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?
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.
I eat when I am upset... I will eat anything I can get my hands on. Candy... cookies... pizza. Ummm...
My favorite comfort foods include Chinese, fries, and candy! I love candy!!!
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
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.
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.
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!
Gumbo ! I'm from Louisiana.
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 : )
If I want something sweet then it is either chocolate or ice cream. When it comes to comfort food I love pasta.
my go to comfort foods are mac and cheese , pizza and anything that is indian and vegetarian , particularly kofta curry - YUM
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.
I love CHOCOLATE.haha It always makes me feel better. Whoever invented it you are the best.
Ice cream with stuff in it--cookie dough, candy, etc....I love the chunkiness with the creaminess!
I am told that I eat too many potatoes..... I could eat them every day :)