Comfort food from around the world

Updated: May 6

Image: Harald Groven, Flickr, CC BY 4.0

[Bryony Wharfe | Contributing Writer]

What’s your comfort food? What food do you eat when you’re sad, happy, or even drunk? Does it change depending on your mood, and does it depend on where you’re from? I decided to ask some of my friends from around the world and find out!

Kathie Harb: student at Leiden University, Netherlands. From the United Arab Emirates.

“My favourite comfort foods are dark chocolate and dates. The chocolate coz it tastes amazing, and the dates coz I think they’re a healthy alternative to chocolate; and though they are less tasty in Europe, I grew up in the UAE where they were readily available and super yummy! I eat chocolate to treat myself after I’ve achieved something, like if I finish a part of an essay or I had a stressful day; it’s a nice reward. It can also be motivating, to start your day with some Nutella and sweetness.”

Bonnat Hacienda El Rosario 75_ Dark Chocolate

Lee McCoy, Flickr, CC BY 4.0

Ismail Rifau: recent MBA post-grad at Greenwich Institute in Sri Lanka. From the Maldives.

“My comfort food would be, I guess, the traditional one over here: rice with Rihaakuru [kind of a paste made by over cooking tuna], and the stuff that goes with it. Why I like it? When I am sad, it reminds me of where I come from and the memories that goes with it, giving reasons enough to not be sad anymore. As for happy, this food is so good that happiness comes with it. I love eating it, coz even though its traditional, we don’t get it every day anymore, as the amount of people who makes it are decreasing by day; and it’s not exactly available through the market or restaurants like other stuff. I like it when I’m happy because it spices up the happiness.”

CheryL TeH Ya Zhen: international student who studied at University of Hertfordshire. From Malaysia.

“Malaysia has a lot of food as we have three different main races of food together, with many food from other countries – usually we like to take western food as our comfort food, I guess, like pasta and all. But if it were to be a Malaysian dish, I would say it will be Bubur Cha Cha. I know sounds weird but it’s a type of soup like dessert, served cold or hot. Definitely something to look forward to during cold rainy days when it’s hot, or a nice chilled bowl of this during the hot days.”

Old China Cafe Bubur Cha-cha

Chee.hong, Flickr, CC BY 4.0

Kitti Borbély: international student who studied at University of Hertfordshire and Aalborg University. From Denmark.

“It will sound very general, but chocolate when I am sad, tired, annoyed; basically anytime, because even if I am happy and want to give myself a treat, and I go for chocolate or cakes… If I am drunk usually I do not eat, which is a problem later on. Recently, I have started to eat soup – it just makes me feel more at home, I guess.”

Rebecca Isjwara: student at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKURST). From Indonesia.

“Generally, I would go for whatever is fresh, such as fruit sundaes – well, Indonesian-styled ‘sundaes’ which is more like fruits and shaved ice. Under the influence, my go-to are peanuts and chips. I would also go for sushi if I feel like rewarding myself after a lot of hard work.”

 Harald Groven, Flickr,

Harald Groven, Flickr, CC BY 4.0

Kimberly Chapman-Hunt: graduated from University of the Arts London. From America.

“Well, I usually want a California burrito or carne asada fries when I’m drunk, or a bean and cheese burrito, or tomato soup when I want comfort food. Fish tacos are really popular in California for like, everyday food.”

Natalie Tha: student at Tokyo Institute of Technology. From Thailand.