I recently saw a conversation on twitter about people’s childhood foods. Some of the contributors shared their memories of sugar sandwiches and tomato ketchup sandwiches and it got me thinking.
Food helps shape the identity of people’s whole life experiences. It’s a bonding ritual between friends, families and communities. Can you remember a children’s birthday party when you went to as a child which didn’t have food? No? Me neither. Being a child from the 980s many of my memories are of psychedelic foods; bread and butter with hundreds and thousands, iced gems, pineapple and cheese on a cocktail stick and jelly and ice cream.
My fondest memories of food are also associated with the people sharing them, my family eagerly watching my mom serving her mashed potato ‘surprise’ (mashed potato and melted cheese with whole boiled eggs inside). Who will get an egg and who will miss out? Kids on the bus during a school trip or my gran hanging iced gingerbread on the wall for Christmas.
Reaching out to other guides Susan shared her love of bread and butter pudding and banana and peanut butter sandwiches. Alastair’s childhood favourite was apple and blackberry pie. Ian shares some of his childhood memories of food on our London History Podcast Episode 3: Childhood Foods.
Chocolate Concrete was a favourite in our household. I learned my mom also had chocolate concrete when a child, something I may not have discovered had I not done this episode. Here’s our firm family favourite:
Chocolate Concrete Recipe
Makes 50 portions
2lb plain flour (sieved)
1 1/2 lb marg
1 lb sugar
2 oz cocoa powder
4 oz golden syrup
Mix together (in no particular order).
Place on a greased baking tray.
Cook for approx 20mins @180oC.
Enjoy with some sprinkled sugar on top.
Hazel Baker is an award-winning London Tour Guide and qualified CIGA guide who delivers guided walks and private tours in London. View all of Hazel’s walking tours.