Missing home is one thing missing the food at home is another, or isn’t it? Maybe home is food and food is home. Great chefs always talk about food linked to memories or better to childhood memories. A great French chef said: incorporating ‘cette petite emotion’ in a dish is important.
I never used to understand it or I thought I understood but I didn’t really thought it was that big a deal. A part of these childhood memories are the memories of mothers or grandmothers cuisine. I don’t really have much of these memories. My mother doesn’t really like to cook, it was more a job to feed four children. So where does my passion for food and cooking with beautiful products come from?
Well I had a revelation a couple of days ago. It all started with going to the fruit and vegetable store and arriving home with some nice tomatoes on the vine and other vegetables to make a salsa for apperitivo. I start getting ready to chop up the tomatoes and while I pulled the first tomato off the vine, time stood still and I got shifted back in time to my grandfathers greenhouse, I’m getting goose bubs while writing it. I never thought about this experience for one second although it was in my head the whole time. I can smell the tomatoes in the greenhouse, my grandfather sitting at the end of the little pat in the middle looking at me like:’ what are you doing in my kingdom of tomatoes.’
I had a food memory and I didn’t just thought about it I felt it trough my entire body, I relived it, it was beautiful. Nothing to do with ‘cette petite emotion’ but more like a big emotion. I have to come to Italy and buy tomatoes here to experience it. Thinking about it now, I realize that the fact I had this experience while studying in Italy had something to do with it. When you’re abroad for a long period of time you picture your home as a utopia , you appreciate all the small things that usually you don’t think about. In that way being ‘homesick’ is good to feed your brain with memories.
I’m not saying that this one experience made my understand my passion for food but it made me realize my head is full of these memories and I’m getting to know myself and my history through memories about food.
I’m convinced that everyone has memories like these, your mother or grandmother doesn’t have to be a great cook, you don’t have to be brought up in a restaurant a brewery or a bakery.
It’s about those little things that take you straight home “cette petite emotion”!