It has become common knowledge—at least since Proust and his madeleine—that food has a peculiar capacity to provoke memories. When we eat, we can never escape the past; the role of nostalgia in much of our food writing is testimony to this fact.
Furthermore, the culinary arts are inevitably bound up with food traditions simply because every diner comes to a new dish with a history of eating experiences that will shape how she understands the dish. All creative cooking is in some way commenting on food traditions.
Yet nostalgia often has a bad name—it’s too conservative, excessively romantic, divorced from the truth, a fig leaf for suspect ideologies, etc. So how should we think about the connection between food (wine too) and nostalgia?
That is the topic of my Three Quarks post this month entitled “Do Androids Dream of Electric Tomatoes? Food and Nostalgia”. Head on over and give it a read.