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Food's gift of memories

From culturally-enriched favourites to our grandmothers’ meals and special occasions, we collected some special food-inspired gems of memories from the recipes.co.nz team. We’d love to hear yours too.

Warning – your mouth will salivate on reading.

Starting with a trip for the taste buds to Europe, served up while growing up was koude schotel (Dutch potato and cooled beef dish), kroketten (Dutch croquettes), golabki (Polish cabbage rolls), tote oma (German minced blood sausage with buckwheat), placki ziemniaczane (Polish potato pancakes), oliebollen (Dutch sultana donuts) and bocadillo (Spanish ham and cheese toasted sandwich) – these are a few of our favourite things.

Many of these delicacies like other food memories, were traditionally inspired from our grandmothers - Oma (Dutch) or Babcia (Polish), and mothers who expressed their love through the gift of a meal or a recipe, if we were lucky enough to have it written down, to pass on to next generations.

Even if the special dish can be bought from a New Zealand restaurant or food truck where so many cuisines are on offer, can bring a child-like excitement highlighted by some of our team members, that your number one favourite is appreciated by many others across a range of cultures.

A holiday to Spain has held a humble toasted sandwich (bocadillo) in one our special food memories, to the extent this tasty treat that has cheese melted on the inside and outside, has had him reminiscing about it ever since. The food experiences while travelling can be a wonderful way to recreate the memories if you are lucky enough to discover the meal served closer to home, or even attempt to cook in your own kitchen.

Closer to home, one of our in-house resident butchers recalls making Butchers’ Swiss Roll for his children when they were little as a way to introduce meat in to their diet. Using lean beef mince and sausage meat with some mixed herbs, salt and pepper rolled in breadcrumbs, created a rolled meat dish that was served with salad, crusty bread and dollop of tamarillo chutney - a family favourite.

I also heard about sibling rivalry over the wooden spoon licking of the annual chocolate birthday cake making by their mum, who would delicately decorate it with chocolate icing and Smarties lollies. Smudged fingerprints on the cookbook remain as a loving childhood memory.

Weekend meals were quite the family affair on a Wanganui beef and sheep farm for one of our team members. Saturday night saw the family gather around a meal of roast mutton that seemed to take ages to cook, and Sunday saw leftovers used for a sit down lunch, and a light pancake dinner before a hardworking week ahead of them.

There is something very special about treasured meals and the occasions that go with them that evokes the love expressed within families. May it long continue.

When our work team family reunites, I am issuing them the challenge that we have a feast to celebrate, and bringing a plate of their special dish mentioned above will be encouraged to stamp in our album of food memories.

Posted by Fiona Windle

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