Comfort foods have been important to me due to my having lived abroad a few times; two one-year stints in Japan and my two and a half years in the Philippines. A comfort food in these instances is a food unique to my home in the US - Cincinnati, Ohio. Here there are certain food items and dishes as well as bakeries, restaurants, and ice cream shops that are uniquely Cincinnati. After being apart from them and the place for a period of time a kind of psycho-gastronomic homesickness develops. When it does, nothing can bring mind and body back together like these comfort foods.
Foods I missed while in Japan and Manila included Graeter's Ice Cream, Steak 'n Shake steakburgers, Cincinnati chili, Montgomery Inn ribs, and La Rosa's pizza. White Castle hamburgersshould be included in this list, even though they are not unique to Cincinnati, but can be hard to find even within the US, as the chain does not have restaurants in all states.
What does this have to do with the Philippines, you ask?
I knew you would.
It is SO like my readers; wanting to know where I'm going with my musings!
Well, it just so happens Edson and I were at the supermarket the other day when I spied something I had not seen in our many times there before. I don't know if this is a new product, new to the Kroger supermarket chain, or just new to Cincinnati, but we are excited to finally see it on the shelves:Sunsweet Dried Philippine Mangoes - so delicious, and until now, Philippine dried mangoes had been such a pain to get. The nearest Asian market is extremely inconvenient for us; and that or a trip to the even more remote Jungle Jim's grocery and its extensive ethnic foods section were our only options until now.
Like US and Cincinnati foods are comfort foods for me when overseas, things like mangoes are comfort food to me here. Too bad we can't get fresh Philippine mangoes here - they're so much better than Mexican mangoes - much sweeter! It's a shame we can't get any fresh mangoes past customs and to us here! :( Until then it is good to know we can snack on these - and find them any time we shop!