Does the mere memory of the lasagna your great-aunt served almost 20 years ago cause feelings of love and affection as thoughts of family connectedness come rushing back to you? Or maybe a smell mildly resembling that of your grandfather’s Italian beef brings soul-soothing thoughts of your childhood home to mind? If so, you’re not alone: everyone has their own unique associations with comfort food. Let’s take a closer look at this powerful phenomenon, along with some gourmet gifts offering more than a side of nostalgia.
The History of Comfort Food
Merriam-Webster defines comfort food as “food that is satisfying because it is prepared in a simple or traditional way and reminds you of home, family, or friends.” The Oxford Dictionaries, meanwhile, describes it as “food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.” While these definitions may be dense in verbiage, they boil down to one basic truth: food that makes you feel good.
Understanding why certain foods have the power to transcend merely tasting good to become something that actually feels good, however, is a more complicated undertaking. While some people link the concepts of comfort and caloric, psychologists point out that the true essence of comfort food lies in something more: a feeling of belonging.
This is backed by research from the University at Buffalo and published in Psychological Science concluding that the more people felt emotionally connected to their food — in this case, the mother of all comfort foods, chicken soup — the more fulfilling they actually found the food to be. The researchers’ conclusion: “Chicken soup really is good for the soul.”
Mail Order Comfort Foods
While your great-aunt’s lasagna and your grandfather’s Italian beef may only live on in your memories, today’s mail order foods offer the chance to recapture those long-lost feelings, if not the foods themselves.
And where else to start but with chicken soup? Whether you’re coming out of the cold on a snowy night, battling off a cold, or simply craving something pure and delicious, time-honored specialities from institutions like Ben’s Best Kosher Deli, Grandma’s Chicken Soup, and Kenny & Ziggy’s Delicatessen offer different yet equally delicious spins on a true classic.
Give the Gift of Comfort
With the holidays approaching, you may find yourself wondering what to give the loved ones in your life. Even if you’re shopping for the impossible-to-shop-for “person who has everything,” gourmet gifts from FoodyDirect offer something no one can ever have too much of: comfort. This holiday season, shop FoodyDirect for mail order feel-good meals sure to elicit everything from positive memories to profound feelings of satiation — both in the stomach and in the soul.