What Do Your Favorite Comfort Foods Say About You?

   By ChefErin  Nov 06, 2009

I recently read a summary of a report by the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) that discussed trends in generational comfort foods.  The idea that different generations might crave different comfort foods fascinated me, so I decided to create my own informal poll examining both generational and regional influence on comfort foods. 

My survey was simple.  I asked people to identify: their generation, their favorite comfort food, and where they were raised.  In all, I received nearly 100 responses from around the country.   

So, here are the results of my little poll.  When it comes to comfort foods; starches and fats topped the list.  In general we crave pasta, potatoes, and cheese, most of all.  Sweets, including ice cream, cookies, and chocolate, are a close second. 

In terms of generational influence, Baby Boomers seemed to long for foods that remind them of their childhoods; home-cooked comfort.  High among the results were casseroles, stews, and roasted meals. 

Gen Xers hungered for grilled cheese sandwiches, potatoes in all forms - from mashed to chips - and pastas.  They were also more likely to mention Mexican foods like burritos, tacos and nachos than other generations.

Gen Yers craved convenience foods like pizza, cookies, and chips, but continued the international food trend with Asian dishes like sushi and miso soup.

I didn’t find huge generational trends from region to region.  However, there were regional generalities. I found that Easterners liked belly-warming dishes like pastas, stews, and soups.  Midwesterners were fond of sweets and potatoes, particularly mashed potatoes and gravy.  West Coasters had a desire for Mexican and Asian food.  Southerners often mentioned baked goods like cookies or biscuits. 

So what was the most mentioned comfort food of all?  Macaroni and Cheese, of course.  

What are some of your favorite comfort foods?


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vintagelover by vintagelover | Lawrenceville, GA
Jan 28, 2010

I'm a Gen Yer from the South but I seem to be connecting with Gen X because my comfort food of choice is definitely grilled cheese with a cup of tomato soup. Another go to comfort food of mine is chocolate chip pancakes. My mom made them for me when I broke my foot and it made everything feel better. Well, that and the medication for the pain.

HJFinnie by HJFinnie | Ypsilanti, MI
Jan 27, 2010

I eat when I am upset... I will eat anything I can get my hands on. Candy... cookies... pizza. Ummm...

Orchid25 by Orchid25 | RINGGOLD, GA
Jan 19, 2010

My favorite comfort foods include Chinese, fries, and candy! I love candy!!!

ChefErin by ChefErin | SEATTLE, WA
Jan 15, 2010

domer94 - Thanks for your comment. I've lived in the midwest, southwest, and pacific northwest and it's been fun getting to know the food culture in every location. - Erin

callmedede by callmedede | Pikeville, KY
Dec 28, 2009

I love my granmothers Chicken and dumplings, her creamed corn, and mustard greens. She's been gone for almost two years and no matter how I try I can not get my food close to what her's tasted like. I like home cooked food and that's what I crave.

domer94 by domer94 | Columbus, OH
Dec 28, 2009

I found the comments interesting as well as the article. As someone born and raised in the NE and now living in the midwest I have seen the difference in foods that are popular at various times of the year. I have found that the foods I most crave are those I had when I had as a child, especially those that are from my own Polish ethnic group.

blueeyes1 by blueeyes1 | Topeka, KS
Dec 25, 2009

hard one to answer... there are so many! I would have to list potatoes as my first choice, followed with pot roast or rotisserre chicken!

pheromania by pheromania | MAMOU, LA
Dec 23, 2009

Gumbo ! I'm from Louisiana.

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Dec 10, 2009

I'm a midwesterner so love comfort foods....really need those casseroles, stews and potatoes in the winter! And I can't live a day hardly without a sqaure of dark chocolate : )

Steelersfan by Steelersfan | Forest, VA
Dec 05, 2009

If I want something sweet then it is either chocolate or ice cream. When it comes to comfort food I love pasta.

bufflady by bufflady | BUFFALO, NY
Dec 05, 2009

my go to comfort foods are mac and cheese , pizza and anything that is indian and vegetarian , particularly kofta curry - YUM

countrycouponclipper by countrycouponclipper | Supply, NC
Dec 04, 2009

My two favs are Ice cream and pasta (not together) or anything my mom used to make when I'm sad and missing her I make somthing she used to make it always makes me feel better.

Matta0914 by Matta0914 | Seminole, FL
Dec 04, 2009

I love CHOCOLATE.haha It always makes me feel better. Whoever invented it you are the best.

wrobkymb by wrobkymb | North Liberty, IA
Dec 03, 2009

Ice cream with stuff in it--cookie dough, candy, etc....I love the chunkiness with the creaminess!

lovewhitetigers3 by lovewhitetigers3 | Manlius, NY
Nov 29, 2009

I am told that I eat too many potatoes..... I could eat them every day :)