Food is so many things to so many people—and at its core, food is a true source of comfort. This is where we turn when we need something that tastes good and reminds us of wonderful times. It could be something we loved as children, something that’s calming to prepare, something our family or loved ones find important, or something we might consider a guilty pleasure.
All over the world, you’ll find comfort foods specific to their countries and regions. They’re diverse and delicious, and filled with love. Let’s have a look at a few local comfort foods you should try on your travels!
Cold Canadian winters bring ice, snow, and short daylight hours—so it’s not surprising that Canadians have developed their own special comfort food for those dreary days! Poutine is carefully fried French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. Originally popular in Quebec in the 1950s, Poutine is now widely embraced all over Canada, and making its way around the world as a go-to for late-night eats. And of the great things about this delicious dish is it’s easy to make at home!
China: Barbecued Pork Buns
Chinese pork buns, known as cha siu bao, have been an integral part of China for centuries. Eaten all over the country, the buns consist of a gently steamed bread wrapper holding inside of it marvelously flavored pork and a thick sauce that’s sweet, with just a little bit of tang. They’re popular both for breakfast and as part of a larger lunch. Worldwide, you can find barbecued pork buns as a traditional part of dim sum. Ready to make your own? Check out this recipe!
France: French Onion Soup
French onion soup is what many of us picture when we think of French food. For locals, it’s all about the coming together of varied flavors in a single, wonderful cup. People have been taking onions and slowly simmering them in beef broth for a long time. The classic recipe involves a few basics taken to perfection: onions are carefully merged with butter, stock, and wine to create a bowl full of comfort. Add a topping of sliced bread and the right cheese and it is the ultimate French comfort food.
Ghana: Beef and Peanut Stew
West Africa is home to many incredible foods, all made with easily available ingredients. Ghana’s beef and peanut stew combines a number of delicious items: squash goes into a pot along with peanuts and stewing meat, and it’s taken to the next level with a variety of spices, stewed together slowly. It’s usually placed on top of rice or boiled potatoes to serve as a base to show off the flavors. Every place in Ghana has a different version of this delicious dish, which can be enjoyed alone or shared with a group of loved ones.
Japan: Miso Soup
This highly revered traditional Japanese soup is one of the most popular dishes from this country, eaten all over the world. It all begins with a stock known as dashi, in which many ingredients like fish bones are boiled until they culminate into a broth. Miso paste, created with fermented soybeans and other ingredients, is then added to it, and topped with tofu, green onions, or other flavors and textures like seaweed, onions, or carrots. About seventy-five percent of Japanese people consume at least one bowl of miso a day, making it a true taste of home.
United States: Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is one of the most enduringly popular American comfort foods, eaten day-to-day and even on holidays, from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July. Whether you make it on the stovetop or bake it in the oven, this delicious comfort food is always a wonderful reminder of family and fun.
What are your favorite comfort foods? Share them with the Frayed Passport community!
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