We all have a dish that brings memories to us in an instant. Maybe it’s chocolate chips cookies that your mother prepared for the holiday or take out Chinese food that reminds you of your first apartment. Whatever it is, food has a funny way of stirring up conversation or reminding you of a memory that you haven’t thought of in years.
WHAT MAKES COMFORT FOOD SO COMFORTING?
Next time you’re making your favorite dish at home, think about why you love to make it. Some studies have found that foods high in fat, sugar, or salt trigger areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward. That’s why foods like cake, ice cream, French fries, and pizza make us feel better when we’re anxious or blue. Unfortunately, the mood-boosting effects usually don’t last for long. But boy, are they delicious.
Think about food that triggers an emotion for you. Does it make you happy? Sad? Hungry?
WHAT ARE YOUR TRUE COMFORT FOODS?
To some, the real comfort foods are those that bring to mind special people or experiences. Think about food that triggers an emotion for you. Does it make you happy? Sad? Hungry? Do you like something specifically when an important person in your life makes it for you? It’s crazy to think that one bite of homemade lasagna can take you back to the first time you tried it. You might immediately need a glass of milk or a crispy slice of garlic bread, because that’s how you ate it growing up.
Alot of times, memories of food begin with a grandparent or a family member. Eating that food might remind you of someone special in your life and the memories you shared while creating together. Or maybe it’s a friend or significant other. When in college, did you experiment with your roommates, based on what you had in the fridge? Or, did you try to make dinner for a new love interest and ended up failing miserably? You can’t stand to look at chicken alfredo in the same way!
Whether the memories you have around food stretch back to your youth or you’re creating new memories around the table with your family, there’s always an opportunity to recount the experiences we have when enjoying our favorite dishes.
SOOTHING THE SOUL WITH YOUR FAVORITE DISHES
The concept of comfort food is different for everyone. You might think of hours spent in the kitchen with a loved one or gathering around a table full of friends. Whether you’re the one doing the cooking or you’re on the receiving end of a new dish, each memory is unique and goes beyond nourishment and flavor.
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