taste memories


A great dish is like a great memoir: in both, the salty, the bitter,
the sweet and the tart that must be in perfect balance to succeed. The memoir
writer relies on nostalgia and sentimentality, but without horror and
tragedy to leaven the sweetness, well, it wouldn’t be life, would it?

(excerpt from article in 1996 New York Times: Food, Taste Memory by Molly O’Niell)
My mind is a steel trap where taste memories are concerned- often conjuring those that bring a rush of tenderness and smiles and others that make me grimace.

Just now I tasted a snack after mixing a spicy one with a sweet snack and immediately mom came to mind. Her way of eating was without ever compromising no matter how fatigued she was due to various reasons. Her serving platter (Indian thali) had to have a couple of fresh roti, small bowl of freshly made lentils, yogurt, side of vegetable, papad, few veggie fritters with pickles and a small salad. Mom’s favorite evening snack with tea was a mix of two snacks- one salty and other sweet. Tart and salty was another of her acquired tastes which has now percolated to me. I don’t need any triggers to remember her as she safely dwells in my heart
but she was a good cook and taste memories at once bring her dear face to mind and I become both happy sad simultaneously..

some bonds are like that – defy life, death, everything…


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