There are days when we feel the need to eat our feelings away. Whether it’s because of stress from school work or you’re just missing home, sometimes we need a quick fix. The solution? Comfort food.

We reached out to some of the teachers at AISB to find out what their comfort foods are and the stories behind them.

Christopher Powers, 8th Grade English Teacher

Christopher Powers is from the province of New Brunswick in Canada. This is his third year at AISB and ninth year abroad.

Q: What is your comfort food?

A: Kraft Mac & Cheese is a once-a-month treat that I like to give myself. It’s amazing, it tastes great, and I really feel connected to my culture when I eat this food…The Kraft dinner meal is really one that sparks joy deep in my soul.

Image Source: www.flickr.com

“Kraft dinner” is a Canadian term used to describe a meal that consists of a bowl of Kraft Mac & Cheese.

Q: What memories are associated with this food?

A: As a young man, this was once-a-day food. From the time I was five, I have vivid memories of sitting in front of the TV, watching the Ninja Turtles cartoon with a bowl of, what in Canada what we call a “Kraft dinner” […] with a little dollop of ketchup in the corner.

Q: When do you eat this?

A: I will eat this roughly once a month throughout the entire school day and usually on a day where I feel like I’m missing Canada.

You can buy Kraft Mac & Cheese at the American Embassy Commissary, but only if your parent works at the American Embassy. So find a friend whose parent does!

Laura Coraci, Romanian Teacher

Laura Coraci is from Bucharest, Romania, and has been teaching at AISB for three years.

Q: What is your comfort food?

A: Sarmale.

Image Source: www.theculturetrip.com

Sarmale is a traditional Romanian dish: cabbage rolls stuffed with pork, rice, and small bits of bacon.

Q: What memories are associated with this food?

A: When I was a child, my mom used to prepare this dish for special occasions when the entire family was together and we were celebrating either Christmas or Easter or a birthday. It is not a dish you cook on an everyday basis.

Q: Does sarmale bring happy memories to your mind?

A: I think that it’s not necessarily the food, but the atmosphere of that specific dinner or lunch, because it brings me memories of family lunches during Sundays and that’s the moment when the family is together. When my Dad was still with us, all of us were together.

Coraci recommends going to Caru’ cu bere or Hanu lui Manuc to find good sarmale.

Jennifer Stevens, Journalism Teacher

Jennifer Stevens is from Tampa, Florida in the United States. She has taught in South Korea, Colombia, and Shanghai for a total of eight years. This is her second year at AISB.

Q: What is your comfort food?

A: As an American, I know I’m supposed to say something like apple pie or turkey, which of course is comforting. But my go-to food, if I’m not feeling well, is a bowl of Phở.

Above: Stevens and a Vietnamese family during her stay in Vietnam

Phở is a Vietnamese soup consisting of a beef broth, noodles made of rice, meat (most often slices of beef), and fresh herbs.

Q: Why is it your comfort food?

A: I’ve always loved Asian food in general, but 10 years ago when I traveled to Vietnam, I fell in love with their breakfast culture…I’d always been an eggs-and-toast girl, but then I had a steaming hot bowl of beef soup with all of those fresh herbs on the street corner, there was something so special about the way they do breakfast and the way that they incorporate their community into this special breakfast food and I just dug it.

You can find a dish similar to Phở at Tuk Tuk Noodle Bar in Bucharest.

Carolina Escobar, English Language Acquisition Teacher

Carolina Escobar is from Colombia, and taught in Cambodia, Angola, and the Bahamas before coming to Romania. This is her first year at AISB.

Q: What is your comfort food?

A: I always cook something called arepas. There’s this type of bread, made out of corn flour, and you mix it with cheese and it’s just really nice to have whenever. Another one is this traditional Colombian soup and it’s called ajiaco. It’s a soup made of different kinds of potatoes and you need to have a specific spice called guacas and that’s what gives it the flavor. Then you put chicken, corn, and avocado and it’s really good.

Image Source: www.vanilleverte.com

Q: Do you have any special memories associated with these foods?

A: Especially arepas; I grew up with them in my house. Four to five days a week, we would have it for breakfast or as an afternoon snack because you can have it with juice or hot chocolate. It always takes me back to my grandma because whenever we went to her house, she would make the most delicious arepas I had in my entire life.

And the soup (ajiaco) is because it’s one of the most delicious dishes that my mom makes. She taught me how to cook it and now that I am a mom, I really want my boy to know the Colombian food and he loves it!

Image Source: www.en.wikipedia.org

Check out these links to find recipes for arepas and ajiaco!

Thomas O’Grady, Music Teacher

Thomas O’Grady is from the United Kingdom. He worked in Hong Kong for five years before coming to AISB. This is his first year at the school.

Q: What is your comfort food?

A: Because I’m back in Europe and I can get European food more easily, I think Asian food is a comfort food right now because it’s so good and it does remind me of the last place I lived in, Hong Kong. But I love Sichuanese food.

Image Source: www.flickr.com
Sichuan boiled beef with chili sauce.

Q: Why this cuisine? What memories does it bring back?

A: I think traveling is great because of all the different foods you can taste and try. I’ve spent much of my life in Asia and I really enjoy the food there, so it brings back memories of living in different places.

Q: Regarding foods relating to the UK, do you have any comfort dishes?

A: I think Europe has a bit of a negative perspective on British food, but what I think is great about London is that it’s one of the most international places in the world. You can get any type of food there. But there is something called a scotch egg. It’s a soft-boiled egg surrounded by sausage meat that’s deep-fried.

Image Source: www.commons.wikimedia.org

To find good Sichuan food, go to Beijing Garden. And for a scotch egg recipe, check out this link!


Whether it’s something quick to make like Kraft Mac & Cheese or an elaborate dish like Phở, we all have our own foods that can cheer us up with a single bite.

So, tell us, what’s your favorite comfort food?

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