'I remember that meal and freeze with horror': Ruby Tandoh on the food that made her


From pistachio gelato in New York to the world’s worst grilled tilapia in my Sheffield flat: these are the meals that made me

The meals that make us are never the ones we most want to remember. I didn’t find myself in a bowl of perfect pumpkin ravioli with butter-fried sage, or a pizza I embarked on a pilgrimage across the continent to find. Instead, it’s in the terrible roast dinner that you burned or the custard that curdled that your identity is forged. It’s there in the meals you hated and the ones you rowed over and the ones you never even ate. If we could all tell our life story in vignettes about lobsters in Maine, and peaches from sun-drenched Italian orchards, and Michelin-starred bites of glory, we’d be very lucky – but also very boring indeed.

The meals that made me – the ones that nudged me towards a better life, and taught me not just about food, but about myself – are as muddled, as up and down, as the life I’ve lived. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Continue reading…