Happy middle Friday of December, delightful people, and welcome to the Open Mic! If you’re new or haven’t visited in a while, on weeks when we don’t have a guest artist, I pose a question and we chat in the comments. Ready?
I’ve been thinking about sensory memories and I want to get a taste (pun intended) of yours. Tell me about a taste memory of yours. Do you remember your first time trying a certain food? A particularly good meal? Something awful that someone persuaded you to try?
Join the buffet in the comments! 🙂
My very first food memory: when I was about four a babysitter shared her licorice with me. Later that evening I proceeded to upchuck every bit of it….and I still don’t like licorice. A much better food memory: the first time I tasted lobster. When I lived in Hawaii my family had a boat that was moored in the Ala Wai Boat Harbor in Waikiki. We often spent our weekends on board. There was a small sailboat next to us owned by a young marine and his wife. They had some fellow marines visiting one weekend and they offered to go out and catch lobsters if my mom would cook them. They came back in with a good catch and my mom did indeed boil them on the little stove in our tiny galley. What a feast! Fresh from the ocean, butter dripping down our chins. I’ve never tasted anything to compare.
Note: I don’t eat lobster anymore. I can’t bring myself to drop that beautiful creature in boiling water. And if I can’t do it, I won’t let anyone else do it for me either. Still, a wonderful memory though…..
Those licorice and lobster memories are equally vivid and fascinating!!
How do you feel about other licorice-ish flavored things, like anise or fennel?
I can eat them, but they are not my favorites, and I don’t cook with either one at home. Fortunately my husband doesn’t love that flavor either.
What a fun question! This time of year of course, scents of allspice, cloves, cinnamon, bring memories to mind of Christmas’s with Auntie, who was more a grandmother. But the first thing I though of when I read your question was smelt. Tiny fish that I think most people use for bait when fishing. But Auntie would serve this huge, heaping platter of fried smelt with most dinners at her house. Fried chicken with a side serving of smelt. Roast beef with smelt on the side. When I think back on it, she probably did this to stretch the meal and fill all of us up. However, I can’t remember eating them, or smelling them. Just sitting at the long table looking at that platter with this pile of fish all looking back at me.
Mmm, those spices make me think of Christmas too.
Those fried smelt sound amazing. Did Auntie (or someone else in the family) catch them herself? I’ve seen recipes for them but I can’t recall whether I’ve ever eaten them or even seen them around here.
I think Auntie bought the smelt, although she was the type to go fishing. She just fried them whole; they’re only about six inches long (or so). Beady eyes…
They sound tantalizing. 🙂 I love fried fish!
Thai first time 1986.
😀 Thai food similarly opened up a huge world for me… and still does, all the time, since there are still many dishes and flavors I haven’t tried. (I’m only slowly building up my tolerance for the spicier dishes.)
I have a very long memory for food and restaurants, and can remember my first time with many foods and cuisines. One that comes to mind is the first time I ever ate a Persian-style rice pilaf of buttered basmati with saffron. A high school classmate’s family had offered to host our annual Speech and Debate end-of-year dinner. They’re Iranian, and I can’t remember now whether they actually cooked all the food themselves (that seems a tall order!) or had it catered, but it was delicious. I don’t remember much else about that party — just that I wanted to eat that rice forever — and that my friend Jennifer and I sang loudly in her mom’s car on our way home (she told me afterward her mom had asked her, “Have you been drinking!?” No, we were just happy! Maybe it was the rice! 😉 ). As a child I never liked plain steamed rice and my relatives would tease me for being “a little Westerner” because I always put soy sauce on it (this is completely non-Chinese). But discovering pilaf ushered me into a wide world of delicious, non-plain rice dishes. 😉