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Jan 8, 2009 10:37 PM

Comfort Food Around the World?

DH and I got into a conversation about "comfort food"...and what different cultures/countries consider it to be....

So we're going to ask all of you: what do you consider comfort food? If you've lived in places other than the west coast of the US, have you found the locals' ideas of comfort food varies? What about for different cultures/cuisines?

DH is from India, and his idea of comfort is a big serving of kicheree (sp?) and kadhi (sp? again), with an eggplant shak and rotli......

As I have stated in my profile, I like Cambell's tomato soup with spaghetti...but I am admittedly weird. And Cincinnati-style chili is a close second, but its kind of the same idea......

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  1. We have just been to Salzburg and I came across a 'Germknodel', which is a large warm dumpling filled with plum 'jam' and topped with crushed poppy seeds and hot vanilla custard. They are most often served in ski resorts in Austria. Absolutely, heavenly comfort food! Here's a picture I found

    3 Replies
    1. re: leeollie

      Leeollie- I'm leaving for Garmisch, Germany tomorrow and plan on eating if not solely, then definitely mainly, copious amounts of Germknodel! Mmmm, can't wait.
      To the wonderful dumpling in a pool of vanilla heaven I would add the ubiquitous schnitzel. I hated all variations for about two years, until finally, one day I woke up addicted! They are almost universally available in all German restaurants, even "ethnic" ones. The best versions I've had came from an Italian joint and a Thai place, go figure. Most often on the kids meal.

      1. mr. alka, from sri lanka, loves "hoppers"! best served with seeni or pol sambols.

        see last recipe here: for the plain hoppers.

        pol sambol:

        seeni sambol:

        beware: these flavors are addictive!

        1. When I was home sick, I always got campbell's cream of tomato (made with whole milk and a knob of butter dropped in) and a grilled cheese sandwich pressed flat, with velveeta cheese all ooey gooey. That's still something I turn to when I'm feeling ill or low and just need some reminders of childhood.

          Other things that are comforting on different levels are homemade mac and cheese, my mom's recipe for potato salad, and my mom's recipe for stuffing.

          I grew up in the midwest of the US.

          When I was in Juneau, AK, I knew one person whose comfort food was seal stew. *shudder* ;D

          8 Replies
          1. re: Morganna

            not too "comforting" to the seal. {;^D. (i don't know why that struck me...).

            my comfort food is eggs fried/basted in bacon grease so the yolk is runny, the white is cooked through, and the edge is crispy and a wee bit brown from the bacon grease, with nice stoneground grits, butter and salt. served with rye toast, if i'm at a diner. add good sausage, and i'm very happy. not "comforting" to my arterial system, i'm sure.....

            1. re: alkapal

              Ooooh, alkapal! I slept through my alarm this morning, dressed and dashed to get to work - late - and now, seated at my reception desk, I'm reading your description of breakfast comfort food. Agreed, completely, up to and including the slightly crisp, browned edges of the eggs and the butter and salt in your grits. My stomach is growling, my mouth is watering and my eyes are tearing just slightly because, in mid-town Manhattan, there's no place where I can find that perfect breakfast (lunch, dinner, whatever...)

              1. re: alkapal

                *grin* Well a lot of Alaskan Natives have special subsistence hunting rights. I didn't much like the seal I had once (gift from a friend), but the chunk I got, I had no IDEA how to cook or season it so it'd be good. :) But it's prime food up that way. :)

                1. re: Morganna

                  Yes! to the campbell's cream of tomato, made exactly as Morganna describes it. No cheese sandwich though in my childhood --- or even very often now. (Incidentally, home was Brooklyn, USA.)
                  My Japanese friend's daughter always turns to cold rice with soy sauce.
                  Interesting thread!

                  1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                    If your friend is Japanese, that can't be his/her daughter. Shoyu on rice, indeed!

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Well, she was raised in the US from when she was about 5 --- but her mom always cooks Japanese. I know, we were the beneficiaries for ten years. Oh, how I miss them, shoyu on rice or not!

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        Sam is right on! My brother, on the other hand, eats cold rice out of the pot plain.

                  2. I'm about as far from Asian as one can get, but my favorite comfort food is take-out egg drop soup. I have no idea why - it just is.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: rockycat

                      My husband is from Bermuda, where live now and part Portuguese, so our favorites are:

                      Portuguese Fava Bean "Stew" with lots of red wine, garlic and portuguese sausage
                      My husbands Bermuda Fish Chowder with Black Rum and Sherry Peppers, it takes him two days to make it and it is worth it!

                      Oh but rockycat, how I miss really good take out egg drop soup!

                      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                        Indonesia: nasi goreng (fried rice--I personally have to have it with trasi--dried shrimp paste--otherwise it's just like anyone else's fried rice). Malaysia/Singapore: prawn mee soup or chicken rice or roti canai. Japan: okazu (sort of like congee), miso soup, udon (noodle soup). Mexico: chilaquiles. These, of course, are just suggestions. Japanese Americans: bacon-fried rice; egg rice (hot rice mixed with a beaten raw egg and soy sauce). I've never been to Italy, but personally consider risotto and polenta with cheese or some sort of sauce as a topping comfort food

                        1. re: PAO

                          Also in a lot of Latin American countries, beans and rice.

                          1. re: PAO

                            Oops. I meant ochazuke, not okazu. Rice with hot tea poured over it.

                      2. Matzo ball soup with root vegetables, pastina or orzo with dill in chicken broth ,Cinnamon Sugar Noodles, Pho Ga, Good Old fashioned PB and J - lately natural PB and Cherry or Apricot Jam on a honey whole wheat bread, PB and Bacon on an Everything Bagel. My Bubbe's Cabbage Borscht or my Nanny's Brisket. Roast Chicken.