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A few years ago, The Huffington Post published its list of The 25 Best Comfort Foods, In Order. While the Woody’s Bar-B-Q menu boasts more than a few of the items that made the list (including macaroni and cheese, French fries, gravy, pie, cheeseburgers and mashed potatoes), it’s our position that they missed a few. Travel + Leisure was wise to include Ribs and Barbecued Chicken in its list of America’s Best Comfort Foods, but – with 40 years of comfort food experience to our credit, we have a few more to add. For the last four decades, our patrons have clamored for our Brunswick Stew, Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, Bar-B-Q Beans, Bread Pudding and our famed Banana Pudding. But why do people crave comfort in the form of food? We looked to the experts for answers.

According to Spoon University, we may associate certain foods with a variety of people we cherish who equate to a sense of comfort for us – like the grilled cheese sandwiches and cup of tomato soup your mom used to make on a cold winter day. Time Magazine suggests that even the aroma of certain dishes can elicit feelings of belonging – making memories like summers at the beach or holidays with families come flooding back. Turns out that “the olfactory bulb, which is involved in the sense of smell, is linked to areas in the brain associated with memory and emotional experiences.” While feelings of nostalgia are a compelling reason why we might be drawn to comfort food, Psychology Today also looks to science. Eating foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt activates the brain’s reward and pleasure systems – the same systems or regions that are active in drug addiction. By consuming those foods, enjoyment is increased, and stress is reduced. Many of us also associate eating certain foods with combating negative feelings – like eating a gallon of ice cream after a breakup – earning the label “emotional eating.”

Comfort food may mean different things and represent different delicacies to different people. Many times, they are regionally- or nationality-based. For instance, someone from Vietnam may crave a steaming bowl of pho, whereas a person from Mexico may find comfort in a plate full of pork posole or a German national might look to a cheesy platter of käsespätzle to feel better. Here at Jacksonville, Florida-based Woody’s Bar-B-Q, we are honored to have served as a comfort food destination to individuals and families who love classic Southern BBQ, side dishes and desserts for the last 40 years. We invite you to make Woody’s part of your family’s cherished memories as our flavors and aromas blend in with feelings of togetherness, happiness and – ultimately – nostalgia. CLICK HERE to view our menu. If you grew up on items from the Woody’s Bar-B-Q menu but no longer live near one of our restaurants, you can order some of our most popular bulk meats – such as our Carolina Pulled Pork or Smokin’ Spare Ribs, as well as our original recipe sauces through our online store. To shop our store and place your order, CLICK HERE. Let’s Eat!!

KB 2/11/2021