In the week of Thanksgiving, when Americans travel great distances to come together to feast at the family table, five leading American writers write about the cultural history of their favourite comfort food. Far from haute cuisine, these choices are a cake, a snack, and a dish in a box, a hearty homemade dessert and a thick gooey ubiquitous spread. The writers explore with delight and authority how these foods became American, they explain why they continue to be iconic and popular and compare regional preferences.
In this edition, New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik makes his mother's Cheesecase.
Later in the series are Joyce Maynard on popcorn, novelist Michael Cunningham on Mac n Cheese, Simon Winchester on pies and Alice Sebold on peanut butter.
Some of these foods are served at roadside diners and others are best eaten in front of the TV, curled up on the coach. Each author has a story about why his or her choice has a strong personal connection. Most were introduced to their comfort food in childhood and now they share them with their families. None of these foods are good for the waistline but each is so loved that there is little guilt about indulging in traditional mouthfuls of pure heaven.