Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Comfort Food in Times of Crisis

I don’t know about you but I have been in crisis this entire month.  Don’t you feel like the election has been going on forever? I feel like it’s a bad dream tattooed on my brain.

First it was the primaries and now it’s the daily polls, the accusations, the insanity of porcine wearing makeup, the lies, the foreclosures, the financial crisis, the YouTube videos, mother nature destroying lives and property, the bailouts, the price tags, the gas prices, the gas shortages in some parts of the country, the power outages, the 95+ heat in Arizona, the talk show hosts, the talking heads and headless henchmen, the desperation of people on the brink. 

Thank goodness for a little levity on Saturday Night Live.

Do you remember how the population at large became larger in girth after 9/11? It was a national phenomenon in mass weight gain. As we sat glued to our TV sets, watching the slow motion replays of the twin towers crumbling until our hearts burst from our chests. People ate and they ate frequently.

When someone dies, most cultures have a memorial and then eat. People eat to break bread together, to pass the time in a familar supportive activity. They eat to heal the heart and become whole again.

After hurricane Katrina, people once again sat mesmerized watching the suffering and devastation and ate. Although the weight gain was far less than after 9/11.

I don’t know about you but I feel like eating comfort food. Since I’m in the throes of a low glycemic diet that is hard to do but I crave comfort food about now…some warm chocolate chip oatmeal cookies where the chips are slightly melted, washed down with a nightcap of cold milk and bourbon sounds just about right.

What are you favorite comfort foods and why? Under what conditions or situations do you turn to comfort foods?


  1. Carbs are comfort food to me – a loaf of bread with round of warm semi-melted brie cheese, a bagel with cream cheese & jelly, English muffins with butter puddles, pizza (not overly saucy – more aromatic with a few ingredients like garlic, basil, tomatoes & chicken), macaroni & cheese, mashed potatoes, any potatoes. I also find comfort in chocolate – rich & dark – with fruit essence. And let us not forget alcohol – vodka with olives, vodka with anything (almost – not too sweet.

    Sometimes I go to this lovely gourmet shop in Oakland & get a few slices of proscuitto & spicy salami & cheese. (it’s great – I can ask for 3 slices & that’s what I get – portion control on comfort food)They have a great olive mix that is spicy & citrusy. I’ll get some grilled veggies & good bread. I go home, make a cocktail & enjoy my own antipasto feast.

    Now I’m hungry – is it time for lunch?

  2. Hared to say what my favorite comfort foods are, but I’m with you, all the stress that’s happening in the world right now really brings on an acute need for comfort foods.

    Maybe my favorite is pot roast, with potatoes, carrots, onions, maybe even some green beans, all cooked together with a tomato-based gravy… But then again, there’s a lot to be said for a really good home made mac and cheese, with a crispy cheesy top and all melty and gooey inside…

    As for the favorite comfort foods when it comes time for dessert, I’d have to vote for pumpkin pie with real whipped cream, but then again, there’s a lot to be said for apple crisp or a really rich home made Boston Creme Pie. I make one with a chocolate ganache topping that is out of this world…

  3. I normally do not like chocolate or chocolate cookies or food of that sort, but when I get in a bad mood, or when im upset, I turn to chocolate cookies or cake. This is bad, especially since that is not the healthiest food, but luckily, I still can’t eat a lot of it, just enough to make me feel better.

  4. When I think of comfort food, I think of my late mother-in-law, Mathilda’s, cooking. It was always a complete meal served piping hot on a table with a tablecloth in her small kitchen that was warm from the oven.

    One of my favorites was Cabbage rolls in tomato juice (not thick tomato sauce — there is a difference) with mashed potatoes, green beans, hot rolls and fresh homemade apple pie.

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