How Strong Are Your Big World Comfort Foods?
As you reach for your favorite comfort foods ever wonder what people around the world do for the same gratification? What is it about these foods that washes away a bad day? Jennifer Berg, Director of graduate food studies at New York University, asserts eating them maintains a strong emotional connection to family and place.
I totally agree. For me, having grown up in a Jewish home, my go-to is chicken soup. Interestingly enough, across the globe we all have our own distinct favorites. Thanks to our friends at Fix… we have a smattering of comfort foods for you to enjoy. Don’t forget! Kitchology’s Eat.Better app also provides a vast cultural food experience.
Glimpse into Comfort Foods From Around the World
- China: Cha siu bao (barbecue pork buns): These wonderfully sticky gooey pork buns are a Cantonese favorite as part of a dim sum spread. Filled with slow-roasted pork and surrounded in fluffy white dough, they’re perfect when dunked in soy sauce.
- Lebanon: Man’oushe (herbed flatbread): This flatbread is quite unique, filled with tomatoes and mint and overflowing with Lebanese herbs and spices.
- Poland: Pierogies: The Polish dumpling has become a favorite beyond its own shores. Fillings include potato and cheese, sauerkraut, and even fruited dessert versions. In fact there’s a pierogi for every palette.
- Iceland: Rice pudding: Soothing rice pudding is treasured the world over. However, Icelandic rice pudding is sweet and sticky with sugar and cream. Balance the sweet topped with a tart red fruit such as cranberries.
- Canada: Poutine: Though originally from Quebec, it’s a beloved dish nationwide. Traditionally made with crisp french fries, cheese curds, and piping-hot gravy, modern versions include elevated toppings such as pulled pork or kimchi.
Stews and Casseroles…
- India: Khichdi (rice-and-lentil stew): This soupy mixture of rice and lentils is similar to a traditional risotto dish. Staple Indian spices such as turmeric and cumin enrich this nutritious dish.
- Greece: Moussaka (eggplant-and-potato casserole): Treat yourself to this rich casserole. Layer sautéed eggplant overlapped with minced lamb, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Then top with a creamy potato mash baked to perfection. Béchamel sauce takes the richness of this dish to the next level.
- Ireland: Irish stew: Reach for a rainy day hearty heartwarming Irish stew. Maximize flavor with bone-in lamb, potatoes, onions, salt, and copious amounts of freshly ground black pepper. Slow-cook it until the ingredients meld together in a bubbling broth fit to fight any kind of weather.
- France: French onion soup: This is one of my favorites. Combine fat buttery croutons strung together with melted cheese over a rich flavorful onion-filled broth for a comforting favorite year-round, especially appreciated during cooler months.
The Comfort Food Legacy
Comfort foods take us to a familiar place. We have written before about our personal stories surrounding Thanksgiving and all its related fixings. These dishes reach beyond the plate tapping into our cherished memories and tie us to people and places. Sometimes all we need is to pick out one to brighten a tough day, or more importantly rekindle that spark of special thoughts.