Times are tumultuous people. Politics in the U.S. are completely bogus, spring is tantalizing us with random warm afternoons, March Madness is coming to a head in April of all months, and the world is melting… among other things. There are few places to seek refuge from the barrage of tension currently haunting us all, so what are we supposed to do?
The answer is simple: eat! As they say, ‘When times get tough, the tough get eating!’ It’s almost second nature to turn to comfort food when you’re stuck in a rut: it’s cheap and it tastes good. Double win.
Our pals at Ranker recently surveyed users to determine which comfort foods Americans prefer. After three months of polling and 34,000 votes, they closed voting yesterday. Here’s the top ten!
10. Spaghetti & Meatballs
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This is a little weird. Maybe because it’s just so nondescript but “spaghetti and meatballs” sounds incredibly boring. For the sake of this list, make believe these are the meatball-iest meatballs, stuffed with mozzarella and perfectly seasoned. Then also pretend they’re sitting on a bed of delicious spaghetti, cooked just to your liking. Voila — instant comfort!
9. Fried Chicken
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Now we’re talking. Fried chicken cravings are unlike any other craving we’ve experienced. There’s just nothing better than a juicy, tender, piece of chicken coated in crunchy, savory, mouth-watering batter fresh out of the frier. If you can find a little something for dipping then we’re truly in business.
8. Mashed Potatoes
It appears these voters knew what they were talking about. Mashed potatoes may not look pretty but they are always good and they’re always cheap. Plus, mashed potatoes are almost entirely made out of butter, so you know your mouth will be happy.
7. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Okay, here is where we run into a bit of an issue. Chocolate chip cookies deserve better than 7th place on this list. Mis-ranking chocolate chip cookies is almost too big of a discrepancy to continue. Chocolate chip cookies are warm, chocolatey, buttery, and sweet and literally nothing sounds more comforting than those four words.
Sorry Ranker voters, you’ve lost your credibility.
6. Macaroni and Cheese
It is becoming evident that unless we’re talking desserts, if you want to be a top ranked comfort food, you either have to be potato-y or cheesy. Mac ‘n cheese is cheesy of course and it is bomb. There’s no doubt about it. Pretty much any form of mac ‘n cheese — Kraft, Annie’s, Velveeta, Panera, homemade — is delicious.
Terrible for you, but delicious. And super comforting, always.
5. French Fries
Yes you see, this is where a little switcheroo might be in order. Fries are good, and they check most of the “comfort food” boxes. They’re potato-y, they’re pretty inexpensive, and hopefully they’re warm. But chocolate chip cookies are way better. Throw some cheese on these generic french fries and we might have an argument but until then, think harder Ranker voters.
4. Ice Cream
Ice cream is perfect. It is a gift to mankind that should be savored and enjoyed every day. Ice cream is creamy (hence the name), it photographs well and it’s an excellent vehicle for other comforting favorites, like chocolate chip cookie dough! How about that? Maybe it’s not more appropriately ranked because it’s kind of expensive but it deserves better.
Risky. Very risky, voters. Good pizza is so good. If you’re feeling down and ready to gorge yourself on a delicious snack, good pizza will surely do the trick. But if by chance you get bad pizza, boy are you in trouble. Soggy pizza with sketchy toppings and a disproportionate amount of cheese sucks and frankly, we’re starting to doubt whether or not voters considered this possibility.
Chocolate is a classic. It’s also extremely versatile, perhaps that’s how it landed so close to the top. The thing about chocolate is, you could theoretically put it on any of the things that come before it on this list, and they would all probably be better for it. You can’t say that about just anything.
1. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Ahh, last but obviously not least — the grilled cheese sandwich. Honestly, this a little bit unexpected but we must say, grilled cheese deserves the number one spot. It’s cheesy, salty, and if all goes well, a little bit gooey. Grilled cheese is cheap, easy to make, and easy to clean up. It can be dipped in soup or eaten with fries and you can put pretty much whatever you want inside, as long as the cheese reigns supreme.
Ranker’s list goes all the way up to 50, if you’re interested in checking it out you can do so here.