How often does a smell or a taste evoke a certain memory for you?
According to food critic and author Anna Trapido, smell and taste memories come from a very primal part of the brain.
She explored the concept in her book, Hunger for Freedom - The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela.
In it, she reflects on Nelson Mandela's story by documenting his struggle for freedom through the meals he shared with his family.
Trapido sat down with Azania to talk about the book and says if there was one food Mandela could have had during his imprisonment on Robben Island, it would have been amasi (sour milk).
We are so used to amasi that we do not recognise that this is Southern Africa's great fresh cheese essentially. That if you make proper amasi with unpasteurized milk in a calabash...I did it this summer again, and I had forgotten how rich it is and wonderful.— Anna Trapido, food critic
I remember watching him with Xoliswa Ndoyiya who was his personal chef for a very long time, and in lots of ways was very central to making his later years as pleasant and comfortable as they were. He would come into the kitchen and if she brought out the amasi too early then he would say why are you hurrying us and by us he meant both the curds and himself....— Anna Trapido, food critic
The way that you remember food is quite different from the way that you remember other things. Taste and smell memories come from a much more primal part of your brain. It is not a remembering in a verbal conscious way, it is much more primal, you are in that space....— Anna Trapido, food critic
Click on the link below to listen to the full conversation....
This article first appeared on 702 : [LISTEN] Hunger for Freedom - The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela