Cravings satisfied? How many times have we asked that question after enjoying the food that we love most?
Middle class professionals work hard and play hard. Before the pandemic, our days were characterized by long hours on the road, long meetings and a longer list of deliverables. Whoever coined the term TGIF (Thank God, It’s Friday!) was probably a middle class professional slaving his or her way in the corporate world.
The situation has not really changed under the work-from-home setup. We lose track of days and time that our laptops are open 10-12 hours on weekends. How do we cope with the stress? The answer is unanimous – FOOD.
Comfort food is one of the quickest and best ways for middle class professionals to cope with stress. Some are cheap but others are luxurious. For others, comfort food is usually something sweet and high in calories. But one thing common about comfort food is that it brings back memories that make you feel good.
Below are Top 10 cheap and expensive comfort food among my middle class friends.
Top 10 Cheap comfort food
1. Barbecue – pork, pork ears, chicken intestine
2. Fishballs, squid balls
3. Bananacue, banana rebosado
4. Kakanin like palitaw and sapin-sapin
5. Champorado with dried fish
6. Tinapang bangus
7. Pares, pares mami
8. Pancit Malabon
10. Frozen yogurt
Top 5 High End Comfort food
1. Steak: USDA Angus brisket, high-end rib-eye steak
2. Japanese ramen
3. Japanese sushi, sashimi
4. Korean samgyupsal
5. Taiwanese food: Xiao long bao, hot and sour soup, oriental salad, pork chop with fried rice
The challenge, said my friend Dianne, is to try to replicate some of these high-end comfort food like Japanese Ramen using cheap ingredients. It took her some time and three stores to complete the ingredients but she said the time and effort was worth it because even her kid’s cravings were satisfied.
But more than missing the food is a deeper yearning for the dining experience. My friend Toteng said that the weekly mobile market in their subdivision is a hit to residents as it gives them an opportunity to see their neighbors and feast on barbecue while walking home since setting up chairs and tables in the mobile market is not allowed.
In our culture, eating out with families and friends is embedded in our genes. We grew up attending town fiestas and birthday parties. Sundays are mini-reunions at our parent’s house.
The pandemic, however, has prevented us from social interactions. COVID-19 is very much alive. Apparently, a good number of the recent hike in COVID-19 positives was due to workers eating lunch together and attending a family gathering where they removed facial masks.
Well, the new normal requires us to satisfy our cravings in not so normal ways. We just have to live with this for now.