It doesn’t matter whether they are savoury or sweet, we all have favourite comfort foods that we rely on to help to lift our spirits, writes Felicity Glover
It’s an age-old question and one that many may struggle to explain – what is it about comfort foods and their ability to make us happy?
Ask the experts and they say that our cravings have a lot to do with how we feel, which is why we might reach for that bowl of ice cream, chocolate bar or a carb-laden mac ‘n’ cheese.
From sweet to savoury, there are no limits to our choice of comfort foods. And when we are feeling down, lonely, or are just having a bad day, there’s nothing better than coming home and indulging in a favourite food that can lift us out of our funk.
If you think about it, some of the comfort foods we crave as adults are related to happy childhood memories. For some, it could be an ice cream at the beach, for others, it could be their grandmother’s apple pie or mum’s chicken soup.
There are some delicious comfort foods out there, from grilled cheese sandwiches to pasta, sausages and mash, shawarma, salty crisps, mum’s Sunday roast or even a burger.
Here are our top 10 comfort foods:
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Stringy, melted cheese and toasted bread – it doesn’t get much better than this. Pair it with a classic tomato soup and you will be transported back to your childhood.
Everybody has their favourite flavour, especially in times of stress. Be it chocolate, vanilla or one of the fancy flavour combos you see in supermarket freezers, nothing beats a bowl of ice cream to stave off the blues.
Apparently carbohydrates make us feel good, which is why pasta is so popular when we crave comfort foods. Coupled with a classic meat sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan, you’ll be on top of the world in no time.
No list of comfort foods is complete without this childhood favourite. Soft, warm, cheesy and full of carbs, this is the ultimate feel-good food — it takes us back to a time when we didn’t have a worry in the world.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer a thin-crust classic margherita or a meat lover’s deep-pan delight, the aim is the same — carbs plus cheese equals seventh heaven.
Served on warm flatbread with spreadable cheese and a sprinkling of the chilli-flavoured chips, this is apparently the ultimate in comfort food in the Sultanate (see see recipe below).
Nothing beats deep-fried, salty potatoes. Many nationalities have their favourite way of serving them — with mayo in the Netherlands, or cheese curd and gravy in Quebec, while others keep it simple with tomato ketchup.
Cheaper than a psychologist and much more enjoyable, there’s a good reason why chocolate is one of the world’s most popular comfort foods. According to experts, it reacts with a chemical in our brain, making us feel almost instantly better. It can’t get better than that.
They say this is food for the soul. And nothing beats a good chicken soup when we are under the weather. In fact, it’s the culinary equivalent of a hug from mum.
There’s an art to creating the perfect mashed potato. But at the end of the day, it’s all about creamy, moreish potatoes with a hint of salt and butter that gives us a lift, not to mention a perfect carb fix.