Comfort Foods and Home

Everyone has a comfort food, whether they know/admit it or not. At least by my definition: it is a food that you eat to cheer you up or a food that reminds you of home (regardless of whether you have a home). Comfort foods can be very different for people no matter what country or region they are from. They originate in memories and good times. Comfort food could be what your parents/guardians made for you when you were sick or to celebrate your birthday. It depends on what is available in your area and the price point that your family could shop at. Even if two people live in the same area, however, doesn’t mean that they have the same comfort food.

While I don’t claim to know what comfort foods can be found in San Diego or any other part of California, I did have a friend in high school (that remained friends into college) that grew up there. So I will focus mainly on her comfort foods. She grew up in an Asian and other minority dominate neighborhood and her favorite foods reflect that. The one that sticks out the most to me was her love of pot-stickers. I honestly don’t know much about them but they are effectively a type of dumpling which from what I do understand is something that practically every culture has. Depending on how you get them (frozen or fresh), they can be crispy on the bottom and steamed for the rest of the pot-sticker. It is possible to just go ahead and boil them I think (usually the frozen kind). To her this culinary item is a favorite childhood memory and comfort food. I like the food and will enjoy it when I have it but it is not a comfort necessarily for me.

I have a couple of comfort foods. These foods just relax and as the name implies, comforts me. One is chicken noodle soup made from scratch by my dad. The only item not made from scratch is the noodles. Otherwise, everything is hand done, especially considering the fact that my dad will boil a whole chicken for this (you know, the kind people will roast in an oven). It is a food that just relaxes my mind. Another bit of comfort food that stems from college rather than home is the meal that I had the most often during that time. That meal was a chicken quesadilla with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and mushrooms, side by side with fries, a Mountain Dew, and often a slice of cheesecake. Yeah, I definitely was not eating super healthy in college. Still, to this day, there are times when I am just craving a chicken quesadilla with fries to cheer me up a bit.

What people in other countries enjoy for comfort food is beyond me. I mentioned in my last post about feeling like the matcha rice was a form of comfort food from Japan for me. I don’t know if that is a comfort food for someone, but it might be. I could see fish and chips being a comfort food for someone from the UK or pierogies for someone from Central Europe. I think that regardless of origin a comfort food is one that doesn’t take to much time to acquire or cook and makes you feel better. Finally, it just plain has to taste good. What do you like to eat as a comfort food? Did you have it as a kid or did you acquire the taste for it as an adult? Does it match the surrounding culture that you currently live in or is it hard to find where you now find yourself? Please comment below with your answers and thanks for reading.

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