10 Comfort foods that we have to have in our cabinets

CHICAGO - JANUARY 19: Kraft brand Macaroni & Cheese and Cadbury chocolate are displayed January 19, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The British chocolate giant Cadbury has agreed to accept a $19.4 billion takeover bid by Kraft Foods. (Photo illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - JANUARY 19: Kraft brand Macaroni & Cheese and Cadbury chocolate are displayed January 19, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The British chocolate giant Cadbury has agreed to accept a $19.4 billion takeover bid by Kraft Foods. (Photo illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /

Cabinet comfort food isn’t your average comfort foods, and what I mean by ‘your average comfort food’ is, the comfort food that takes a few hours to put together.

Cabinet comfort food is usually our go to meal ideas for a variety of reasons, but for some reason they make us feel warm all over, cozy even. Essentially, they make us feel comfortable, hence their name.

Common comfort foods in the realm of ones that take hours of prep time are for me: Chicken Parmesan, Cordon Bleu, Shepherd’s Pie, my wife’s Chow Mein and my Ma’s Cabbage Lasagna…just to name a few. But who said that comfort food can’t come in a box, or a can?

In this piece, we’ll take a look at 10 comfort foods we’ve just gotta have on hand at all times, and we’ll look into why we crave them

In a study conducted at Kitchen Cabinet Kings, I read why we crave comfort foods, the specific reasons why we go to the same foods over and over, and the reasons are actually vey interesting.

According to the study, we often go to our comfort foods when we’re stressed. That’s the number one reason. The number two reason is because of fatigue, and the third is because of happiness, which would seem odd, but hey, people are different. Cats don’t often have the same color fur, right?

Another interesting note on why people go to comfort foods from the study is: when they’ve accomplished something. I found that one interesting, as I always get a craving for a nice big cheeseburger when I finish an article (especially when I’m writing about them—cheeseburgers).

And did you know that studies show that women and men crave comfort foods for totally opposite reasons? Men apparently crave them when they’re happy and women when they’re stressed. For other cool facts about comfort food, check out the article here: kitchencabinetkings.com.

10. Chips

These are certainly dangerous. There are many out there that can put a bag of these away in one sitting, depending on the flavor. I’d say regular is the one flavor that can satisfy most cravings when it comes to chips, with good old BBQ a very close second, especially sweet BBQ, if you ask me.

9. Licorice

This is one treat for those sweets lovers out there, although licorice isn’t all that sweet. Let’s be honest…there are sweeter brands of candy out there, as we’ll see in the next entry. So essentially, as Rizzo said in Grease: “There are worse things I could do…”

For me, black licorice takes the cake, but I might only have a few friends in that department as red licorice whips definitely are favored by most. According to an episode of Friends, even the late great Charlton Heston.

8. Hard Candy

I can remember my grandmother’s house on winter days. There wasn’t much to do there when my sister and I were children, but if a good movie was on TV, you were good to go as the tomato sauce bubbled on the stove. I didn’t see my grandparents all that much, and when she passed in 2015, it was the bowl of hard candy she kept on her coffee table I thought about in the days that followed her wake.

The bowl was always full of mint, fruity, alcoholic, and taffy brands, and every time I went over, it was always full. I’d say that hard candy brings me back to those long winter evenings by the TV at Grandma’s house for sure.

7. Twinkies

To stay on the sweet sort of comfort food for just a second longer, I had to add these. These take me back to yet another memory from childhood: riding my bike with my friends all day long in the summer.

We didn’t even go home for lunch most days; we just went over to the corner store for Gatorade and Twinkies. The energy of youth and the ability for the young bodies we had to forgive our poor diets still amazes me to this day.

6. Taralli (Italian Bread sticks)

Okay…after this entry, you may thank me, but you may be a tad upset with me, because I will have introduced you to something you won’t be able to stop eating…one of those perfect bites I’m always going on about.

We all know Italian bread sticks and if you don’t, for shame! But if you are in the know, I pose the question: have you ever dipped them in laughing cow cheese?

Thank you, your welcome, next entry.

5. Tortilla Chips and Salsa

Perhaps this one goes without saying. Tex-Mex is most definitely comfort food, and when you can’t go to Taco Bell or your favorite authentic Mexican place, this is the next best thing.

4. Canned Beef Stew by Dinty Moore

Any college kid knows the beauty of this item; especially those that studied in places where there was a lot of cold weather and snow storms brewing out your window most nights as you did research for your term papers.

Well, there was nothing like having a nice warm meal in the form of this stew right in the comfort of your dorm, heated in the microwave no less, laid atop a bed of instant mash.

3. Simple Chocolate w/ Almond Bar

Enter your brand here…. Myself, I love the Wal-Mart brand. Simple, cheap and oh-so-perfect. There’s nothing like a simple piece of chocolate with almonds thrown into the mix.

2. Campbell’s Italian Wedding Soup

When I was a kid, I was often at Italian weddings. It seemed like a long lost cousin was getting married every week. This soup was on the menu without fail very time.

These days, there aren’t a lot of weddings in my extended family, or at least as many as before, and the reception hall industry was definitely hit where I live in Montréal (an industry I’d spend the better part of a decade working in with my dad before my writing career took off). A bowl of this brings me back to sitting at a table with family, Adriano Celentano blasting out of the Hall’s PA system.

"“…Azzurro / Il pomeriggio è troppo azzurro / E lungo per me / Mi accorgo / Di non avere più risorse / Senza di te…”“…Light blue / The afternoon is too blue / It is long for me / I realize / I have no more resources / Without you…”-Adriano Celentano"

It sounds so much prettier in Italian; I thought I’d share it with you dear readers, and take you back to that place with me.

1. Mac and Cheese

And like the stew, this one should be the favorite of those that spent a wee bit of time in dorm rooms for sure.

Although you certainly didn’t have to go to college to enjoy a bowl of this classic—a North American classic and go-to for most in the good old comfort department for sure.

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What do you think Guilty Eaters? Did your favorite comfort food make the list? What comfort foods have to be in your pantry or cupboards? Let us know.