Foodstalgia. It happens when you eat/smell something and it brings you back to another time you’ve eaten the same thing. I have 10 pictures of my husband eating gelato on our honeymoon. 10 different instances he ate gelato. Obviously, because it’s so good, he kept going back for more each day. Not because he’s a gelato pig, but because tasting it brings back good memories. Isn’t that why we all eat?
I have foodstalgia about McDonald’s, school cafeteria food, and cheap shitty beer. Yea, I know, three disgusting things. Going to McDonald’s was a great treat when I was little, since we usually ate 5 course meals every single day made by my mother slaving over the stove (see how deprived I was?). So, cheap greasy french fries and hamburgers were the smell of freedom. We got to act like Americans at McDonald’s. Of course, a Chinese family of 4 splits each meal in half, since we can’t eat the enormous quantities they serve, and we’re quite cheap. I finally was able to finish an entire happy meal by myself at age 14. Practice!
Do you remember sitting in the school cafeteria complaining how gross your meal was everyday? I said it was gross just to fit in. But I secretly loved it. I never ate so many things cooked in butter. Chinese people rarely cook with butter, unless they’re baking something, and even then it’s baking with lard most of the time. I loved pizza day, which was once a week. The dough was made from scratch every morning by the cafeteria ladies. Then it was slathered with over-seasoned tomato sauce and generously piled with mozzarella cheese over an inch thick. And we also had daily alternatives if you didn’t prefer the main lunch. The alternatives were PB&J, or toasted cheese. Imagine each of those sandwiches 2.5-3 inches thick. Imagine the toasted cheese cooked with half a stick of butter. Can you picture how good it was?
Cheap, shitty beer. Reminds me of college parties. The ‘good ol days’. Not really. But I recently had a sip of something really nasty (Genesee beer in a can) and I felt like I was unwillingly dragged back in time to some stupid frat party all over again. It’s funny how our brains work.