**Today is International Happiness Day, and it's no secret that food makes the Epigram Food team pretty darn happy. We asked our writers to share some of their culinary highlights with us... **
Sticky Toffee Pudding – Josh Francis, Fourth Year Geography
Taste buds evolve over time, shaping our gastronomic heavens and culinary hells. And oh, how I’m glad mine changed. From not even stomaching spoonfuls as a youngster, to nowadays gleefully finishing multiple helpings, sticky toffee pudding’s stature has been exponentially elevated within my foodie hall of fame. It’s an undisputed classic: rich sponge hiding slivers of sweet dates, bathed in toffee sauce oozing 5-star luxury, adorned with a vanilla ice-cream quenelle. Family dinner dessert or à la carte swansong, sticky toffee is a positively life-affirming sweet sensation, and a vanguard of my food heaven for a long time to come.
Bacon – Harry Wilkinson, Second Year Maths & Economics
‘Bacon is good for me.’ This is the mantra I attempt to live my life by. Those of you who have not woken up with the sweet smell filling their nostrils, only to run downstairs and engulf a sausage, bacon and egg sandwich (almost in one), have not lived. Why is bacon so good? It just has it all. You want it on your pancakes? Got it. You want some spaghetti carbonara? No problem. You want a smoky beef burger? Bring it on. Bacon is, singlehandedly, the most satisfying food on the planet. It’s salty, fatty, crispy (if you cook it right), and is the ‘je ne sais quoi’ to any meal you can think of. It marries sweet and savoury in perfect harmony. Brian Merkel (a butcher) reiterates my point in the most eloquent fashion. Someone asked him, ‘What’s your favourite cut of pork?’ He stated: ‘It’s pork. It’s all f***ing good.’ And that, my friends, is why I will be consuming bacon morning, noon and night, to the day I die.
Epigram / Sarah Roller
Oats – Jane Cowie, Food Editor
I’m an oats addict. Whenever I roll out of bed, be it the crack of dawn or dangerously close to midday, there is one thing that never fails to tempt me- a huge bowl of oats. Last week I was subjected to gulping down a bowl of Quaker’s original packets. It was as though I was eating tasteless, sticky, baby food. My friends, if this is your experience of porridge, I am sorry. This is not an accurate representation of what that that humble grain truly can be. No matter what, I always recommend the large, rolled oat variety, mixed with your milk of choice (be it almond, coconut, or the simple cow), and exotic variety of your favourite fruits, nuts and seeds. Imagine a cold autumn day, and tucking in to a honey-baked pear, its sweet juice oozing into your porridge bowl, combined with caramelised pecans and pumpkin seeds. Or a bright summer morning, a vanilla and coconut porridge bowl, topped with the most succulent strawberries you can get your hands on, complimented with the crunch of chia seeds. No matter what, you can craft an oats bowl that will hit the spot.
Epigram / Jane Cowie
Sushi - Matthew Lu, First Year Law
When I think of the food that makes me the happiest I am always brought back to fond childhood memories of watching Zoey 101 and the one character that always pronounced the word sushi wrong (sounding like slushie without the l). If you know the character, you’ll know that he loved sushi with a passion and was borderline obsessive. That is a perfect description for my relationship with sushi. Whether it be a thick, buttery piece of sashimi or a perfectly complex crafted roll it never fails to bring a smile to my face. This is to you sushi, no matter the hate you may get from non raw-fish eating people I will always love you!
Epigram / Jane Cowie
Saffron and Rosemary Fried Chicken – Sarah Roller, Online Food Editor
The food that makes me happiest? My mum’s Persian-inspired saffron and rosemary fried chicken, without a shadow of a doubt. It’s all I can do not to eat it scalding hot straight out of the frying pan, and I could eat unholy amounts of it in one sitting. It’s not just that it tastes divine, but every time I eat it, I’m reminded of long, hot summer evenings sitting outside laughing and eating, of picnics with friends and family, and of some of my happiest memories. Food is so much more than just nourishment for the body, it’s nourishment for the soul too.
Pavlova - Holly Penhale, Deputy Food Editor
When a relative of mine brought along a pavlova to a family event a few years ago I wasn’t sure it would be my cup of tea. I’m not normally a fan of berries in desserts as they can often be sour and I tend to avoid double cream as I find it quite tasteless when unsweetened. However, I could not have been more wrong about this dessert. Inspired by a Nigella recipe, the meringue was chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside – baked to perfection. The blueberries and raspberries were the perfect antidote to the intensely sweet double-cream filling and the tartness of the raspberry coulis was the perfect accompaniment for this otherwise overly rich dessert. It is safe to say it’s up there with some of the most indulgent foods I’ve ever eaten, a true crowd pleaser and needless to say, it has become a regular feature of all family get-togethers ever since.
Epigram / Holly Penhale
Featured image credit: Epigram / Jane Cowie