America’s Favorite Comfort Foods 2021

travel are the days of culinary conservatism : Americans are eating more adventurously than ever before. possibly it ’ randomness because we Instagram all that ’ mho edible, or our dependence on dining out makes us eager for more diverseness. Whatever the reason, few consumers bat an eyelash at novel dishes anymore : From intrude bowl to sushi burritos, new food trends are thriving. But good eating need not always be alien. And however a lot we love to prove we ’ rhenium not finical eaters, comfort foods constantly hold a extra position in our hearts ( and stomach ). You know the high-calorie category we ’ re talking about : honest-to-god standby frequently enjoyed during childhood but precisely as appetizing to adults. adequate with the kale and kombucha – in this project, we’re celebrating the classic pleasures of comfort food. We surveyed over 1,000 individuals about their darling consolation foods, comparing their responses by express and across demographic differences. We besides asked what fuels their attachment to these dishes while exploring the nostalgic might of these cuisines. To find out which comfort foods Americans sincerely crave, keep reading .

Countrywide Comfort

Americas Favorite Comfort Foods Map

Of all the diverse consolation food possibilities, pizza claimed the top spot in most states. That countrywide dedication is matched by consumption ; by some estimates, Americans bite into about 350 slices every second. still, other quilt food staples broke through in multiple states, including hamburgers. Although the serve may trace its roots as army for the liberation of rwanda back as ancient Rome, it ’ s safe to say hamburger initiation has been a thoroughly american tradition since the twentieth hundred. Ice cream, the favorite comfort food in several states, has similarly patriotic associations : Colonists were the first to use the term “ ice cream, ” and America ’ s first parlor opened in 1776. Some states, including Nevada, Utah, Montana, and Wisconsin, deemed macintosh and cheese the ultimate comfort food. Although the cup of tea ’ s savory good may strike many as distinctly American, its origins are the discipline of external argument. Elsewhere, some states proved to be outliers : Alabamians were the alone ones to pick cocoa as their favored ease food. Texans and Hawaiians bestowed that respect upon fried chicken rather. possibly it ’ s fitting that at least one southerly state did so, as the smasher remains a celebrate art form across the area. Favorite Comfort Foods by Gender Although pizza spoke profoundly to both male and female palates, some absorbing differences emerged regarding other dishes. Women were especially devoted to mac and cheese : Of the respondents who called it their favorite quilt food, more than three-quarters were female. By contrast, hamburgers ranked second among men but didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate tied crack the top five for female respondents. We all scream for ice rink cream, however : The sugared process ranked third among men and women alike. We should besides note that some respondents expressed their own distinctive smell of comfort cuisine, eschewing coarse favorites for dishes enjoyed in their young. The term quilt food may not prompt images of spam and rice for most of us, but the affection for this dish remained impregnable in those for which it evoked childhood memories. Spam with Rice

Portion Size Preference

Comfort Food Portion Sizes In the spirit of calorie transparency, few comfort foods qualify as particularly healthy. This tradeoff is simply a function of indulging in these delicacies – and according to our findings, gratify is the appropriate condition, with 65 % of our review respondents indicating that they ate at least a double parcel when they decided to eat something specially comforting. interestingly, our findings suggest we ’ rhenium less likely to eat big as we age : 57 percentage of baby boomers limited themselves to a standard part. Again, this find may relate to each age group ’ s nutritional necessities : Older individuals require fewer calories but just as many nutrients, then comfort foods may not align well with their needs. conversely, millennials were most likely to take a double dowry or more, which their youthful metabolisms are more probable to mitigate. While a meaning percentage of respondents admitted to consuming big comfort food servings, their attitudes about doing so differed quite sharply. Some expressed the indigence to monitor their nosh closely to avoid overdoing it ; others unapologetically paired their serve of choice with sugary pop. Despite these differences, one Tennessee resident perfectly described why comfort food can be then tantalizing : “ It ’ s so goooooood. ” Chips and MnMs

Oatmeal Pies Chili Cheese Fries

Sentimental Snacking

Reasons for Eating Comfort Foods intelligibly, people can feel quite connected to the comfort foods they enjoy. To explore these feelings more closely, we asked respondents to explain the basis for their preferences. For some, the appeal of their chosen food boiled down to a literal sense of comfort, either physical or emotional. Many who expressed this notion of comfort emphasized specific aspects of the eat know, including their favored cup of tea ’ s temperature, texture, or a particular ingredient it contained. Campbells Others reflected on the nostalgic qualities of their favorite quilt foods : This common sense was particularly strong among fans of cookies, chips, and cocoa. Many expressed a connection to their childhood or memory of a specific family member who once served these foods. These results resonate with scientific research about the constitution of preference preferences : While it ’ s possible to retrain our palates, childhood preferences typically persist into adulthood. What ’ s more, psychologists note that childhood food memories possess unique staying baron, as all five senses remain involved in the have. Biscuits and Gravy Salisbury Steak Still, the most common justification for comfort food selection was also the simplest: They just taste great.  In this see, respondents were more than uncoerced to wax poetic about the delectable qualities of their favorite foods. When they use descriptors such as “ sugary, ” “ greasy, ” and “ doughy delectability, ” we can about taste what they ’ ra echo .

Real Comfort in the Long Run

Our conclusions are unmistakable : No matter the latest culinary craze, comfort foods remain beloved across the country.  And although the best kinds of consolation food may be subjugate to debate, everyone can appreciate the appeal of high-calorie classics. But as in early important aspects of life, be wary of limiting your choices to what ’ second familiar. Old food favorites are irreplaceable, but you may enjoy them most as an episodic cover rather than a dietary staple.

ultimately, true comfort may demand moderation : No one ’ randomness asking you to abandon the foods you love entirely. But experimenting with healthier options may expose you to a new set of tastes. Considering alimentary alternatives might equitable enable a future beyond your current comfort zone. That means you ’ ll appreciate your old favorites all the more when you eat them – and you won ’ t need to feel guilty about helping yourself to that extra fortune, either .


We surveyed 2,226 people ( and at least 26 residents per state ) on their favorite consolation foods, how much they ate when they consumed them, and why they liked a especial food. All answers were write-ins. We hand-scored about 20 percentage of the write-in candidate responses about feelings of ease, nostalgia, or anything associated with taste, then used the naive Bayes Classifier module within the Natural Language Toolkit ( NLTK ) software in Python 3.6 to classify our data into one of these three buckets. To determine the numbers in the asset titled “ America ’ s Serving Portions of Comfort Foods, ” we hand-scored 500 write-in responses ( adequate to satisfy sample size requirements ) as either a “ criterion serve, ” “ about bivalent, ” or “ more than double. ” For the visual image, we combined anything over a ” standard serving ” and provided samples within the assets to give an estimate of the actual text responses scored into each category .

Fair Use Statement

Like big comfort food, bang-up contentedness is best when shared with friends and family. If you do choose to use our images or data on your own web site or social media, we just ask that you link back to this page to attribute our team for their employment .

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