Ooey, gooey grilled cheese. A hot bowl of chicken noodle soup. A taste of these, and you can forget all your worries. But what exactly is comfort food? And what makes it so comforting?
Last week, The Atlantic took an extensive look at the concept, framing the discussion around a recent study published in the journal Appetite that discovered that some people find comfort foods more comforting than others, all depending on how strongly they build relationships with other people.
“When we think about something like comfort food, we tend to think about it as providing calories or warmth or a sense of well-being,” said Shira Gabriel, an associate professor of psychology at the University of New York, Buffalo, and one of the authors of the study. What we don’t think about is that comfort food also provides us with something social.