Comfort Food Defining Flavors
When we’re feeling down, nothing hits the spot quite like comfort food. After a challenging year, many consumers are looking to nostalgic dishes with familiar flavors for a sense of comfort and unity. Macaroni and cheese like mom used to make, hearty stews, and juicy fried chicken are cozy dishes that are having a big impact on restaurant menus and retail manufacturers are consumers continue to choose comforting dishes to lift their spirits and bond with loved ones. Join us as we at Advanced Biotech take a look at some of the flavors that keep consumers coming back for seconds.
Although dairy-free foods have been on trend in recent times, nothing is more comforting than warm, melty cheese, creamy sauces, and copious amounts of melted butter. Often characterized by high carb level and calorie count, fatty foods like cheese and butter act as flavor enhancers and may trigger the reward center in the brain, giving consumers pleasure or temporary sense of emotional elevation and relaxation. Warm biscuits topped with cream-based gravy, lasagna layered with melted cheese and béchamel sauce, and mashed potatoes garnished with melted butter are just some of the comfort foods defined by dairy.
Nothing warms the heart quite like mom’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or grandma’s homemade apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Sugar, while often avoided by health-conscious consumers and wellness-minded chefs, is a classic ingredient that evokes happy, nostalgic memories and can even trigger the brain’s neurotransmitter to release dopamine, a chemical component that temporarily improves energy levels and moods. While it is not recommended for consumers to utilize sugar as means of periodically improving their moods, pairing sugar with high fiber or high protein foods like strawberries or yogurt can increase the staying power of dopamine, making for a healthier and more satisfying eating experience.
A Sunday pot roast, mom’s smothered pork chops, and warm, spicy chili are comfort foods enhanced by the rich, smokiness of meat. Fatty, savory meats enhance everything from soups to sandwiches, making for a satisfying meal. Paired with fresh herbs like oregano and basil, spaghetti and meatballs are a perfect combination of tradition and indulgence, while meatloaf is loved by many for its heartiness and old world charm.
Although many consumers are currently observing healthier diets and long-term wellness through holistic ingredients, comfort foods are something no one can pass up. Dairy, sugar, and meat, while often eschewed in today’s world of health and wellness, are ingredients that call upon happy childhood memories and are sure to convince consumers to rethink their next meal.