Award winning cookbook author, Norman Kolpas, says “food – like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has the ability to comfort.“
Friends and family can be helpful, sure, but is there really a better match to the kind of therapy comfort foods provide to one’s soul on a bad day? Exactly! After all, food doesn’t ask questions; but releases that dopamine hit anyway.
Let’s face it, good food feeds the soul and not the body; and then there are certain foods that do it all too well. No matter how bad a day has been, there’s always that one dish, which can satiate one’s sense of well-being and fulfillment like no other – or better, even uplift their spirits a little!
Just like the diversity in nature, language, culture and everything else, even comfort food differs all around the world, so today we enlighten you on just that. Following, we have listed the most popular comfort foods of several countries around the globe; so next the time you feel down but experimental, you know what to do.
Moussaka – Greece
Moussaka, which is an eggplant- and/or potato-based dish, often including ground meat, is common in the Balkans and the Middle East, with many local and regional variations – the best variant being the Greek one. This legendary dish that is served in almost every tavern in Greece and prepared in every household on special occasions and big family meals can be served hot or cold; and involves baking with the use of a tomato-based sauce and a creamy béchamel sauce.
Pierogi – Poland
Pierogi, also called Polish Dumplings are often associated with Central and Eastern European nations, where they are considered national dishes. Pierogis are filled dumplings made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savory or sweet filling and cooking in boiling water; and are often then pan-fried before serving. Also part of the customary Christmas Eve dinner in Poland, it goes well with sour cream topping and dried forest mushrooms.
Ramen – Japan
Undoubtedly, ramen is the most popular comfort food in Japan, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if quite a lot of people of other nationalities joined them in on that. It is originally a Japanese noodle soup, which consists of Chinese wheat noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, nori, menma, and scallions. However, it has countless regional variations and is inexpensive as well as easily available almost everywhere.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich USA
Safe to say that this one has been tried and tested at least once by most of us, Grilled Cheese sandwich is the most popular comfort food for the American population, kids and grown-ups alike. A grilled cheese sandwich or a cheese toastie is a hot sandwich made with one or more varieties of cheese on buttered, grilled bread. Easy to make and amazing in taste, it can be prepared in different ways with the addition of caramelized onions, spinach, arugula, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers or more.
Githeri – Kenya
The Kenyan comfort food by popular demand – Githeri, also called muthere or mutheri, is a traditional meal of maize and legumes, mostly beans of any type mixed and boiled together. The maize and beans are mixed together in a sufuria or pot, water is then added and the mixture boiled until the food is cooked and ready to eat. High in carbohydrates and fiber, low in fat and cholesterol and containing several other minerals and vitamins, it is not only a therapeutic but a nutritious choice of food as well.
Meat Pie – Australia
Considered iconic in Australia and New Zealand, an Australian or New Zealand meat pie is a hand-sized meat pie containing diced or minced meat and gravy, sometimes with onion, mushrooms, or cheese and often consumed as a takeaway food snack. With a shelf life of about 3-5 days if refrigerated, this dish is prepared in most occasions in Australia, which has the highest count of consumption for meat pies in a year. We know with that combination of ingredients; nothing could possibly go wrong!
Feijoada – Brazil
Commonly prepared in Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Timor, Goa, and Macau, where it is also considered a national dish, Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork. Even though the recipe differs slightly from one country to another, the key ingredients remain the same and is mostly prepared with black beans. Interestingly, the stew is best prepared over low heat in a thick clay pot.
Gamjatang – South Korea
Gamja-tang or pork back-bone stew is a spicy Korean soup made from the ‘spine’ or ‘neck bones’ of a pig. It often contains potatoes, cellophane noodles, dried radish greens, perilla leaves, green onions, hot peppers and ground sesame seeds. The vertebrae are usually separated with bits of meat clinging to them so they blend in the stew-soup. This milky bone-broth is widely popular not only in Korea, but also in the United States and Canada now, and is a favorite winter dish to have!
Asado – Argentina
An Argentinian favorite – Asado is the technique and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in various South American countries, where it is also a traditional event. An asado usually consists of beef, pork, chicken, chorizo, and morcilla which are cooked on a grill, called a parrilla, or an open fire. The fastest way to make enemies in Argentina is to compare the asado to a barbecue – for Asado is cooking in its purest form – just fire, grill and meat – so it’s important that it is done right!