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How we make memories by sharing food

No matter where you live, food has the unique power to gather families and create memories
Illustration of a family sharing a meal

One of the things I love about working at Nestlé is the opportunity it gives me to be part of the power of food. Year after year, all around the globe, food brings families together around the table. Memories of meals with loved ones are special to us all, no matter where you live.

At Nestlé, we believe in the power our products have to spark these moments of joy and bonding. That can be grand, like full families gathering around the dinner table to celebrate long-awaited occasions. But it can also be spontaneous, like my kids sharing their snacks on the playground.

Nulifer Demirkol sharing a meal with her family Nulifer Demirkol sharing a meal with her family

Food memories

When I was growing up in Istanbul, I loved the winter. I would play outside until my fingers were pink, and when I came inside, I'd have Salep with my mom and sisters. Salep is a frothy hot milk drink that has flour made from wild orchid tubers and spices. I still love anything with cinnamon. It brought a coziness to our time together. Even now, I'll bring back Nestlé Salep from my visits to Turkey, and in the winter, my kids will ask for it as soon as they come home and throw down their school bags. We'll snuggle up with chestnuts and Salep or hot chocolate and watch our favorite movies. That cinnamon taste takes me back immediately to coming inside with my cold, pink fingers.

Food has a unique ability to forge strong, long-lasting memories. Both taste and smell are processed in brain areas closely linked to the amygdala and the hippocampus - that means they're a huge part of emotion and memory processing. Most times, in our food memories, we'll also remember the place, how we felt at the moment, the people that were with us... That's why nostalgia is so strong in our food memories: it's not just about the chocolate cookie, it's the association with the feeling of being loved and nurtured by our grandmother as a child.

Global families

Food as cultural identity

In my role at Nestlé, I'm also particularly aware of the power of food in both celebrating diversity and driving inclusion. For the past few years, around the World Day for Cultural Diversity, we have encouraged our employees to share their favorite recipes from home. Their voices came together to inspire this look at different families who give us the honor of including us at their table: enjoying Maggi noodles at a night market, baking with Abuelita for family birthdays, breaking off a piece of Cailler chocolate after an afternoon of sledding, welcoming neighbors with a mug of Nescafé, sharing a cup of Milo during football practice, and taking Nestlé Toll House chocolate chip cookies out of the oven (while saving some Beggin' Strips as a treat for another important family member!)

No matter where you live, or which flavor of KitKat you prefer, food has this ability to bring people together and create new memories. So next time you want to leave a long-lasting impression on someone, cook one of your favorite recipes for them. You might just start a new tradition.

A family enjoying Cailler chocolate


A family enjoys a piece of Cailler chocolate and a hot drink after sledging on a snowy afternoon

Family birthday celebration

Central America

A family gathers to celebrate grandma’s birthday with a beautiful homemade cake

Family coffee time

Middle East & North Africa

A family catches up while enjoying a delicious and warm cup of Nescafé

A family enjoys Milo

West Africa

A family enjoys Milo at the end of football practice

A family enjoying Maggi noodles


A family chats over Maggi noodles at the local night market

Family eating Nestlé Toll House cookies


A family comes together to bake Nestle Toll House cookies and offers a few dog treats on a cozy snowy day at home