Have you observed that some of your most important memories are connected with food? It doesn't matter whether it was a good or bad one. As long as you enjoyed an exceptional meal at the time, you are sure to remember the meal as well as the surrounding happenings of that particular time for a long time to come. Scientists say this is why.
The sense of smell is the sense that is most connected to memory; even better, the sense of taste comes close in behind at second. When eating, these two senses are already top-tier functions, thus the conclusion that a combination of taste and smell makes up our memories.
The Harvard University Press on John S. Allen's The Omnivorous Mind:
"We all have our food memories, some good and some bad. The taste, smell, and texture of food can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back memories not just of eating food itself but also of place and setting. Food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings and emotions, internal states of the mind and body."
This indeed explains why special holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, celebrated with tons of hearty meals, are some of the most remarkable ever! What with all the delicious meals and colorful sweets made available at every table.
The way you enjoyed your meal will quickly remind you of who you were with, where you were, and the surrounding happenings at the time. While you may soon forget memories where there were no meals served.
The highlight of this interconnection between food and memory is that the food is not why you have that memory. It is the experiences created while enjoying it that remain special.
So next time you're planning a trip cross-country, don't forget your food itinerary. And when planning an event, no matter its extent, give detailed attention to the meals, you are sure to win hearts!