I remember my first taste of yoghurt. It was a spoonful of strawberry Ski yoghurt from my mother’s bowl one evening. I had gone to bed at the usual time and later, after a long time trying to sleep I had crept back to the sitting room. We were staying at my maternal grandparents house and we had only recently returned from South Africa. I curled up on the sofa next to Mother. Grandma was in her chair by the fire sipping Guinness, which she hated, but had been ‘prescribed by the doctor to help build her up. After some persuasion from me Mother let me taste a spoonful of the pink yoghurt although she warned, “You won’t like it.”
But I did. I was nearly five years old. That memory brings with it a whole host of other memories: visual, auditory and emotional.
I remember the first time we had spaghetti. My brother wouldn’t eat it as he thought it looked like worms.I can remember my Mother’s frustration and the goody two shoes feeling I had as I ate the worms without a fuss.
I remember eating boiled eggs with my Grandpa and the debate about which way up they should be when topping them. And if one should top them by a quick slice (my Dad’s style) or by careful tapping around with a spoon (Mother).
At my paternal grandparent’s house we often had chips – cooked in a deep fat fryer, and eggs, fried in a frying pan. And afterwards Penguins…. food we didn’t get at home.
I remember a whole host of foods I never even think about giving my own children, such as Heinz tomato soup, which we always had if we were ill, for some odd reason.
But the earliest memory of a specific food comes from South Africa. Freshly roasted salted peanuts, bought out on a tray at a hotel in Durban. I have never in my life tasted any that even halfway matched the flavour of those.