How Do Foods Make Us Nostalgic?
Remembering these meals and moments shared with our loved ones strengthens our feeling of belonging to a social group. The fact that the foods were often processed and packed with preservatives seems to get lost in nostalgic translation. The thing about food is that it speaks to all five senses, especially the powerful memory triggers of smell and taste. There’s that whole thing with Proust and his ‘petite Madeleine’; the French writer wrote long passages (and I’m talking LONG here) about vivid childhood memories evoked by the smell a tea-soaked bun. Or Anton Ego, the pompous restaurant critic from Pixar’s brilliant film Ratatouille who is transported back to his childhood summers by the smell and taste of Rémy’s dish. A rush of warmth flowing through his veins, like a comforting hug.