Comfort food does not seem like something that would classify as new. However, every culture has a unique version of comfort food so a specific bowl of comfort food can be classified as new. The universal qualities of comfort food allow it to be simultaneously new and satisfying. This allows cultural comfort food to be a low risk/high reward introduction to ethnic food.
My recent exploration of the comfort food of other cultures began when I spent a long Saturday afternoon making tamales. After hours of work I unwrapped the corn husk and dug into the soft pillow-like masa dough. The first few bites were foreign, reminding me of mushy baby-food but soon the tamale began to comfort. I began to imagine my Mexican Grandmother making me tamales and the warm combination of corn and beans surrounded by smooth, slightly sweet masa dough warmed my soul as comfort ought to do.
(Dried Corn Husks)
After the successful exploration of tamales, I headed out to Noodleholic (2210 Dundas Street West) because it's tag line is “Asian Comfort Food”. The vegetarian ramen soup was pleasant, noodle-heavy, and a little bit oily. The food was not complex or fancifully plated but it was comforting. The restaurant was furnished with plastic chairs and harshly painted walls but the server was attentive and very polite. Overall Noodleholic is worth a visit because the food is affordable with large servings and lives up to their tag line.
The universal quality of comfort food is that you have to imagine that your grandmother made the dish for you. I have met my Mexican and Asian grandmothers as a result of trying something new.
Submitted to Gastropost