Taste and smell are closely linked to memory, though for me that only happens when I encounter something very specific that I hadn’t in years. When I grew up in Japan I remember when my mom would get goods from their bakeries. Japanese bakeries are excellent, even though they are obviously imitations of European ones (which admittedly I have not encountered). We returned to the US about sixteen years ago. Around two years ago I was in Seattle’s International District, one of the imminent centers of Japanese culture on the American mainland, and there just so happened to be one of those bakeries. We ate there and I encountered tastes my tongue had not had since I was six. For a brief moment it was as if I was projected back, only for reality to return.
Hard to believe such vague memories can be restored by an American recreation of Japanese imitations of European pastry shops.