A taste of comfort

Amy Cooknick

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Americans are looking forward to sitting down to all their favorite comfort foods. However, the turkey and pumpkin pie Americans enjoy isn’t universal. Check out some of these comfort foods from around the world.

Aselin Chen

Taichung, Taiwan

“We eat a lot of hot pot in Taiwan. It’s a soup. You could just put whatever you want in it, like vegetables and meat. We eat soup very often. We have two kinds of soup. One is the spicy one, and one is the sour one; that’s very classic hot pot. You use the chopsticks to pick up the meat and dip it in the hot pot. The meat is so thin that as soon as it touches the hot soup, it will be done and you can pull it out and eat it and drink the soup. We will also eat mochi. It’s a kind of dessert. It’s a little ball made from rice, sometimes with fruit inside. Sometimes, we cover it in peanut powder.”

Sarah Bradley

Cambridge, New Zealand

“In New Zealand our comfort food is called a meat pie. There’s not really anything like it in America because, of course, here when you buy pies they’re all sweet. So it’s always something I look forward to when I go home. You can make them homemade or buy them at like a convenience store or gas station. At home we have cafes, and that’s like the number one selling product. Usually, people pick them up for a snack or a quick meal because they’re small and easy to take with you and eat. They have a real flaky crust and people put different kinds of meat and vegetables like mushrooms or onions in them.”

Kei Oshimo

Hiroshima, Japan

“When I have a headache, I always eat green tea ice cream. It heals me. When I am sick, I always eat noodles – Japanese noodles – made by my mother. We have no specific food for holidays, but we always eat cake on birthdays. We always eat rice. Ice cream is bought in the store, and white rice is made by my mother.”

Mickael Adiba

Toulouse, France

“I love bread. I used to eat bread a lot, but here it’s a little bit harder because I cannot find real French bread. Even if I try to buy it in Walmart, for example, it’s totally different. And what else? Candies are different. I prefer French candies and chocolate too. I eat a lot of chocolate.”

Keiko Momma

Saitama, Japan

“My grandmother says when we catch a cold, ‘Eat umeboshi.’ It’s a really sour Japanese fruit, little like a ball. It’s a very healthy food. I don’t know why. Only my grandmother says so. It’s not what doctors say, it’s what my grandmother says. It’s very sour, like lemon. Many Americans or other people don’t like this, but Japanese got used to eating this, so we like umeboshi. Also, when we catch cold, my grandmother said put a Welsh onion around your neck. It’s long and skinny and it makes heat. I haven’t done this, so I don’t know if it’s correct or not, but I think it’s interesting.”

Tsering Drolma

Lhasa, Tibet

“If someone is in the hospital, then we will make yak meat and cut it very small and thin. And tomatoes together (with the yak meat) and just make a little soup or something. When we start to not feel very good, we will make a special flour with a plant that grows in Tibet we call tsamba. We make butter tea and put the tsamba in there. Normally we just eat it, but when the stomach is not good, we drink it steamed.”

You can contact Amy Cooknick at [email protected].