A Comforting Hug Inside and Out

Joey Zhu | Jan 08, 2023

Apart from its usual understanding of providing us with enough nutrients to get through the day, food holds a deeper value and meaning. An addition to the practicality of food is its ability to help keep an individual's body warm, both in a scientific manner and through the warmth of “comfort food”. Specifically, comfort food refers to food that provides nostalgic or sentimental values to individuals. They are not limited to specific food types nor the culture they have to be in. Many individuals typically tend to utilize the term “comfort food” when referring to dishes that are high-carb, high-sugar, or high in fatty acids.

Personally, my comfort food isn't the typical: not pizza, nor anything that's strongly related to my culture- it's simply milk flavored popsicles. While many may never draw correlations between milk and popsicles, it's the memory behind the food that strongly bonded me to it.

The contrast of temperature between my icy fingers and my sweat-soaked back had never felt stronger. As the sweat trickled down my forehead, finding its way onto the ground, I grasped tighter onto the icy touch of the ice cream held in my hand, while watching the green grass and dew-steeped flowers swaying gently in the sky. I placed all my body weight on the metal doors that opened up my view just enough to see my grandma and grandpa lounging on the outdoor patio, both blissfully unaware of the events that were about to unfold. The sudden presence of what I remembered as a giant dog quickly tore away my gaze along with the ice cream held in my hands. I quickly found myself beside my grandparents- desperately in need of help and comfort. As my eyes continued to flood with tears, my grandma released a smile from her face and held a milk flavored popsicle in front of me. I carefully took hold of the popsicle from my grandma's wrinkly fingers, and in exchange, gave my grandma a rather awkward hug. After that day, the rest of my summer that year was spent sitting on the patio with my grandparents eating the popsicles that were always available and within my reach. To this day, those milk-flavored popsicles are my emblem of summer, and an ode to my memories with my grandparents.