The term "comfort food" is intensely personal and can mean ten different things to ten different people. Simply put, comfort food is anything that brings a feeling of cozy contentmentsomething that soothes and completely satisfies mind, body and spirit. In short, a culinary hug. For many, the term describes a favorite food from childhood, be it meatloaf or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Typically, comfort foods are homemade, hearty and rib-sticking, such as macaroni and cheese, fried chicken or mashed potatoes and gravy. But for some they can just as easily be storebought, such as potato chips or caramel corn. Whatever it is, comfort food should make you shut your eyes, rub your tummy and say ahhhhh.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.