpa on my mom’s side and I regret disliking him. I wonder if he knew that I disliked him, I wish I would have gotten to know him better. I started spending time with my grandma after that talk with her but instead of her making sandwiches for me, I made one for her instead. She loved

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food memory essay

Descriptive Essay: My Favorite Meal

I have a lot of good memories of my senior prom. The Hilton's California ballroom, the dancing, and socializing with friends were some of the memories. But most of all, the food was the best memory of all. The food served at Castlemont High's senior prom was colorful and delicious. One could not help but to see, smell, and eventually consume the food. The meal consisted of hors d'oeurves, the main course, beverages, and dessert. All of these delicacies combined made the prom a satisfying experience. I remember vividly the set of hors d'oeurves. The hors d'oeurves were arranged in a big heart to set the mood of mystery and romance. The bright crimson bell pepper stood mighty in the face of its relative, the humble, dull, green pepper. The darkened pieces of beef had visible hints of all purpose seasoning and slivers of onions. The dull pink jumbo shrimp looked like crescent moons, outrageously swollen, and just about ready to bust out of their transparent, segmented shells. The smell of hors d'oeurves served to whet the appetite of all in attendance. The hickory smell of beef stood out to draw everyone near. The shrimp had a salty smell with a hint of ocean water. The bell peppers, both green and red, had a tart smell, compared to their fleshy counterparts. My taste buds watered, but nothing could compare to the next course I was about to see. After devouring the hors d'oeurves, the main course was set before us. The arrangements of Chinese styled meats, rice, and vegetables were scrumptious. The roasted chicken with its dry skin was covered by an orange sauce with green onions glued to the surface of the sauce. The rice, darkened to the color of light brown, housed the pieces of yellow and white scrambled egg, the cubed pieces of salted, cured ham, and shreds of imitation shrimp meat. The stir fried vegetables were made up of carrots, long two inch green string beans, and the head and partial stems of broccoli. The shreds of carrot were intermingled between the broccoli and the string beans. Not only did the main course look good, it tasted excellent. The

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