In the May 10, 2017 Huffington Post article, “Psychologists Explain Why Food Memories Can Feel so Powerful,” Susan Whitborne, professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts, explains why we tend to have such a deep nostalgic connection with food.
“Food memories are more sensory than other memories in that they involve all five senses, so when you’re that thoroughly engaged with the stimulus it has a more powerful effect,” says Whitborne.
According to Whitborne, it’s not just using sight or taste but all the senses, and that layers richness into food memories.
“Food memories feel so nostalgic because there’s all this context of when you were preparing or eating this food, so the food becomes almost symbolic of other meaning,” Whitbourne says. “A lot of our memories as children, it’s not so much the apple pie, for example, but the whole experience of being a family, being nourished, and that acquires a lot of symbolism apart from the sensory quality.”
At Kennewick Memory Care, we choose our dining menus with this thought in mind. From morning oatmeal to a beef stroganoff dinner to fresh baked cookies for dessert, our menu is developed with a nod to the familiar, seasonal favorites our residents were raised on and the comfort these foods can bring. If you have a family favorite you think our residents would enjoy, please feel free to share!