The saying, "Love is the secret ingredient", speaks to the profound way that food can transcend its physical form and evoke emotions, memories, and a sense of togetherness. Imagine if these dishes, each laden with its own history and heritage, were not just recipes but vessels of shared experiences passed down through generations.
Memories on a Plate, created with the effort of Nivaala and The Alipore Post, is one such vessel for shared experiences. It contains the collective power of more than 90 individuals contributing their heartfelt memories of food – it's akin to a symphony of flavours, aromas, and stories interwoven with love and nostalgia. Memories on a Plate seeks to explore this very intersection between food, memory, nostalgia and home, and deliver it in the form of stories, essays, photography, anecdotes, poems, comics and more.
Amidst the pages of Memories on a Plate, you'll find the genuine accounts of those who have lovingly inherited recipes, techniques, and stories that have stood the test of time. It's as though each dish carries with it the whispers of grandmothers, the laughter of siblings, and the comfort of home. This anthology is an illustrated storytelling about food, memory and home. What makes the storytelling more enriching is, you have the opportunity to listen and engage with these narratives in an audio format as well.
During the pandemic, Nivaala and The Alipore Post first teamed up for a special project called the Recipe Postcard Exchange. This initiative aimed to bring back the joy of family cooking by sending handwritten recipe postcards to people. It encouraged them to share their own family recipes, especially when many were cooking on their own and missing the comfort of home-cooked meals. This simple act of sharing food became a way of expressing love.
The Alipore Post & Nivaala
In partnership with the Khaana Chahiye Foundation, the anthology takes on a dual purpose that extends beyond its pages. With every purchase of the anthology, a meal is donated to Khaana Chahiye, an impact foundation working towards SDG-2 'Zero Hunger', in Mumbai. Emerging from a grassroots movement, this initiative found its roots in community-driven efforts, supported by crowdfunding and volunteers. This collaboration with the Khaana Chahiye Foundation reinforces the anthology's overarching theme of unity and togetherness through food.
Within the 200 pages of this anthology, the exploration doesn't stop at the stories alone. Beneath the surface, we discover the intricate cooking techniques and methodologies that people have employed to bring their dishes to life. This mix of stories and cooking styles makes the book a collection of diverse experiences, much like a melting pot. It combines genuine personal narratives, family traditions with beloved dishes and ingredients.
This amalgamation of flavours, memories, and traditions creates a universal language- the love for food. Memories on a Plate is more than a collection of narratives; it's a homage to the role of food in shaping our lives, identities, and shared histories. It invites us to savour not only the flavours on our plates but also the stories that bind us to our roots.
You can pre-order Memories on a Plate here.