You can ask anyone from different backgrounds and cultures, and they would agree that food is a huge part of their lives. Food is universal — universally enjoyable. According to trusty ol’ Oxford Languages, ‘Comfort Food’ describes edibles that provide consolation and a feeling of wellbeing. Put simply, it could be anything of sugar, spice and everything nice, right? Well, it’s still subjective. As a foodie myself, all things can be comfort food at this point; some days, Flipboard’s fudge chocolate brownie is my comfort food, sometimes it’s the $3 salmon sushi rolls. Yes, our comfort food is never consistent!
When I walked into the Chinese restaurant opposite Coles in Caulfield Plaza, its owner June Wang greeted me with enthusiasm and asked me what I would like to order.
“Which one do your customers like the most?” I asked Mum Wang, flipping through the menu.
“It’s a difficult question,” she replied. “Everything on my menu is created by my customers. They said to me: ‘I want to have eggplant pot.’ And then I tried to cook some for them to taste. They told me: ‘Oh, it’s delicious!’ Then I add it to the menu. Every dish was created in this way. So, my menu is filled with what my customers like.”
All over the world, veganism is on the rise. In the UK, the number of vegans has increased by 350% in the past decade while 11% of Australians don’t consume meat or dairy products. Yet when we look at headlines, clickbait posts and YouTube videos we see: ‘After being vegan for three years, I went back to meat,’ ‘Vegan Youtuber caught eating fish’ and ‘Apology video: why I’m no longer vegan.’
A little under a year ago, I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. This devastating announcement seemed like the end of the world to me – a die-hard fan of pizza, pasta, pastry, cake, biscuits, scones…you get the idea.