Thursday, June 7, 2012

Top 5 American Comfort Foods

In writing this list, a couple things jumped out at me. First, different places will have different comfort foods; and there are sweet comforts and savory comforts. This list looks at the U.S. and only considers savory comforts.

5: Mashed Potatoes - I struggled here, because including mashed potatoes meant leaving burgers and dogs off the list, but the more I thought about comfort foods, the more I realized that while burgers and dogs are quintessentially American, neither evokes the idea and comfort of a home-cooked meal the way mashed potatoes do.  Maybe it's because I relate burgers and dogs to summer, while mashed potatoes make me think of a warm house on a cold winter day.

4: Pizza - Some will say pizza was first served in Italy. I am in the camp with the folks who claim New York as the pizza's birthplace. Regardless, pizza--whether a perfect New York slice, a deep dish offering from Chicago, or even that "pizza" offered by Papa John's and the like--has become as American as apple pie and jazz.

3: Chicken Soup - No, it won't actually heal you when you're sick, but it got that reputation from being such a comfort that sick people feel better psychologically just by eating it. Bonus if it's truly homemade.

2: Macaroni and Cheese - Although you can order macaroni and cheese with truffle or porcini in many fine fining establishments, nothing bests the 7-minute blue box neon-cheese variety.

1: Meatloaf - A slab of ground beef, breadcrumbs, onions, and spices, slathered with ketchup or A-1, and (for me) dipped bite by bite into hot sauce. Meatloaf is a fairly easy out for busy moms, as a result we all grew up on the stuff. You know it's comfort food when you can't find it on the menu of any Michelin starred restaurant!

What comfort foods did you grow up eating?  Please share below (especially if you're from a different country)!  And don't forget to check us out and like us on Facebook!

11 comments:

  1. I would totally put turkey & stuffing over pizza...comfort food = something mom or grandma used to make. 

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  2. Dave, you have me starving. Right now it's looking like I'm going to be out of state but I'm trying to make it to your Chili Fest next month.

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  3. Christie CartolanoJune 7, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    This is a tough one...turkey and stuffing can see it.  Since I don't eat mac and cheese, can definitely see it going in it's place.  Pizza is a big comfort food for me--I can eat it 7 days a week (ok, I've been know to do it too).  Put the meatloaf and mashed potatoes together!
    Chicken pot pie is a good one too!
    Shame it's only top 5--can easily do a top 10 or 20.  lol

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  4. I think I would replace pizza with something fried...chicken, perhaps?

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  5. #2 ......"the process"

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  6. I am very pleased with your choices ... Could not have done a better job myself. 

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  7. You know what in reading some of the posts.. I agree Pizza although comfort food I find hard fitting into this group. I see comfort food as something that was made at home. Fried chicken... Chicken pot pie  although in a PR household we never really saw this dish.

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  8. I get your point, but for me, turkey and stuffing are great but not a comfort food.  I don't want to curl up under covers on the couch with turkey and stuffing on a cold night.

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  9. I agree, chicken pot pie is def. one to consider.

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  10. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!   I was actually thinking that as I wrote this!  Anything that has a "proces" rather than a recipe is probably not something good to ingest!

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  11. Yeah, I get the points regarding pizza, but I still see it as a comfort food even if it isn't like grandma used to make. It's excellent pity party chow, for example.

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