One time during our first year here, on a trip to Shanghai, we were a bit surprised when our Chinese host took us to an American steakhouse to eat. But that sirloin steak tasted so good I even ate the gristle! Later, back at the hotel, when I confessed what I had done, David grinned and replied, "Me, too."
Since then, we’ve had the good fortune of learning where to buy beef in our city. Good beef, even. So yesterday I bought some nice beef, and we had dinner together with some friends — steak, baked potato with all the fixin’s, salad, bread, good wine, brownies and milk. Comfort food! Something very quintessentially American.
Then today, I’m in Hong Kong. More American food! Lunch was salmon on salad at Hard Rock Cafe (fixed very nicely with herbs I might add); dinner was soup and salad at Outback. You don’t realize how nice a creamy soup can be until it’s been more than a year since you had one! More comfort food! Sometimes comfort food can be nachos with sour cream and homemade chili, too.
So, exactly, how would one define, "comfort food"? Food from one’s own culture, something that might be fixed in one’s own home. Yum. As much as I love cai xin, qezi bao and ma po dou fu — and even if I learn how to prepare them properly — they will never be comfort food for me.