Saturday, April 24, 2010

Memories of my childhood.....

A friend asked me why (among the many recipes that I have tried) I posted boules de berlin and orangettes to start this blog, my answer was straightforward: childhood memories.....
When I arrived to NorthAmerica, I never thought how important would be for me food, its taste and smells. It may sound cliché, but as soon as I arrived here, I just wanted to try new things and I did for the first year, but after a while I started to miss the flavours of my childhood. I thought it will be easy to find them (living in a country with so many immigrants...), but I was wrong. Why food is deeply connected to our hearts and minds? What is in it that awakes all our senses? When I eat one of my specials, I have a flashback and I can feel the kitchen of my Nonna, Nonno, or remember when I went with my dear auntie to a tea room (Cafe Riquet).
Boules de Berlin? I grew up in Valparaiso (Chile), and I remember walking into “Cafe Vienes” in a cold winter morning at around 11am. Berlines were coming out from the oven, and customers were eager to eat that treat. That smell causes me an indescribable sensation that is a mix of joy, nostalgia and as Brazilians said saudade. I don’t know whether there is a reason or not, but I do love each and every city where I have found Boules de Berlin during my trips. How to forget that taste in Bruges (Belgium), Cologne (Germany) or Amsterdam (Netherlands)? I have tried Boules de Berlin in many cities, but what I found in those cities were superb and beyond any original expectations.
Orangettes? Let’s face the reality. I am OVER forty-years old. That means that in many aspects I have lived my life transitioning from old-technologies to new-technologies including the Cinema. I grew up in the old type of cinema (that I missed so much). For those who were born in the era of gigantic cinema complex, I recommend a movie that recreates the atmosphere and character of those days: Cinema Paradiso. What is the connection between orangettes and the old cinema style? In my old days to go to the Cinema was a special occasion. In every cinema, you used to find a mini candy shop, and part of the ritual was to buy 150 grams of candies. My favourite? Orangettes. I have found tasty orangettes in Bruges, Paris and Madrid. What a treat!
When I try to rationalize the food and memories link, I can’t find the answer. However, it makes me realize that there is a precious moment while eating that will always be deeply connected to me.
For me food is becoming more important, and everyday I try to cook not only for the benefits of fiber, vitamins and nutrients, but also to share and create memories to the ones I love.....

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