The Very Best Foods for Eating Your Feelings

Gastronomic recommendations for the modern condition
by Meghan Poh
FoodnomenonNovember 5, 2019
Eating our feelings is well established form of therapy. And everyone knows the best thing in the world is a nice homecooked meal made with love by some elderly member of your family, but comfort food doesn’t have to be limited to that! Here, we have gathered some foods that in some way or another, temporarily offer the hope that things will be all right in the end… Because in this age, savouring the present is all we can ask for, right?

For not giving a shit about anything anymore ⁠—

House-churned gelato; preferably some kind of floral thing like Earl Grey or possibly very very very dark chocolate, with an optional buttermilk waffle.

– Payday was yesterday? Don’t care!
– Super basic? Don’t care!
– The gym? Don’t care!
– It’s Fridayyyyy!

For feeling like you don’t have anywhere to be but here ⁠—

A breakfast extravaganza

Life has been pretty hectic, and the stakes have been too high for just a bit too long. Finally, there’s a day with no morning call, time to sleep in. Cook yourself some breakfast, add a whole bunch of fancy extras you splurged on, get out your favourite plate. Maybe you’ve needed some grounding for a while now. Going through the tiny things weirdly makes life feel more… like it should be.

For when it’s a bit too late for crying and not super useful at this point either ⁠—

A slice of plain Gardenia bread

It’s 3 a.m. and you’re probably trying to sober up with a boatload of carbs and isotonic drinks before you go home to an annoyed parent or s/o. Or it’s 8:45 a.m. and you’re VERY LATE so you grab a quick breakfast you didn’t even get the chance to toast or even put any butter on. It’s a little bit sad. Still, this is where you are right now, swallowing plain bread at some ungodly hour, and that’s okay.

For fuelling the dangerous fantasy of effing off from whatever you are doing, and abandoning all responsibility and hope of a retirement fund to set up a hole-in-the-wall bakery ⁠—

A coffee and pastry at your personal favourite café that you maybe worked at some point in your life or at least dreamed of owning

You’re stuck in a stasis and you don’t like it, but you also feel like you can’t do anything about it and you don’t like it! Obviously, the only good option seems to be a full-on ABANDONMENT of your entire life situation – that’s okay, right?

For a refresh button on your week ⁠—

A clear soupy, brothy thing

You’ve made bad choices all week. Now that you’re done abusing your poor body with bad food choices, a clear soupy concoction is what you need to feel vaguely like you’re ready to turn a new leaf and get your life back on track.

For feeling that things are as perfect as they can be (within reason) ⁠—

Ice cream bread + (mint) chocolate chip ice cream

It’s so sunny! You’re with the people you love and they’re all in your life now and it’s hot and sweaty and worth bitching about (though you aren’t actually saying it with feeling).

Even if you like/hate mint chocolate chip – it tastes like toothpaste!!! And chocolate chips!!! – you have to get it because they’ll make you anyway. There might be an annoyingly long queue of schoolkids seeking the same respite as you. You’ve found a row of uncomfortably warm steps to park your butts inconveniently on to the chagrin of other people. You don’t know it now, but you’ll probably remember the conversation for a very long time.

For when you worry too much about the end of the world ⁠—

A plate of good ol’ chap fun/nasi padang

– No fancy ingredients which immediately scream guilt.
– Don’t think! Just eat!
– (Just remember not to takeaway.)

For when you can’t take anymore “sad dinners” ⁠—

Any iteration of big fried omelette

You’ve been missing home for a while, you can’t cook to save your life, there’s nothing in the fridge, but you can’t take another Fillet-O-Fish (it’ll be the sixth in the row… or maybe the seventh… who’s keeping track…).

It’s best massive and a bit greasy, could contain some kind of mix-ins, random vegetable pieces, long beans, prawns, chye poh, onions or even nothing at all. Versatile, impossible to screw up, reliable. Not quite a hug for your soul but maybe an encouraging pat on the shoulder like a show of affection from repressed #asianparents.

Have anything to add to this conversation? Let us know your thoughts at [email protected].

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