As a Comfort Food Restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Examiner, I learned very quickly that comfort is very individual. My approach to understanding what is comfort food is to learn from people of various cultures what the food norms were for them while growing up. Thus these foods which remind one of home and times with relatives become a source of comfort. MCCN puts the spotlight on Italian Comfort Food- Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor
ITALIAN COMFORT FOOD
…Just as with many other cultures in the world, Italians do have certain foods they tend to gravitate toward when they need a little extra comfort. Italian comfort food can mean different things to different people in different regions, however there are some popular choices shared by all.
Italian comfort food does not only nourish the body, it nourishes the soul. This type of food has the ability to soothe the body during an illness, calm the nerves on a rough day, and bring back cherished memories of another time and place.
Some of the most popular Italian comfort foods are one-pot dishes. Creamy bowls of mushroom risotto, warm plates of polenta, hearty crocks of minestrone, and deep plates of satisfying pasta make every day just a little bit better.
Rustic dishes of slow cooked meats like osso bucco, and chicken cacciatore warm the deepest parts of the soul. Calzones, pizza, and pasta favorites take us to a comforting place. Ravioli, manicotti, cannelloni, lasagna, and gnocchi transport the mind to a soothing place.
Of course we cannot forget all the sweet Italian comfort foods. A nice assortment of crispy amaretti cookies, colorful pressed cookies, fruit filled cookies, or crunchy biscotti with a steaming mug of Italian hot cocoa, or cappuccino can make just about anything seem better. Indulge the senses even more with a large serving of delectable tiramisu. Sometimes, nothing is more comforting than a nice bowl of gelati. Curling up with a good book, a soft blanket, and your favorite flavor of this frozen treat is sure to ease away the stress.
Whether it’s sweet or salty, hot or cold, there are hundreds of delicious Italian comfort foods to choose from. So dish up your favorite, sit back, relax, and enjoy.