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As we grow older and our palate develops, we discover a whole new way of eating. We are introduced to different foods, changing cuisines, experiment with our own recipes, and try food we never thought that we would. We can become cultured, bordering on being foodies, loving experimentation and something new, innovative.

Nevertheless… sometimes, you just can’t beat food that tastes of the past.

We all have that one food that is liable to trigger our sense memory and make us think of another time in our life. It might be the taste of an ice cream we once ate on holiday; even if we nibble it in our kitchen on a grey day, it reminds us of walking on the beach with the sun on our skin. It might be sampling a few retro sweets and being transported back to our school days, almost as if we can feel the scratch of our school uniform against our skin once more. It doesn’t have to be sweet, of course – sometimes it can just be the taste of an evening meal that reminds us of the food our Mum used to serve each evening.

There is a real power in nostalgia. For all our changing tastes and experimentation with different cuisines, there is something inherently comforting about food that is familiar and brings with it a smile of days gone by. Rather than ignoring the food of previous years, experiment in a new way and see how it can blend in.

  1. Use Sweets As An Addition To A Dessert

If you like to bake, you could make the most delicious dessert using all the new techniques that you have picked up over the years. Spin sugar, craft with pastry, drizzle with a ganache. Then, for that nostalgic twist, add a few old-style penny sweets on the side. Not only do they add an extra flavour, but they can make the resulting dish extra Instagram worthy!

  1. Old Cooking Techniques

There’s no doubt that we know more now about food and nutrition than we ever have. In the midst of all this knowledge, we have abandoned several methods of cooking. When was the last time you fried something with butter rather than coconut oil, for example?

The best way to bring out old flavours on occasion is to use old cooking methods. Fry with butter, opt for boiling over steaming – you’d be surprised the way it can release flavours you thought you’d forgotten. It doesn’t have to be every day, of course, but it can be a nice twist for a special occasion.

  1. Have An Evening Of Nostalgic Food

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If you want to keep fun with nostalgia to a minimum, then a one-off treat night every few months could be just the ticket. Think of it: a starter of a prawn cocktail and nibbles, a main meal of simple meat and vegetables, and a dessert of spotted dick with a few sweets on the side. It’s the quickest way to make yourself feel like you’re 16 again!