Childhood Favorites - 1


How to rediscover the taste of delicious childhood ice cream (1)

Nina Marin, AMN Ayurveda lecturer-Romania

The taste of childhood food

Most of us who had a good childhood remember with nostalgia the unforgettable taste of certain dishes that we-I ate then, of the feelings of delight and fulfilment that appeared as if by magic when I enjoyed them, but also of the pleasant moments when I realised this, when I was with my grandparents, my parents or playmates, with whom I shared those delicious dishes.

We can't forget the bitter cherry jam, placed on a small plate with a glass of water, which wegrandmother would offer it to a schoolmate we were visiting, or the jar of cocoa or raspberry sherbet we would sneak a spoonful of without our parents seeing, or the mint-flavored ice cream with chocolate frosting we would get from our mother used to buy it when we were out walking. We remember the lovely smell of the stews our neighbor used to make when we ran around the yard full of energy and joy, or in the fall, the smell of eggplants and roasted peppers that would turn intoa delicious zacusca.

Why are these childhood memories so vivid even after so many years of our lives have passed? And why is it that now, as adults, we can no longer enjoy the same delight, even though we eat the same food?

Today's food is no longer healthy

On the one hand, it can be explained by the fact that those products we ate as children and still find today on store shelves are no longer prepared as they used to be, ina healthy way. Nowadays we hardly ever find sweets, ice creams or other dishes that are made only from natural ingredients, because they have all kinds of unhealthy additions to give them a certain taste or to preserve them for as long as possible.

If we choose to prepare various dishes ourselves, we can no longer find naturally cooked fruit and vegetables that are not treated with all kinds of chemicals. Fruit that is raw or has been forced to grow unnaturally, or has been 'protected' from various pests by the use of toxic pesticides, can no longer taste as good as it did in our childhood.

Childhood - the kapha period of life

On the other hand, if we study the age-old science of Ayurveda, which provides us with a lot of valuable information and methods to achieve the best possible health and happiness, we can find another explanation. In the Ayurvedic tradition it is stated that the period of childhood, when we gradually structure our body and learn to make the other functions of our being work optimally, is a period of life in which the following prevails kapha-dosha.

In Ayurveda it is believed that our being is animated by three primary subtle vital forces, called vata-doshapitta-dosha and kapha-dosha. Each such factor has a certain general function in our being, namely: vata-dosha has the function of movement, pitta-dosha has the function of transformation, and kapha-dosha has the function of structuring.

During childhood we "build" our body and other subtle aspects of our being, being a period in which the kapha-doshaIn the middle period of life, we are already adults and we assert ourselves in society, being a period in which the predominant pitta-dosha, and in the third period of life predominates vata-dosha. This is the time when grandparents take great care of their grandchildren, communicate a lot with them, take them for walks, tell them stories and play with them.

Ayurveda states that each of the three subtle vital forces (dosha) generates in our being a tendency to keep a certain type of memories. Kapha-dosha makes us more likely to have an emotional memory, vata-dosha in particular an information memory, and pitta-dosha points us towards both types.

Thus, kapha-dosha, which is fully present in our being during childhood, makes us remember with great accuracy all the states that a particular food, eaten ina certain conjuncture of life, we arecreated. We remember all the nuances of the states we-we lived then, we remember where we did this, who we were with, what we were doing, how we felt. So the tastes of the food that we-we enjoyed as children, and which we remember with nostalgia now as adults, are not just memories of those tastes, but are complex memories in which tastes were associated with certain refined, rich and very intense states that we-I experienced when I ate that good food, being with certain loved ones. Then we felt we were ina beautiful, carefree world, with parents, grandparents or friends, we felt that we were protected, that we were loved, we felt very good, we were happy, happy and excited.

Let's recreate the magical atmosphere of childhood

That's why, in order to have access again to the unforgettable tastes of food eaten in childhood, we need to recreate that magical atmosphere. It's not enough just to prepare that food with natural and healthy ingredients, we need to eat it with our loved ones, in aa space as beautiful as possible, which gives us the beautiful feelings experienced in our childhood.

If we associate the feelings generated by the complex and pleasant taste of the food with the wonderful feelings of our childhood, which we create with the help of that magical atmosphere, then we will no longer say: "I am eating bitter cherry jam now, but it doesn't taste the same as when I was a child", but we will say, delighted: "I am eating this bitter cherry jam and I feel like a happy and carefree child again".