As we mark World Brain Day on 22 July, we look at how taste and memory are interlinked, and why the smell of “mom’s curry” conjures up so much nostalgia…
A 2014 study discovered that there is a functional link between the area of the brain responsible for new tastes (the insular cortex), and the area responsible for formulating a memory of the place and time of the experience (the hippocampus).
That’s why smelling and tasting your mom’s curry can bring back happy memories of family meals in your childhood kitchen. Or snacking on some NikNaks takes you back to school playground and swapping sarmies with your best friend.
What are some of your favourite nostalgic treats?
Taste and smell are critical factors in creating nostalgic food memories
While our taste buds detect the five basic tastes (salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami), it is the more than 12 million smell receptors located throughout the nose and nasal cavity that contribute towards a food’s overall flavour profile.
Studies have even shown that damage to the regions of the brain responsible for emotion and memory can also affect a person’s sense of smell! “Smell loss can affect one’s ability to form and maintain close personal relationships and can lead to depression,” according to this article on fifthsense.org.uk.
Goodbye to some of our favourite nostalgic South African treats
In July, Nestlé announced that it would be discontinuing some chocolates from its range including a firm favourite, the Chocolate Log. Other brands being “let go” include Milkybar Peanut, Milkybar Double and BarOne Peanut.
This got the All4Women team thinking… Which nostalgic tastes do we miss most?!
Our readers voted that they would miss the BarOne Peanut more than the Milkybar Peanut.
These are some iconic treats that we miss from our childhood. What others can you think of?