Day 18: Tastes and Flavours of Home

I did not realize when I left home that I would miss the tastes and flavours of South Africa. I took for granted the salty taste of biltong, the sweetness of a mango, the creamy sweetness of the Eat Sum More shortbread I could easily buy at the supermarket. I never thought there would be a time when I wouldn’t be able to eat a slice of wholewheat Albany bread spread with Koo apricot jam, or a slice of hot toast slathered with butter and anchovy paste. Packets of Simba chips were taken for granted as well as glasses of Liqui Fruit – with no sugar and preservatives added. I did not realize that I would be unable to buy guavas when they are in season, or sip a cup of pure rooibos tea while eating a sticky koeksuster.

Moving North I have had to forgo the tastes and flavours of my childhood and adapt to new ones. I have tried many (such as pumpkin pie) and found that I do not enjoy it. Turkey I eat when offered, but it is not a meat that I shop for. I have enjoyed blueberries and often sweeten my porridge with maple syrup. Dried cranberries have become a delightful addition to salads. My experience of Canadian tastes, though, is that they are much sweeter than what I am used to. Biscuits (cookies), cakes and muffins are sweeter as are soft serve ice-creams and juices. Sugars seem to be hidden everywhere and, if not vigilant, one can unexpectedly bite into something that has been heavily sweetened.

I have adjusted to the Canadian tastes and no longer wish for South African tastes everyday. However, whenever we visit home I make sure that I enjoy some of the tastes of my past.

photo (10)If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt is: taste)


28 thoughts on “Day 18: Tastes and Flavours of Home

  1. Oh yes, I know what you mean about all the extra sugars here. I always check the ingredients to see just how much. I also miss the Albany whole wheat bread, and we’ve had to settle for 5 grain sour dough. The other day, I bought a packet of Romany Creams, six jars of crispy sour pickled onions, and eight bottles of Mrs Balls Chutney, from Amazon. 🙂


  2. You do miss the tastes of home, and I am with you on the sweetened stuff, we don’t get a lot of it here, but one thing I really dislike is sugar in bread, I don’t get that one. It just doesn’t taste right. I love it that you call them biscuits too, though we are finding the word cookie is taking over here, but hopefully the word biscuit will endure.


  3. Ah, yes, there’s no place like home. I was raised in the south (South USA: Mississippi, Florida and Texas) and people sure know how to cook with great seasoning here. Peaches are so filled with juice, the nectar drips down your arm with just one bite. Then to move up to Montana, the lack of flavor was bitterly disappointing. Although, taste buds adjust, and you become accustomed to blandness, moving back home was most reviving to me and my taste buds, not to mention the wonderful fragrance of soulful cooking and soft juicy peaches. 😉


  4. Sounds like the taste buds have certainly needed to be reprogrammed Colline.
    I think your South African foods would have been more nutritionous and natural.
    Seems everything these days on our supermarket shelves has been dipped in sugar.


  5. I feel the same! I am adjusting still and getting there. Now and again I’ll buy a packet of Tennis biscuits or Marie biscuits They have a special shelve space for International products and tht’s where I find the biscuits


  6. I would imagine your move was quite a shock to your palate, Colline. We learn to like some dishes when we’re young. Trying to “grow to like” them when older – like your pumpkin pie or my cilantro – isn’t quite as easy as one might think.


Share what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.