The article explains how food is an element of life that people tend to forget — a claim that frankly shocked me. The article's main source began his quest to commit food to people's memory because he couldn't remember what he had eaten at an important dinner with his aunt 10 years ago.
A memory expert in the article explains this phenomenon:
Cooke says taste is the trickiest of all the senses to pin down because it is fleeting and hard to describe.
'You can remember basic attributes of the taste like sweet or sour, crunch and so on, but to actually reproduce it in your memory is a very elusive thing,' says Cooke.
We also have a poor vocabulary to describe taste, and have to rely a lot on metaphors to describe it — the pudding was a cloud of chocolate, and so on.
I get how it can be easy to forget taste — unless we use colorful language to describe the food soon after we eat it, what it really tasted like might soon leave our memories. But to forget the food altogether? Food is the thing I tend to remember most about important events or periods of my life. I don't remember much about gymnastic practices when I was in second grade, but I do remember getting grape Crush from the vending machine (a taste I cringe at now) and going out for hot dogs with my dad and sister afterward. And on the subject of hot dogs, I remember making hot dog octopuses in my kindergarten class and thinking they were the most delicious creations I'd ever made, and then revising that opinion when we made doughnuts later in the year. I remember exactly what I ate when my boyfriend and I went out for our first Valentine's Day dinner at East West Bistro in Athens, and I will never forget the sharp, slightly dijonn-y taste of the chicken dippin' sauce at O-House dining hall my freshman year of college.
But food has always been an important part of my life — a factor that affects my decisions, plans and moods. I might just enjoy eating more than most people, but I'm interested to find out whether others find food a memorable experience. What do you think? Is food — and the taste of food — something you remember, or is it the one thing you tend to forget?
Katie Valentine is a UGA student and CL's summer Food & Drink intern. She'll be blogging regularly on Omnivore over the coming months.
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