Posted by R. Berg on December 19, 2003
In Reply to: "Comfort Food" posted by Brian from Shawnee on December 19, 2003
: : : I just heard a co-worker say, "I sure could go for some 'comfort food'."
: : : What is comfort food? Where'd this term originate? And is it high in calories?
: : From Merriam-Webster:
: : Main Entry: comfort food
: : Function: noun
: : Date: 1977
: : : food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal
: : My two cents' worth: I've never thought of it as having "sentimental or nostalgic appeal". It is just food that is fatty and high in calories that people eat when they are depressed, upset or stressed. When I think of comfort food, I think of macaroni and cheese, brownies, cheesecake, etc. Of course, after you've eaten all of that, you are more depressed than before, so the "comfort" provided is only fleeting.
: I have only been exposed heard the term "comfort food" from my wife, who is a Social Worker and a woman and therefore is an expert on these things. She refers to homemade tomato-beef soup as comfort food because it's one of her favorite dishes her Mom used to make. My wife's Mom passed away over 25 years ago, when my wife was a teenager.
: Selling fatty food as "comfort food" may be a marketing tactic, but traditionally it's exactly what the M-W definition says it is.
I never heard "comfort food" until a few years ago. Now it's standard in magazine writing, for example.
Comfort food is what you eat because you're too old to suck your thumb.