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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Dare2BDifferent by Dare2BDifferent | Port Tobacco, MD
Nov 15, 2009

I'm a Mid Atlantic/Southerner Gen Xer and my favorite comfort food in the whole world is Brunswick stew. Next to that is mustard greens. Clam chowder, also. Love stews and hearty soups, and home cooked veggies, especially various greens.

Lenniemae by Lenniemae | Debary, FL
Nov 15, 2009

my comfort food is fried potatoes,pinto beans and cornbread. Love Them. reminds me of when i still lived at home. My parents had 13 kids. That was all that they could afford to feed us.

Riverwild by Riverwild | Liberty, ME
Nov 14, 2009

Truly a New Englander here! Homemade soups and stews, meatloaf, potatoes, seafood,and grilled cheese and onion with tomato soup, and chow mein sandwiches when I visit my home town since they have the best chow mein sandwiches ever!

s029898 by s029898 | Ravenna, MI
Nov 13, 2009

I like spicey and I also enjoy mac and cheese

SueGlow by SueGlow | HUNTINGTN BCH, CA
Nov 13, 2009

Mexican food! Anything spicey and cheesey!

sweetjayne by sweetjayne | Milford, PA
Nov 13, 2009

Pasta,pasta and more pasta . Nothing says comfort to me more than a big bowl of pasta.

JMaynard85 by JMaynard85 | Wilmington, MA
Nov 13, 2009

French onion soup!! Its my specialty :)

dottiebe by dottiebe | Montgomery, AL
Nov 12, 2009

That is an interesting poll. I am a southern girl and I definitely agree with baked goods being a comfort food as well as soul food and anything fried.

gardengirl10 by gardengirl10 | VIRGINIA BCH, VA
Nov 12, 2009

I am a Baby boomer from the Southeast and my comfort food is potatoes - white or sweet , mashed or bake. Not a french fry person

jlindseyc by jlindseyc | LEXINGTON, KY
Nov 12, 2009

potatoes....anyway, anytime!! cheese is always a plus too!

jenanne by jenanne | Sterrett, AL
Nov 11, 2009

I tried to pin down a specific comfort food but it is honestly anything that has cheese on it....pizza, Mexican, Italian, etc. So I guess cheese is my comfort food!

gatorsmom by gatorsmom | Ashtabula, OH
Nov 11, 2009

mine is grilled cheese with tomato soup. or grandmas potato dumplings.

TreasureCoupons by TreasureCoupons | Groton, CT
Nov 10, 2009

My favorite comfort foods are meatloaf, pasta and chips....what does that say about me?? lol

coliebear by coliebear | Crofton, MD
Nov 10, 2009

I guess I am more in tune with GenXers because I love all things that are starchy.

MarieVonLove by MarieVonLove | BROOKLYN, NY
Nov 10, 2009

Baklava,fruit punch,kiwi,cream cheese,and calamari!!!