Expat Comfort Eating

I am not a 100% sure what British people think of as comfort foods. Baked beans on toast? Pies? Sausages and mash? As an American, I think of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, and specifically as a Californian, I think of burritos. Oh, and we really love breakfast/brunch. I’m talking French toast, waffles, buttermilk pancakes, and so forth. 

When I moved to London in 2002, American fare was hard to come by. And when you did find something, it just wasn’t as good as what you would expect in the U.S. I remember taking my then boyfriend-now Husband to meet my parents  in 2003. My parents stocked the fridge with my favourite treats. It was going home in so many ways.

Nowadays American foods are in great supply in London. I am not sure what it is like in the rest of the UK. Many supermarkets even have an American (or world) foods section. I often keep some Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in the kitchen cupboard. I don’t know why, or how, but something about this chalky cheese pasta in a box makes me feel happy.

I made some for lunch today but my son refused to even try it. He’s 22-months old, surely anything brightly orange should appeal. My five-year old daughter won’t touch the stuff either. What a shame. Maybe it’s an acquired taste like Salt & Vinegar crisps. Now that’s disgusting.


Seychelles Mama

11 thoughts on “Expat Comfort Eating

  1. Vegas Mom here living in Milton Keynes. I feel the same way, I always have a couple of boxes on hand. My two year old wont touch the stuff but she loves marmite on toast. Yuck xx

  2. Haha this is fab! It’s funny we have similar taste in comfort food having lived in the same places (still find that so amazing!!), I’m all about a big brunch it’s the best thing ever…totally converted my husband, he would never have dreamed of putting maple syrup on bacon or sausage before he met me (fool!!!)
    I have to say though that the big amount of Brit in me definitely makes me long for beans on toast on a bad day, it’s definitely comfort food for me. There is something super awesome about some mac cheese though….mmmmmmm can’t believe the kids won’t eat it!!!
    Love this. It’s perfect for #myexpatfamily thanks so much for sharing 🙂 xx

  3. Comfort food for me (I’m a Brit) was always something stodgy like pasta or some kind of stew – so macaroni cheese is a perfect fit. I have yet to try the boxed variety now I am in America, as I just make it from scratch but I know my husband has a great fondness for the Kraft box of it!

  4. I often yearn for Dutch comfort food … beef kroketts (deep fried yumminess), haagelslaag (chocolate rice) sandwiches, red cabbage, meatballs and mashed potatoes, pure chocolate and finally ontbijt (breakfast) cake. A coronary waiting to happen but it makes me feel soooooo good.

  5. Hi… I’ve done the reverse – London to California and I’ve lived here 20 years. I still don’t understand the fondness for sweet food on the same plate as savoury.. the thought of syrup on bacon makes me shudder! 🙂
    My go-to comfort food is always something savoury – beans on toast, (yes, I found Heinz beans), or Marmite. But I really miss things like pate on crackers – something I haven’t been able to find here.

  6. Great post! I’ve moved around so much for so long that I don’t have food from “home” (“home” is wherever I live) but I do love to have a supply of marmite with me. If I could get it, I’d eat Vietnamese Pho for comfort food (after years of living in Hanoi) and I’d love to have a regular supply of TimTam biscuits from Australia too. On the subject of brunch and bacon with maple syrup…oh yes! I’m a big fan. It’s completely not a French thing but something I make with pancakes at home often (and there’s not an iota of American in me!) #myexpatfamily

  7. This made me laugh, for me mac&cheese has always been on my comfort food list… but the Kraft stuff, hmmm 🙂 I do love how mac&cheese is on the menu in every restaurant here though, I often order it! Brunch I do love; scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup (I’m veggie, so no bacon for me) is a favourite in our house 🙂 #myexpatfamily

  8. As a British expat in France for me comfort food is a proper Sunday roast dinner. Chicken, lamb or pork with roast potatoes, veg, yorkshire puddings and lots of gravy. We haven’t had nearly enough Sunday dinners since moving but it’s such a great end of the week meal for all the family to gather round.

  9. You know you’re an expat when your kids’ idea of comfort food is different to your own!
    We’re all into different things at our house: my husband (the Brit) loves marmite, I (the Belgian) love buttery things like waffles, and the toddler (undeniably Italian) will never, ever turn down cheese. And hates marmite, thankfully.
    I’m totally with you on the brunches, by the way, I LOVED all that stuff when I visited the States!

  10. Ha ha this is so me! When I first moved to Spain from the UK 4 years ago I missed so much, pork pies, sausages, ‘proper’ bacon, cadbury’s chocolate and a whole host of things you dont realise you miss until you suddenly get hit with that craving. These days we have English supermarkets aplenty popping up on our doorsteps but although they’re nice for the odd treat I’m converted to Spanish food now.

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