Retro refreshments and nostalgic nibbles remind many of us of happy times with our grandparents, according to a survey by Age UK.
To put this to the test Jackie Malcolm, a senior lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, carried out research with local people aged 65 to 93 and the results were recently discussed in a lively event at Dundee Arts Cafe called Memories of Food .
“Food plays an essential part in our everyday life, but is much more than a necessity,” explains Jackie.
“Food and memory are inextricably linked as we create culture and places where food takes centre stage,” says Jackie.
“From trusted food shops that we visit time after time, to our favourite eating places where we spend time with friends and family, our experiences and memories of food help us build a sense of belonging to the places we live in and call home,” she continues.
The result of her research was a very humbling recollection of what living in a city that was going through a transformation, with many of the outlying schemes such as St Mary’s, Douglas and Fintry being built before transportation links had been established.
“Although the focus was on food, inevitably they spoke about going to the dancing and people who became known for their food, such as Mrs de Guernier who ran the pea buster stand behind the Old Steeple,” says Jackie.
Memories included: “Rough and Fraser’s warm bacon rolls, purchased and eaten after the dancing,” “The smell of mint humbugs from Keiller’s sweetie factory on a cold frosty morning,” and “Liquorice sarsparilla was my favourite.”
“What the research study established was the extent to which food is driven by our culture and sense of place, but also the ways in which people become known for the food they produce and how it could be used as a reward,” observes Jackie.
“Most memories of food evoked a sense of nostalgia for a time considered lost.”
We’d love to hear your memories of food – please email email@example.com
Did you know…?
Food is driven by the place in which we live.
Our instinct is to look to our local environment for food.
Dundee has more square footage of supermarket space per capita than any other city in the UK.
We don’t need three meals a day – it’s our culture that drives our routine.
Many local street names relate to food: Fish Street, Sugarhouse Wynd, Butcher’s Row.
Eat seasonal food, particularly produce high in antioxidants like dark green and purple fruit and veg.