Here’s my latest instalment of gastronome Wednesday ~ comfort food around the world.
Nothing takes away the blues, lifts your spirits, or soothes your soul like comfort food. Every country has their preferred dish so I’ve put together a list of comfort foods from some of my favorite countries.
Nasi Goreng is a dish made from leftover rice, shrimp paste, palm sugar, and chilies. It’s often eaten for breakfast but can be enjoyed anytime. The rice fills you up while the chilies warm your belly. This dish is a staple for Indonesians and is always offered to guests.
Dal is a lentil stew made from chickpeas, kidney beans, peas, potatoes, various spices and curry. There are various versions of it depending on which part of India you’re in. Its rich, spiced gravy is served with rice or roti (a type of flat bread) and it always hits the spot when you’re craving spicy food.
China, Japan, Singapore, etc…
One of the favorite go to comfort foods in almost all Asian countries is Congee. The rich, thick broth is made from boiling rice for several hours until it becomes a soupy mush. This, by itself, is pretty tasteless until you put topping on it which run the gamut from shredded chicken, stewed pork, fried crullers, spring onions, etc., after which the delicious porridge becomes a soothing bowl of goodness.
You knew that this list would not be complete without a dish from our culture so I’ve included one of my favorites.
Puerto Rico has a deep culinary history, which is influenced by Africa, Spain, and America. There are countless dishes from my childhood that bring me comfort but one of my favorites is a veal stew my grandmother used to make and for the life of me I can’t seem to make it quite the same. Fresh veal is cooked all day in wine and a slew of traditional Spanish spices like Sofrito making it fork tender. It’s customarily served with polenta or rice and beans. Mmmm…that will wash all your worries away!
Of course I have to include my home country and, in my opinion, one of the best places to get awesome comfort food. Since the U.S. is a melting pot of cultures, religions, and traditions, there is a plethora of food with endless combinations to make even the pickiest of eaters groan with pleasure. My favorite comfort food when I’m back in the U.S. is Mac and Cheese. The version I love best is made with lots of butter, blue cheese, heavy cream, crab, and elbow noodles. Cooked till bubbly and golden brown it’s the best on a cold winter day. Curled up on the couch with a heaping bowl watching a great movie gives me more joy than almost anything else!
What’s your favorite comfort food? What country is it from? Share your experiences with us!