After publishing the teacher version of this article back in May, we received quite a few requests to keep this series going. Because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love some good old fashioned comfort food?
In celebration (?) of the new school year, we interviewed four students to discover the food that truly make them happy.
Mehdi M, Grade 12
Originally from Tunisia, Mehdi identifies as “a complete foodie.”
Q: What’s your favorite cuisine?
A: “I enjoy all foods, but my favorite is Lebanese food. I love hummus, I love falafel, I love kebab. The taste and texture are amazing. For example, the other day, I tried this kebab with yogurt, but with mint and other leaves inside, which make it so much better. The meat melts in your mouth and it’s so good.”
Q: Do you have a comfort food?
A: “I love many things, but I really love cake. There is an amazing Tunisian cake that is a family recipe and you can’t find it anywhere except in my family. It’s probably the best cake ever and it’s so good. Whenever my mom or my aunt makes it, I feast on it.
Q: Do you have any memories associated with this cake?
A: “It is very special to me because the first time I ever ate it was when my grandma made it and I have a very personal connection with her. She is one of the people that means the most to me and I miss her a lot. She made that cake so many times for me and this cake is a part of my family and a part of my culture.”
Toyosi A, Grade 12
Q: What’s your comfort food?
A: “Usually, rice-related foods or chocolate. If I want to eat something chill, I would eat rice with ramen, even if it’s instant ramen.”
Q: Why this comfort food?
A: “My mom would make these kinds of things for me after school and I would eat them with my sisters. Also, when I’m busy with exams and I’m just a complete wreck, I would just whip it up and eat it!”
Malina C, Grade 12
Malina has lived in Romania her entire life and was more than happy to share some local specialties.
Q: What is your comfort food?
A: “I have two comfort foods. If I think more about Romanian food, then it’s brânzoaice. It’s a type of fried pastry; it’s just dough filled with an egg and cheese mixture and then we deep fry them. It’s not that greasy and they go great with a tall glass of lapte batut (fermented milk)!”
“A more complicated comfort food is schnitzel with scalloped potatoes. We love breaded turkey breast with scalloped potatoes with cream and garlic and gruyere cheese melted on top. It’s a very special dish.”
Q: Do you have any fond memories associated with either of these foods?
A: “I wouldn’t say memories but rather feelings. Our family loves to cook but these two dishes are something that we all pitch in. Somebody prepares the yeast, someone buys the milk, someone cuts the potatoes, and it’s just a very wholesome family experience!”
Q: Do you eat these often?
A: “I don’t eat them often because I don’t want my arteries to clog up! But we have them about once a month.”
Nico O, Grade 10
Our only sophomore (thanks to all the seniors), Nicolas, is better known as Nico, and is from Chile.
Q: What’s your comfort food?
A: “I really like something called humitas. It’s a South American dish eaten for lunch. It’s really good when you add a bit of sugar on it and it really helps to relieve stress.”
Q: Do you have any special memories associated with humitas?
A: “There are so many, but I know that when I come back to Chile, it’s basically where my entire family is. So every time I eat it, it reminds me of them.”
Whether you’re a student who’s stressed about assignments or a teacher who’s stressed about grading our assignments, one thing’s for sure: Food goes a long way to comfort us.
Tell us: Should we continue this series? Tell us in the comments below. We personally find it comforting to know that we’re not the only ones eating our feelings!