Cooking in the Comfort Zone
What’s your idea of comfort food? I’d have thought there'd be a wide range, enveloping our variety of childhoods, but it seems not. Recently, psychologists at the University of Sussex conducted experiments to create what they called a “Comfort Index,” wiring up volunteers with electrodes and then feeding them various foods while scanning their responses. The top contenders for comfort were beans on toast, sausages and mashed potatoes, tomato soup, chicken and mushroom pie, and macaroni and cheese. How about you? I loved tomato soup as a kid, but clam chowder was my all-time favorite. Chicken pie, yes, but mushrooms are out for my boy (every time he asks, “What’s this?” it’s a prelude to rejection of whatever “this” is, and they’re near the head of his list). Beans on toast? Not even in my top ten. Macaroni and cheese, of course, is a hardy perennial. It’s been in the news lately, too. More to come next week. . .