Over the weekend, my honey-man (the wine guy) made a batch of beef barley soup. Tender beef chunks mixed with potatoes and barley screamed, “eat me ‘cuz I can bring comfort”. Comfort? Exactly what is comfort food and how did that term evolve. Got me thinking and here is my take.
Comfort food is personal to your upbringing. In my childhood, I remember coming home after Sunday morning church to the smell of a pot roast cooking in the oven. To this day, the smell and taste of a pot roast, at least in my mind, brings comfort and evokes so many good memories. On the other hand, there are salmon patties. It was not a childhood favorite. I gag on the smell alone. Certainly not a comfort food by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe because my mom made me sit at the dinner table until it was all gone. Thank God for big paper napkins (and a family pet who willingly devoured the chunks I left beneath the table).
Comfort food is likely food you won’t find on a three star restaurant menu. It’s generally food with smells and taste that evokes pleasant memories. Fried chicken reminds me of my Grammy. No one cooked Southern fried chicken like she did. The smell of battered chicken cooking in hot oil takes me back in time. It evokes feelings of nostalgia, safety, and security. At least that’s my take.
I think many people find comfort in reconnecting with foods from their earlier years, hence… “comfort” food. We all have are own agenda when it comes to classifying what we consider comfort foods. Here is my personal top 10, what are some of yours?
Southern fried chicken (it’s gotta be fried!)
Beef pot roast with potatoes and carrots
Chicken noodle soup
Chicken & Dumplings
Mac & Cheese
Corn on the Cob
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Corn bread with buttermilk (yes, really!!)