Woolworths TASTE

“I GOT IT FROM MY MAMA”

Everyone who has known me

since I was a child knows two things about me: I’m very sensitive and I love to eat. As a little girl, these two attributes brought me immeasurable grief because I was always either crying about something I wanted to eat but couldn’t (raw potatoes, true story!) or overeating until the agony in my choc-a-block gut had me sobbing with regret. The latter is probably my mom, Loyiso’s, favourite story about anything ever (SMH).

I didn’t know it then, but these characteristics were the start of what would become an enormous revelation when, years later, I found myself working seriously with food. As my relationship with food bloomed, I would come to realise that my work didn’t have to be a source of anxiety and if I honoured what my cooking is about at its core (basically, nature worship wearing a trench coat and fedora), it could become a healing space – if I allowed it to be.

“My mom is afraid of soft porridge and smoked salmon. We’re working through the second one together”
- Khanya Mzongwana

Many of our struggles with food can be traced back to early childhood where negative experiences are linked to tastes, smells and textures. I discovered that learning how to prepare ingredients in a way that the child in me would enjoy them was the key to freeing myself from the food prison I built around myself when I was little.

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