What Does Food Mean to You?

I have a tendency to relate food to a memory or something of the past. I know most people do it, but I usually do it for everything I eat, drink, put into my mouth.

Right now, as I type this blog, I am chewing on a stick of sugar free, Trident Layer, Green Apple + Pineapple flavored gum. It’s light green with a layer of pineapple goo sandwiched in the middle. The smell is so overwhelmingly strong it masks the mildewy smell oozing off of my dirty bookbag. That’s pretty good.

I remember when I was little, I wasn’t allowed to chew gum. My parents thought I was too irresponsible and would swallow the gum instead of spitting it out. They were right. I used to have this thing┬áthat when my parents told me not to do something, I would do the exact opposite. It wasn’t to spite them, I just did it. I would constantly chew gum and then swallow it. Then, I would spend about 3 weeks reassembling their trust before the cycle started again.

I remember a very specific flavor of gum, peach-flavored Xylitol gum. It was the first flavor I managed to convince my mom to buy me. I treasured the little container of gum. It smelled great, a lovely peachy smell. The gum came in little rectangles with rounded corners, pure white. I would bite into the sugary exterior, working the piece with my jaws until my saliva broke down the sugar particles and the sweet flavor rolled around my mouth. It was my favorite flavor of gum, because it was new and hard to find back then. I also remember swallowing this gum and having to sit on the toilet for hours at a time, because my digestive system was clogged.

It’s such a strange memory to associate with the simple act of chewing gum. But it’s a sliver of my past, something that resides deep in the back of my mind, waiting for the right food to prod at it.

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