Everyone had those moments where you smell something and it instantly transports you back to your childhood. It could be the time when your grandma was wearing her oven mitts and pulling out a freshly baked chicken pie from the oven, or your mom cooking your favourite curry dish.

Have you eaten or smelled something recently that brings back memories of your childhood? We all have our food memories; some may be good and bad at the same time. The taste, smell, and texture of food can be evocative, bringing back those vivid memories of specific episodes in our lives.


How does food trigger deeper memories of feelings and emotions? Humans have five basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. Our sense of smell is hardwired in such a way in our limbic system that it is capable of automatically triggering our memory, eating certain food may bring back past experiences associated with it.

Although food can relive beautiful childhood memories, it can also trigger negative ones. For instance, if you have eaten something and you end up getting sick or a bad food poisoning, your brain will avoid that specific food in the future. This phenomenon is called ‘conditioned taste aversion’.


With our memories and emotions tied closely to the senses when it comes to food, it makes perfect sense why we choose to visit our old hangout spots when we go back to our hometowns. It could be your favourite chicken rice shop, ice cream parlour, or satay shop. You can take a trip down memory lane when you are back there.

Have you eaten or smelled something recently that reminds you of your childhood?