Travel, we all love the thrill of it, even the very thought of travel brings to mind something of a sense of anticipation, mystery, excitement and enlightenment. You know what else comes to mind? Yep. You called it: food! Glorious, exotic food. Is that because when we think of travel we instantly ask ourselves; what do they eat? Or is it something more, something deeper?
I certainly like to think so.
When we think of travel whether to a far off country, remote location or just to a region of our own country that we haven’t gotten to know first hand yet, we find ourselves eagerly anticipating the foods we’ll encounter (or quite frankly, be subjected to). There is something of a risk we take when trying new foods, a way to stretch ourselves and grow beyond our expectations and familiar norms. We think of getting to know people more intimately through sampling their fare and there is no other food that will give you a glimpse into the heart of a group of people quite like their comfort foods.
Sorry, but a night out that includes dinner in a Parisian restaurant featuring a Michelin star winning chef ain’t exactly sampling the local fare and getting to know what foods make the local heart sing or take the edge off of a rough day. It’s in comfort foods that we get a real look into the cultural soul of a people. Comfort foods vary from place to place and they speak to something real, something genuine about the people who love them.
Comfort foods are so much more than simple tasty dishes you can power down during your next Netflix marathon. They are expressions of how people nurture the deepest parts of the soul, make connections and reaffirm fondness and caring for loved ones.
Comfort foods connect us with a big warm hug from an unpretentious kitchen and they serve to remind us that no matter how sophisticated or complicated our lives become we’ll never outgrow the simplest and quite honestly most assuring of life’s modest pleasures.