When you hear the words “comfort food,” what do you think about? Maybe you’re thinking of something sweet or savory? Hot or cold? 

Comfort food gives more to us than just something tasty to eat. It can help us recall a certain emotion, create a positive feeling, and bring back old memories. It provides that mental comfort people need every once in a while. 

Photo courtesy James Gordon

When James thinks about comfort food, a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich is what comes to mind. During high school, James would usually go out to a local cafe for lunch and order one of these sandwiches. Eating his comfort food would remind him of the great times he had at the lunch table, especially the funny conversations and laughter he would share with friends. James says, “Although it was only for a half hour, lunch period was always a welcome respite and these sandwiches helped fuel the rest of my day.”

Photo courtesy Nicholas DeTulleo

Nick’s idea of comfort food is his mom’s homemade stuffed shells. Growing up, Nick’s mom would make her handmade stuffed shells all the time, especially when the weather got cold. Whenever they were made, it would give him a feeling of  joy, and said “it felt like a pat on the back.” He would be reminded of his mom in the kitchen making something he loved. His mom’s cooking will always be his idea of comforting food because it would remind him of simpler times, and that it always gave him that pick me up he needed after a long day.

Photo courtesy Grace Lee

The best type of chocolate chip cookies are warm, soft on the inside, and have lots gooey chocolate chips. Chocolate chip cookies will always be my comfort food because of how much my mom and I made them when I was little. I would help my mom make these cookies every birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and after soccer games. Eating them would remind me of having them packed for beach trips, plane rides, and my school lunches with small hand written notes. My mom’s cookies would always improve my mood, especially whenever I had a bad day at school or was just stressed. Chocolate chip cookies definitely give me a sense of comfort, and remind me of all the good times I had because of them.

Comfort food may not always benefit us physically, but eating food that makes us feel good and makes us happy is always helpful mentally.