Food memories from across the world
Remembered food memories and stories reflect our relationship with food, especially how dynamic a mundane act like eating actually is, in our everyday lives. Our food memories irrespective of how we contextualize them, are valuable narratives that link us to partiticular places and times.
Read below some of the food memories we have received.
'Thursday nights were a favourite of my family's. We always had spagetti with Mum's homemade sauce and sometimes even meatballs. The discussion over noodles or spagetti which was better became a 'national' debate amongst us. It was always a fun family dinner - Vicki (USA)
' My food memory takes me to my childhood time in rural Ethiopia. where as a large family we share our limited amount of food available so that every member of the family has something to eat before going to bed.' -Tadele (Switzerland)
'Christmas holidays at our grandparents. Grandma would make the traditional Jeeso meal comprising of millet ugali and smoked meat served with groundnut sauce and a glass of fermented milk. Amazing memories'- Billy (Kenya)
'When I moved into my dormitory in Hohenheim, I was shocked at first; 18 students have to share only one kitchen. However, it turned out that during my studies the hours spent in this kitchen, with people from all around the world sharing their food, recipes and friendship was the best time ever!- Nicola (Germany)
'I remember well during my study at Bindura university of science education in Zimbabwe, when food was an issue because of the melting economic situation. We had to work together as students. Food was the starting point, a loaf of bread would be shared by 10 students without problems. Every student realised the importance of giving, sharing and receiving. We survived. Here in Belgium I place food memories issues at the top'- Katanha(Zimbabwe / Belgium)
'In my childhood, whenever I was sick of my stomach, I always had plain rice. At first it may seem dull but I find it tasty, so it was one positive thing of being ill after all' - Pablo ( Copenhagen)
'The food that takes me back home is very simple, nshima with kapenta and pumpkin leaves in groundnut soup. And of course our Zambian speciality; Chikanda and termites' -Bwalya (Zambia)
'I come from Indonesia, in my country every region has their own special cuisine from local plants from their location like cassava, sagoo etc. We have a lot of traditional food and snacks but it tends to be forgotten because people love fast food. I remember the guy that is selling this snack (I dont know the name in English) it always reminds me of home'-Malik (Indonesia)
'As a child of hippy parents on the west coast of USA, we had lentil, kale or couscous. Now "kale" is again a symbol of progressive activisim and sustainable foodways in the USA'- Sieg(USA)
'I like very much traditional foods due to their richness in nutrients, preserving them therefore is the best thing to be done. My best traditional food is local vegetable(sutsaa with local ugali)' - Flora( Kenya)
‘My mother used to make a wonderful lemon pie for special celebrations.Fluffy meringue topping a creamy lemon curd, and a sweet pastry base.We ate the rest of it for breakfast,enjoying its sweetness as well as the sour lemon taste. Just beautiful ‘-Elle
‘Banku and okro soup/stew. Kenkey…and doughnut. I like these because they smell nice and taste good when you are eating them.That is my childhood meal’ Cnythia
‘The pork buns from Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong station, Hong Kong-probably the tastiest thing in the world even!’ Anonymous
‘Mon plus beau souvenir est quand j’avais+-10ans. Je rentrais de l’ecole,manger le garba poisson de Maman Ali etait mon rituel’ Klarissa
‘Eating Kaiserschumarren (a german dish) with my father during a trip in the mountains’ Jut
‘Eating kenkey and fish with hot pepper is my favourite meal’ Annonymous
‘I ate very traditional Flemish food at home when I was young. Once I moved to Brussels, my plate changed, it coloured thanks to the influence of new cultures’- Hilde
‘I learned to appreciate the simple things like cooked potato with Brussels sprouts and witloof which are typically Belgian’- Orhan
‘I like vol-au-vent. I like to share a meal with the homeless people’-Sebastien
‘Coloured dishes from my mom, warm colours,yellow, orange,red, it was warm, happy and alive. ….small red rose flowers(designs on plates)- Mahshid
‘Soup reminds me of my father because there was always soup in the house and when there was none he was unhappy. So soup gives me always a family feeling. And it needs to be hot’-Tina
‘My favourite dish when I was a kid; chicory with mashed potatoes(from my grandmother).it was comforting and very good. I am not just being subjective but it was also really good since my grandmother used to work in a kitchen’-Annelies
Chef Binta, promoting Fulani cuisine
Fatmata Binta was born and raised in freetown Sierra Leone to first generation Sierra Leonean Fulanis of Guinean descent. She describes herself as the Fulani Chef, a classic normad. She has travelled to several continents and has been fortunate to work with many renowned African chefs. She is now based in Accra, Ghana where she is building a rich culinary experience through her Fulani traditional dining pop ups.
Her vision is to promote Fulani culture through food, bring people closer and to promote african cuisine to the world.
Food is love made visible, as Africans food is central to our cultures and traditions. It is what binds us together as a family and a community. It is therefore unsurprising that food plays a major role when Africans from all four corners of the continent celebrate love; be it welcoming a newborn at naming ceremonies, for birthdays, for weddings, after right of passage ceremonies, and even death. It is this belief that food is love that drives my passion for cuisine. A passion that as an aspiring african chef drives me to bring Africans together through food.
My love affair for food goes all the way back to when I was five years old and I have the scars to prove it. You may ask scars???? How can food give you scars?? Well when I was five, like many others at that age I often didn’t follow instructions (especially from my mom). I was intent on showing everyone that I knew my way around the kitchen. Well I learnt the hard way, when I got second degree burns from falling hands first into a hot pot of oil. Let’s be honest, most people would have a Phobia of the kitchen after such an incident and if not would have broken up with their love,not me.
In fact,looking back I think I fell even deeper in love with cooking.
At age eight I went to live with my grandma and she appointed me head of customer service of her mini restaurant or in our local language a ‘cookery baffa’. To be honest the role was pretty much a gloried steward, washing all the dishes and pots. Pots that I could probably fit into. Do not get me wrong I still do not enjoy washing dishes but the experience gave me a deeper respect for food preparation.
Wars and civil unrest often reveal the strength of the human spirit to overcome hate and prejudice, with food many times playing a catalyst role. I experienced first hand how food and food preparation can bring people together and bring down walls during Sierra Leone’s civil war. During many episodes of the conflict, food was probably the second most important ally for residents of Freetown. As I recall there were several times during the conflict when no one could go out to buy food….let me rephrase food was not available as either shops and markets were closed or due to an embargo food ingredients were in short supply. Food or the lack thereof brought communities and neighbourhoods together. I saw my neighbours contribute and share ingredients to prepare meals that could be shared with everyone who had contributed. This is what I call creating food for sustenance The food we could afford like rice had loads of cockroaches which we had to hand pick and repeatedly wash and then blend with bulgur in order to get enough to share for everyone. I honestly believe, having knowledge on how to blend and create totally new dishes with a handful of ingredients is a life saving skill in a war zone.