Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This was no comfort food

I was having a Big Mac, large fries, and a large Coke. Rora got McEggs and a milk shake. We sat outside and ate quickly, greedily. This was no comfort food; it was food that implied that there had never been and would never be any need for comfort.

— from The Lazarus Project, by Aleksandar Hemon.

I've been turning to a great deal of comfort food these last weeks, a need brought on by work stress and migraine. A lot of my comfort food consists of (what some would consider to be weird) Polish things, like beet soup (even if it is instant) and cottage cheese mixed with radishes. But I derive genuine comfort from these and other foods, by their association with comforting times, often childhood and being cared for.

But I suppose there are other foods (potato chips come to my mind) that are perhaps similar to the kind of food Hemon alludes to in the above passage. Something that implies abundance and normalcy, possibly waste and the unnecessary; the everyday, like everybody. Which is still a kind of comfort I suppose. Hemon has made me realize that there are different qualities of comfort imbuing my foods.

Are your comfort foods truly comforting, or are they like Hemon's Mc-non-comfort?

1 comment:

claire said...

My comfort foods are true comfort, like yours, from childhood. I guess fast food is considered comfort because for most North Americans it's a part of their childhood? And because it's comforting not to have to cook your own food from scratch? My comfort foods are complete meals, some Filipino but mostly Chinese dishes, that remind me of my grandmother, mostly, because she was the main person who fed us growing up. And then Mexican food which my mother fed us a lot because she's crazy about them.