One of the best things about food is the memory it creates. I tend to associate certain foods and dishes with the moments of my life as flavors often trigger flashbacks that I can’t control. That, my friends, is the power of taste. Two years ago I went to Italy with my mom for ten days. Those ten days consisted of eating, walking, and talking about what we were eating and where we were walking. The memories that we created that summer decorate my mind and will likely last forever. From the second we stepped foot in the city of Rome, we were desperate to feast on fine, fresh, bona fide Italian cuisine. We dropped our bags in the hotel, and wandered the streets to look for a perfect little café. We found many. Day after day we taste tested every traditional Italian pasta sauce, meat, cheese, and bread the country had to offer. A carbonara dish will never not remind me of that first meal in Italy we shared, and the simple thought of lasagne brings me right back to that restaurant in an open quiet plaza where we sat down after an exhausting walking tour. The senses that come alive each time I’m lucky enough to have authentic Italian food always feel new, as if I were on a small Italian sidestreet, vacationing early in the summer with my mom once again. It would be a sin to talk about food and not about dessert. In Italy, we always got gelato–no exceptions. Out of the great variety of flavors I’ve tasted, nothing speaks to me like dessert.
I could never take for granted the fact that I have tasted the sweetest of the sweet in this world. From homemade cookies to churros y chocolate in Madrid, I can say with confidence that dessert holds many powers, one of them the ability to savor a moment forever. When I think of pancakes, I always relive the rainy day in Holland when we decided to get Dutch pancakes while waiting for the sky to clear. And now, as the weather warms, I’m dreaming about making s’mores in a small backyard in New Jersey. Sometimes, over a cup of tea, I pretend that I’m sitting in Kensington Palace in London having high tea with my girlfriends.
Perhaps my favorite thing about my taste buds is that it serves as a reminder of the memories I’ve made in each place I’ve been. Within the walls of every city I saved some memories that can be remembered truly only through the revival of the taste buds they touched.