Great Comfort Food: What Makes It So Comforting?

comfort food

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What is your comfort food? Everybody craves comforts once in a while, and sometimes we just need a big bowl of chicken stew, or mac and cheese. But when we’re trying to make a new version of comfort foods, what are the components of what makes great comfort food? It’s different all around the world but what is it that makes comfort food so comforting?

It Is the Taste of Home

When you go round the world, you are always trying to find the taste of home. It is something that takes you back to where it all began. And when we are living hundreds of miles away from where we grew up, we can try to recreate recipes for things we grew up with, but it seems that we don’t always get it writes, mainly because it’s not to do with our tastes or the ratio of ingredients and seasonings, but the fact is that it was something that we had a long time ago, and it will always taste better in our mind. There are so many amazing competitions there that actually transcend the boundaries. When you think of places like Mississippi, they’ve got scrumptious roasts and you can try this recipe for classic Mississippi pot roast to see how it suits you but always remember that the idea of comfort food is representative of home, and so if you are not able to get the recipe just right, it could be because it is much tastier in your mind.

It Picks You up When You’re Feeling Down

We all have those go-to foods that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside when we’re feeling like life is getting on top of us. Some people go for chicken and potatoes, biscuits and gravy, or sausages and mashed potatoes with onion gravy. The one thing that transcends all of these is arguably the stodginess, the vast carbohydrate quantity that makes us feel full. That also, the fact that these foods are always warming can make it feel like everything is ok just for a few minutes. When we’re feeling down, the gentle hug of your favorite comfort foods makes everything alright. From a nutritional perspective, these foods are usually high in fat, salt and sugar, and can activate the reward system in the brain, but we have to remember that when we are feeling down and we’ve had a stressful day, that little bit of comfort food is going to give us a little hug.

It Takes You Back to Your Childhood

Nostalgia is so important, especially when we are living in uncertain times. That idea of home is something that slowly disappears the further away we go, and this is why food can take us back to a moment in time that will make everything feel ok. But being a child was when everything was simple. You can think about times when you were making cookies in the kitchen with your grandmother, or that exciting time in the run-up to Christmas where the house smelled amazing. Comfort food will always take us back to special occasions, and because of how our senses work, we associate certain smells with certain occasions. Going back to our childhood is something we all like to do on occasion because it’s that little retreat inwards. If you ever feel that you need to step away from the world and have a duvet day, take this opportunity to indulge in all those foods that you loved as a child. Of course, common sense would dictate that you shouldn’t eat too much of it. But remember, everything in moderation!

It Is Something Warming

Bringing some comfort into your dishes as winter is coming makes everything feel alright. Comfort foods are just good for the soul. Because you are going through difficulties in everyday life, or you feel that even if you had a bad day, something warming makes it all ok. Comfort foods, whether it is mac and cheese, traditional Welsh cawl, or even the humble takeaway pizza will help everything feel better.

When we’re trying to find the ideal comfort foods, we have to go back to the past but remember you can start again by creating something comforting for your family. It may be something that reminds you of the past, but sometimes there are those dishes that just feel comforting, and you’ve never had them before. There are plenty of ideas out there. From garlic chicken pie to burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, and an abundance of stews, remember that you can create your own comfort foods using these components.

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Eric Andrews-Katz

Eric Andrews-Katz

Eric Andrews-Katz has short stories included in over 10 anthologies. He is the author of the Agent Buck 98 Series (“The Jesus Injection” and “Balls & Chain”), and the author of the Greek myth series beginning with the novel TARTARUS. He has conducted celebrity interviews with some of the biggest and best names on Broadway, Hollywood and in literature. He can be found at:

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