Memory consists of various boosters to bring the past to life. Listening to music can instantly bring back good, romantic or sad times from the past. A particular scent will recall that much-missed person in your life or a particular place. However, food is something that, when deprived of a particular taste later in life, makes a person long for past days, good meals and wonderful flavors.

Having lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa for most of my of my life, and now living in Europe, the following are some of my favorites from my younger days that I still long for in my later years.

1. Redro fish paste

It might seem strange to miss such a simple food item, but having tried all the alternatives overseas, nothing quite replaces Redro. This anchovy fish paste, spread on hot, liberally buttered toast, was the best. In fact, Redro was so good, most South Africans can still recite all the words from a popular TV ad from the ‘80s, included below.

2. Gem squash

While living in South Africa, we all always took gem squash for granted. This round squash vegetable was an everyday thing. You sliced it in half, boiled or steamed it, and then served it with a liberal daubing of butter, salt and pepper (and maybe a little gravy).

There is no real alternative to gem squash in Spain, and it is difficult to grow here, but some South African expats in the U.K.

have successfully grown them and have shared images of the cooked result on Facebook, making everyone else salivate.

According to Wikipedia, gem squash is widely grown in the southern and central U.S.

and in Mexico, so maybe I moved to the wrong country.

3. Fresh or tinned guavas

Another everyday option in South Africa is fresh or tinned guavas. Delicious raw, or cooked and served with cream or custard, this tasty fruit is full of Vitamin C. The closest alternative here in Spain is a ready-made, over-sweetened Guava juice or fizzy cold drink on sale in some of the supermarkets.

Why guavas are not grown in Spain is unknown. I was lucky enough to find fresh ones at a Chinese-owned fruit and vegetable shop for a while and totally pigged out on them by the pound.

4. Chicken Licken and Nandos

While most countries have KFC outlets, South Africa also has Chicken Licken and Nandos. While I am now a vegetarian, back in the day I enjoyed nothing less than fresh, tasty hot chicken dishes from both businesses, whether as a burger or spicy hot wings.

Nowadays, I get to enjoy the retro ads for Nandos and Chicken Licken on YouTube, some of which star familiar faces.

Nandos has expanded into the U.K. but never quite reached Spain.

Their ads are always controversial, often political, occasionally banned and usually hilarious. The top ten are included in the video below.

Any South Africans reading this post, please comment below with any other tasty treats you miss from your childhood days in South Africa.