Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Food Memories

They say that the way to a man's heart is his stomach, but I believe that the path actually leads directly to the brain. Merely mentioning food can unlock troves of memories thought to have disappeared long ago. This year, I asked the festival-goers waiting in line at our Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival to share the memories traditional foods like egg rolls and egg creams evoke for them, and the responses poured in. Here are a few of their answers:

"'Egg Cream' was what Harriet the Spy ordered at the restaurant after school in NYC!" -Eileen, grew up in Westchester

"Growing up, we would order Chinese food every week. My favorite were the egg rolls, which were quite a novelty for a Jewish girl in the Bronx in the 1940s. Eventually, the woman taking orders recognized my voice when I'd call!"

"First read about egg creams in 'Road Food Good Food.' Immediately made them for everyone!"

"I am from Canton (Guanhzhou), China. I believe egg rolls are a type of dim sum (a genre of Cantonese food.) However, I did not like egg rolls at all when I was in China. I started to like them when I came to the US and ate my first egg roll in a Chinese restaurant here. I guess its just the feeling of home that makes me like egg rolls again." -Liyan, a wonderful MAES intern

"In college, I'd invite my crushes back to my dorm for egg creams!"

Do you have a favorite egg roll or egg cream memory to share? Comment below-- we'd love to hear it!


  1. When I was a young buck, courting this fine young lady named Rose, she made an interesting demand. Quite the progressive type (for the time), she demanded I make her something because she didn't want to be married to someone who couldn't do anything in the kitchen. Inept as I was, I decided to make her the only thing I have been making since I was able to reach the counter: an egg cream! Luckily, Rose has a great sense of humor and I plan to make her another one for our 50th anniversary this year!

  2. Aww that's so cute! I remember my first one in some random place on the Lower East Side. For a while after that my brother and I used to make them every Sunday night with cookies!

  3. I'm expanding the topic, but does anyone remember the corned beef sandwiches (with cream soda, of course) at Kaplan's Deli in Monticello, New York? The place is long gone, but they say that the sense of smell is the most evocative, even decades later. And they're right.