The world’s number one comfort food is on this list, but so are many others worth trying at least once (but good luck not craving them afterward).
It’s okay to give in to indulgences every once in a while and if this was the sign needed to give comfort food the green light, then consider it go time. Food has the ability to make a person feel satisfied, happy, and content – three things that aren’t always in large supply. It’s also comforting to know that every corner of the world has its own comfort food; something that its locals turn to after a bad day or when in need of a little pick-me-up.
If the tried and true favorites aren’t doing it in your corner of the world or if you’re just looking for a change, these are the dishes that put smiles on faces around the world.
Perhaps one of the greatest comfort foods of all time is ramen which also brings with it much debate. While some prefer the pre-packaged ramen, others prefer to make it from scratch with a broth that’s simmered for hours and meats that have been slow-cooked. Regardless of the type of ramen being eaten, there’s no denying that this bowl of steamy noodles, flavor, and toppings is nothing short of heaven.
Naan bread was actually voted as one of the best breads in the world, especially with butter and garlic. Bread will always be a comfort but there’s something about the soft texture of naan bread that combines with its airy texture and hearty flavor that makes it such a happy thing to eat. Paired with a traditional Indian dish, there’s no beating this comforting combination.
In Canada, poutine is a staple of the cuisine. It can also be found just south of Canada’s border in many northern US states but no one does it quite like the country in which it originated. Velvety, thick gravy coats squeaky cheese curds that sit atop a pile of hot, crispy fries, making this small plate a winner on every level of comfort food requirements.
In Austria, this fried dish is a classic and one of the most popular foods in the country. Wiener Schnitzel, which is traditionally made with veal that has been pounded out until thin enough to fry, is served with slices of lemon and braised red cabbage. Occasionally, gravy is served over the top but nothing else needs to be added to this perfectly tender, satisfying savory dish.
Pierogies are a type of dumpling found predominantly throughout Poland and Ukraine and while they, themselves, are a huge comfort, the toppings that are added to them also add a level of decadence. Caramelized onions, crispy fried bacon, and sour cream are the perfect trio to elevate any pierogi dish to a crave-worthy level.
In Italy, carbonara is a popular comfort dish and it’s easy to see why. With a creamy sauce that has a base of egg yolks, pepper, olive oil, good parmesan cheese, and bacon, there’s nothing not to love about such a rich pasta dish. Despite its richness, there’s not a single person on earth who would refuse a second bowl of this delicious spaghetti.
Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo ball soup is seen commonly throughout Israel and can be found in many Kosher delis around the US. As a traditional soup made for Jewish holidays, this soup has a long-standing reputation as being one of the best soups in the world. There’s something about it that many believe to be more comforting than regular chicken soup and it’s not uncommon to feel better after eating a bowl of this tasty soup.
Rice and lentils make up the base for khichuri, which is a comforting dish found throughout India. The flavors of this dish are mild but rich, with slow-cooked vegetables often added for a bit more heartiness. Garlic is a prevalent flavor in khichuri and it makes for a savory and satisfying dish that’s super easy to make.
Congee comes from China and can be made either savory or sweet. The sweet version of this porridge usually contains brown sugar while the savory version contains soy sauce for a salty bite and any number of toppings, such as peanuts or an egg, to add texture.
Shakshuka is a dish that’s very well-known throughout the Middle East, most commonly found in Morocco. It has a base of spicy stewed tomatoes that are bold in flavor and cooked in a heavy cast-iron pan, and laid into that are eggs which are then cooked in the sauce. Flavors of chili, cumin, and onion highlight this dish’s flavor profile, and it’s often eaten with bread for dipping.
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