Today my timelines on social media were filled with baby pictures as people posted pictures of their toddler selves for Throwback Thursday. Keen to join the trend, I searched through my folders and came up with a picture of me at my fourth birthday.

Looking at the candies reminded me how many of my childhood memories are tied to food

I distinctly remember being so excited as a youngster when I saw wooden crates filled with glass bottles of Bashews cool drink, because it meant celebration time was near.

Because I didn’t grow up in South Africa, I wasn’t accustomed to the local delicacies. The first time I encountered snoek was when my maternal grandmother brought some to Botswana at the age of seven.

You have not known true happiness until you have sat with a few of your friends drinking condensed milk straight out of the tin then using your fingers to scrape the last delicious drops out

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I was fascinated by the bright orange hue of the smoked snoek and intrigued by the distinctive aroma. I enjoyed the taste, even though I was bored at having to pick out what felt like a million bones.

Some foods are worth revisiting even if your childish palate wasn’t initially crazy about it

The first time I ate biltong, I thought it was too chewy and now I can’t get enough of it. Similarly my first encounter with tripe was tragic, because it was lukewarm. As everyone knows, tripe needs to be served piping hot otherwise it’s too dismal for words.

In retrospect, some of the food choices back then were possibly not the healthiest, but I mostly remember them fondly. I maintain that you have not known true happiness until you have sat with a few of your friends drinking condensed milk straight out of the tin then using your fingers to scrape the last delicious drops out. Yum!