Picklehead: From Ceylon to suburbia; a memoir of food, family and finding yourself
03 May 2007
Rohan Candappa, author of bestselling humour books such as the Little Book of Stress and The Curious Incident of the Weapons of Mass Destruction, is the son of a Sri Lankan father and Burmese mother. He grew up small and round in South London, riding his chopper bike and supporting Leeds United. But every day his mother would conjur delicious meals out of thin air. His father cooked too, with fiery flavourings, black curries and green coriander chutneys. Their home became the focus for family gatherings and feasts of such delicacy and exoticism that you’d never have known Norwood lay outside the window.
Yet somewhere in his twenties Rohan forgot his culinary heritage and it wasn’t until he was bringing up his own young family that he began to think more about his identity as a second generation immigrant and the binding, identifying power of the family meal caught his imagination.
And so he began this beautifully written, funny, poignant memoir of his heritage and his home. Of curry leaves and curried chips. Hot chillis and hot dogs. Pataks and Heinz. About the past and the present – and the place where time should cease to matter… the family kitchen.