23 Dishes That Help Some People Feel Less Homesick
The power of food!
Spam musubi makes some feel closer to Hawaii.
“I was born in Hawaii but moved to Seattle when I was three. Ever since, I’ve always loved to eat classic Hawaiian food like spam musubi, saimin, and Portuguese sausage.” —aerynb2
Others like to eat anything their mom makes, even if it’s a ~mysterious~ recipe.
“My mother can cook three meals. Beef stew, baked ziti, and chicken surprise. You don’t want to know what’s in the chicken surprise, but not knowing is what makes it feel like home.” —luken4b6dbefbe
Baklava reminds some people of their grandmothers.
“Whenever I miss home, I eat baklava. My family is Greek, and every Christmas my Yiayia (grandmother) would always make baklava.” —ItsOliBoi
With every bite, Guatemalan rellenitos can make some feel like they’re back in the Central American country.
“It’s a fried ball of plantains filled with sweet, black, refried beans. It can be topped with sugar or cream.” —meganrothwell
Tea and biscuits are among the things that make Londoners feel nostalgic.
“I moved from London to Los Angeles, and every time I’m feeling homesick, I either have sausages with mash, peas and gravy, or I have a cup of tea and a couple chocolate digestives.” —nikkije
Chicken soup with glass noodles brings some Filipinos back to the Philippines.
“My papa makes this chicken soup with glass noodles that I love so much. I would pour the broth on top of a pile of rice and just devour it. I have made it myself, it’s simple enough, but there’s something special when he makes it. When I go home to the Philippines I always ask him to cook for me.” —dynb
People from Rochester, NY, would agree that nothing tastes like home like a garbage plate does.
“Garbage plates! I live in Rochester, NY, and garbage plates are the perfect regional food.” —emilyl4cdaf24ea
Some recipes can make you feel closer to people that are no longer around.
“My grandmother’s potato soup. It has been my favorite since I was a kid, and when I got older I started making it with her. She is the reason I developed my passion for cooking. So now, whenever I want to feel close to her, I make some of her soup, and I’m right back in her house!” —kaylaph
Mom snacks > any other snacks.
“Chex Mix! My mom makes it for every occasion. I don’t know why hers is so much better than anyone else’s, since she just uses the recipe off the cereal box, but it is. When I moved 300 miles away, she gifted me a huge green tupperware bowl, and the recipe card cut off the box so I could make it just like hers. Now that I live 1,300 miles away, it’s the one thing that most reminds me of home.” —mpiquette1983
Some chain restaurants are responsible for making people feel less homesick.
“I’ve been going to Panera since it first started as St. Louis Bread Company in the ’90s. When I moved across the country, from St. Louis to Boston, Panera was my go to place when I was feeling homesick! Even the smell brought me back home.” —jodiecoxs
Like Skyline Chili’s spaghetti covered in cheese and chili.
“Skyline Chili! Nothing tastes like Northern Kentucky like a big bowl of spaghetti covered in chili and cheese. I keep a stock of Skyline at all times in Minnesota, and have introduced my friends up here to Skyline too.” —kempermckenzie
Crab cakes are the stuff people Marylanders dream about.
“I currently live in Germany and my only plan when going home for the holidays involves stuffing my face with as many crab cakes as I possibly can.” —stephaniemcox
Sometimes, your family’s salsa recipe can make a tiny New York apartment feel like Phoenix, Arizona.
“I’m originally from Arizona, but moved to NYC eight years ago. Whenever I need a pick me up, I make our family salsa. It requires ingredients that my mom sends me from Phoenix, because I can’t find them here (even in Queens).” —amyd41
Kansas City BBQ is a wonderful thing, unless you’re far from home, of course.
“I’m from just outside Kansas City, but lived in London for a long time. I missed a lot of foods, but worst of all was good peanut butter, hot tamales, and BBQ. The peanut butter and hot tamales issue was easily solved by my parents sending me care packages, but the BBQ was next to impossible. When I actually found a proper Kansas City-style BBQ place in London, I nearly cried. The owner was even from my hometown!” —fredzesty
Rougail Saucisse is a special dish for the people of Reunion Island.
“I live in Toulouse, France, now and I miss it so bad. It’s from Reunion Island, a French Island in the Indian Ocean. It’s simple yet so good.
I’ve tried it in restaurant here in Toulouse, but it’s not the same. It’s kind of cliché, but mom’s is the best!” —fredericklauret13
Bread with a piece of quark cheese is a Polish favorite.
“Bread. I’m Polish and whenever I would travel somewhere far with very different flavours (think: China, Brazil), the thing I would miss the most was bread. Whole grained, sourdough, fresh bread. Preferably with a piece of quark cheese. Surprisingly I don’t eat that combination very often, it’s just a taste that is totally unavailable far away.” —asloska
Australia is far, far away, but there are a couple of foods that can make you feel closer to the land down under.
“I’m from Australia and live in America (New England). Whenever I’m home, which is usually once every two years, I go wild for all the good things I can’t get in New England, such as decent coffee, good fish and chips (with battered flake or King George Whiting), Twisties, Arnotts Shapes, Natural Confectionary Co. Lollies, Pascall marshmallows (the best kind), and my mum’s roasts.” —l4a2f7441e
Cheese wiz sandwiches remind some people of their childhood.
“It sounds disgusting, but literally a cheese wiz sandwich. Cheese wiz on white bread. My mom loves cheese wiz and would always make me a cheese wiz sandwich if we were really out of stuff to pack for lunch. I don’t think she realized how much I loved them.” —sarahdangere
Seasoning that tastes like home? If you’re from the Chesapeake Bay area, you know you always have Old Bay on deck.
“I’m from the Chesapeake Bay area and I always have Old Bay seasoning for when I get nostalgic! It goes with basically everything and it tastes like home.” —lailak472784583
Some dishes just have the power to make you feel better.
“My dad’s goulash. It’s a recipe I grew up with: ground beef, home canned tomatoes, diced onions, and spaghetti noodles. It’s super easy to make and was easy to stretch to feed a big family like the one he grew up in. When I moved half way across the country after college, I’d make a pot to remind me of home. It’s still my go-to if I’m sick and want to feel better instantly.” —a4e923f2c7
Nothing says “I’m home,” like tater tots and American candy.
“I’m from the US but I live in Ireland. Surprisingly it’s the only potato snack in existence they didn’t have until very recently. We found ‘hash brown balls’ once or twice in the past few years. They also just started serving them at Eddie Rockets (which is an Irish Johnny Rockets). Sometimes I’ll also buy myself something severely overpriced from the American candy shop.” —erinwilson1996
Choclate can cure many things, especially when found in brigadeiros.
“I am from Brazil and I live in the U.S. Every time I miss my family and friends, I make brigadeiros! It’s chocolate so it helps even more!” —lulisc
And some people really miss their hometown’s food — but that’s about the only thing they miss from home.
“Some good ol’ Texas BBQ. I don’t miss the racism, but I do miss the food.” —cbentley0814
Some responses have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.