Here’s an entry from Tommy from Riverside, CA.
When I taste food, I taste the past. Some memories are of the typical happy and innocent childhood. Burgers were a treat that I didn’t get often while growing up thanks to traditional parents who heavily believed in eating even more traditional cuisine. Every time I bite into that golden bun though, I’m brought back to those yonder years when my mom took me to the local burger joint for a job well done on a swim meet, test, or for just being a good kid. At the time, I was only 8, but I still look back fondly on proudly devouring that half pound burger like it was my life. Some memories aren’t so kind. When the dining hall has birthday cake, I always look at it wistfully, because I remember when my mom and I were living in an unfurnished apartment down by Diamond Bar. During Halloween, my birthday, I had to pass out all of my candy I got from school to the trick or treaters when I was at home alone. My mom couldn’t afford a cake for me since we were barely making rent. Every food that I’ve eaten comes with a certain type of baggage. From a thought, to a reminder, to even just simple appreciation, every dish provides speculative insight towards some facet of my day to day life. Food is my memory palace; it is where my life is stored. Good, bad, happy, sad, long, or short, food is the library that contains every page of my own story.