Food and memory

The goulash!

The goulash!

Six years ago most of my extended family and I travelled to Velke Pole - the village where my maternal grandparents were born – to celebrate the village's 680th anniversary. After five days there my immediate family ventured to Serbia. That's the country where my dad was born.  

I can still smell and taste the Goulash from Velke Pole, Slovakia and the cevapcici from the first restaurant we visited in Belgrade, Serbia. 

It seems true what Warnick says about food and memory: "Food is impossible to divorce from the welter of emotions it evokes. More than fuel, food is culture, history, memory."

Even though I was born in Canada and have only visited each of these places once I still feel connected and rooted, especially through the food. The next step is to learn more about the countries' histories, which is why I'm currently reading "Yugoslavia: Peace, war, and dissolution" by Noam Chomsky. 

All this to say I'm pretty pumped for the KW Serbian Food Festival this weekend!

Some of the other things this chapter made me want to write about: 

  • My favourite local bakery when we stayed in New York.

  • A couple of my "third spaces" in Waterloo: Seven Shores and DVLB.

  • Bailey's Local Foods - a online local food market – is 10 years old! I love them and what they do. I also love that I have access to another market like this just around the corner from our house: The Sustainable Market. Ordering online ahead of time takes a bit of planning and it's one of my goals over the next year to get more organized about this, so I can eat local more and support these local businesses.

  • Just plant some Basil and Mint already, Jen!

  • That trip to Europe.

I know I've got some local food lovers reading - what memories, thoughts, and emotions did this chapter bring up for you?

This post was originally posted on in July 2018 as part of a chapter-by-chapter review of the book “This is where you belong: Finding home wherever you are.” That website no longer exists, but I have migrated the posts here

Jen Vasic