“Home is where the heart is”

As the saying goes, “home is where the heart is,” and for many people, the heart of their home lies in the food that they grew up eating. This is certainly true for me. I left my home country, the Philippines, right after university to work in Malaysia. And while I’ve learned to love many Malaysian dishes, nothing beats the comfort and warmth of the taste and flavours that I grew up with.

Whenever I go back to the Philippines, one of the things that I look forward to the most is the food. My dad is an amazing cook and whenever I come home, he always prepares my favourite dishes. From adobo to sinigang to kare-kare, you name it. The dining table is always overflowing with food, and I always end up eating way more than I should.

But even though I love Filipino food, I have to admit that I have also developed a taste for Malaysian dishes. Especially bak kut teh and nasi lemak! These dishes have become my go-to comfort food whenever I am feeling a little homesick for Malaysia.

The dilemma for people with “second homes”

I think this is something that many people who have moved to another country can relate to. When we move to a new place, we are often exposed to new flavours and cuisines. And it’s natural to develop a taste for new food. But at the same time, the flavours of our home country remain an integral part of who we are, and they continue to hold a special place in our hearts.

For me, the food of my home country is not just about the taste and flavours. It’s also about the memories and emotions that are associated with it. Every time I eat adobo, for example, I am transported back to my childhood, and memories of family dinners. And while I may have developed a taste for Malaysian food, nothing can ever replace the comfort and familiarity that Filipino food brings me.

I am curious to hear from others who have uprooted their lives to move overseas. Did your list of comfort food remain the same even after you moved to another country, or did it change to include new flavours and cuisines? For me, my list of comfort food has definitely expanded to include Malaysian dishes, but Filipino food will always hold a special place in my heart.

In the end, I think that food is one of the things that connects us to our roots, to our culture, and to our identity. No matter where we go or what we do, the taste and flavours of our home country will always be a part of us, reminding us of where we came from and who we are. ❤️