When I took a sip of Siggi's vanilla flavored yogurt drink this morning it transported me back to my childhood. Every Thursday, my mother used to go grocery shopping and bring me home a treat of a berry flavored yogurt drink. I honestly can't remember the last time I had one, but this morning, my childhood memories of running home from school to get my yogurt drink came flooding back and brought a huge smile to my face.
There is a strong emotional connection to a persons taste and memory perception. Taste and smell senses connect to chemicals in food. When we taste and smell food it ignites signals to the brain, specifically the gustatory cortex, that make us conscious of the perception of taste.
When our senses ignited the brain it links the taste of food to experience. Thus, forever linking memories to food.
From an evolutionary perspective the reason we link food to memory was a form of survival. When our ancestors were feeding from the land they did not always know which foods were safe and which were poisonous. If they ate food and felt ill afterwards, they would know that food was not safe for them. The memory was then stored in their brain. Forever, they would link that food with a feeling of dislike. This was to ensure they would never consume food that could harm them and to choose foods that would benefit their body. This is known as taste aversion and aided our ancestors in survival.
What are some of your favorite childhood memories that are linked to food?