by Lizette Barretto-Gueco, FoodfindsAsia.com |
What is it in comfort food that gives us that sense of wellness and security? Does it actually make you feel better? It is always somewhat different for people that I have asked. Depending on the culture, gender, age and background, there is sometimes a huge difference in the type of food that gives one a sense of well being. For example, studies show that men usually choose fried greasy chicken, a chunky piece of steak or pizza to feel better while women choose the sweet stuff like chocolates, ice cream and cakes to comfort them. But one thing that ties them all together is that it is linked to a feel good memory of being nurtured, and feeling safe. It brings the individual back to a time when all was well and worry free.
Usually, it makes one think of home.
Every now and then, mostly on a difficult day, I crave for a particular kind of food that brings me back to my childhood days. Precious memories of breakfasts with my Lola in her Baguio home during the summer months or cold December mornings with a mug of hot chocolate, make me yearn for simpler, carefree days. Happiness to me was peanut butter and strawberry jam on sliced white bread, thick and fluffy pancakes drenched in butter and syrup, hot pan de sal with condensed milk or my favorite, very Pinoy, champorado (chocolate rice porridge) with tuyo (dried salty fish). I’ve always figured that somehow the combination of sugar and carbs in the nostalgia food of choice have a calming effect on one’s distraught nerves and anxious mind. Research has shown that sugar and starch actually increase seratonin levels in our body. Seratonin is a neurotransmitter known to promote a sense of well being. Apparently, this is what Prozac runs on. Salty food, like the Tuyo, increases oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle chemical.” This hormone reaches its spiked peak when there are lots of hugs and kisses going on and during orgasm. So as a combination, the champorado and tuyo is the perfect comfort food; breakfast food of champions, at least for me.
Comfort food is also a guilty pleasure. For some, there is that feeling that indulging in something that makes you feel so good is oh so bad. You’ve heard of a moment on the lips, forever in the hips? Well, that’s what I think about as I scoop that yummy, chocolatey, creamy, and salty spoonful into my mouth. As it touches my tongue, that thought instantly vanishes. That whole bowl of champorado is now on my hips…..oooh la la
Sharing Yaya Pia’s recipe of “Good Morning Champorado…”
Good Morning Champorado
- 1 cup malagkit rice
- 4 cups water
- 7 small tsokolate tablea balls
- Brown Sugar
- Alaska Evaporada (milk)
Cook malagkit rice with more water than ordinary rice in a pot. Chop up tsokolate and add into the rice while still cooking. Occasionally stir until chocolate melts and water evaporates. Add brown sugar to taste. Serve with evaporated milk. Cook tuyo and add pieces into the champorado while hot. Make sure a piece of the tuyo is in every spoonful. Enjoy…
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About the Author
Lizette Barretto Gueco is a regular columnist at FoodFindsAsia.com. She writes about her life’s passions which are family, home, food, relationships and how they fit in perfectly in her scheme of things and in the circle of life.
Lizette is now a busy home based mom after working in marketing and the travel industry for some time. She also ventured into jewelry design while she was a partner at a prestigious jewelry store at Greenbelt 5. Aside from juggling family schedules and managing the home, she also finds time to bake and sell her sweet offerings from her home as well as indulge in her other hobbies like jewelry making and arts and crafts. She is an amateur filmmaker, traveler, foodie, dreamer and lover of life.
Lizette is a graduate of AB Communication arts from the Ateneo de Manila University. You can email her at email@example.com