Despite the different drinking cultures around the world, there is one universal truth that no one can escape from after a night of heavy drinking: the hangover.
As studies technically show, the only way to avoid the dreaded hangover is to drink less, but there are other tactics people use to reduce the pain and suffering that come having one too many.
While the go-to cure for many people is to drink plenty of water in the morning, different countries have their own designated hangover food, complete with local ingredients that give an insight into the local food culture. .
Here is a list of some hangover foods consumed as cures in 20 countries, some unique, and some universal.
US - Prairie Oyster
A Prairie Oyster is a drink with a raw egg, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and ground black pepper. The key is to keep the yolk unbroken -- resembles an oyster -- and drink it in one go. It is a delicacy in the southern states of the US, while it is not well known in the Midwest.
Canada – Poutine
Poutine is normally served in a bowl of thick cut French fries with savory gravy and cheese curd. Poutine is basically chips with gravy, which translates into “pudding” in French-Canadian regions.
Mexico – Menudo
Menudo, a spicy Mexican soup made from tripe (cow stomach) is said to stimulate the appetite and senses, rejuvenate inner organs and clear the head.
Brazil – Coconut water
Coconut water contains anti-oxidants and electrolytes -- specifically potassium -- which keeps you hydrated after a night of drinking. Anti-oxidants and electrolytes are key components of any hangover treatment.
Peru - Leche de tigre
Known as the ultimate Peruvian hangover cure, leche de tigre or tiger‘s milk, is the Peruvian term for the citrus-based marinade seafood in a ceviche. It is believed to be both a hangover cure as well as an aphrodisiac.
Italia – Espresso
Italians like to keep it simple, and their hangover cure is no different. Drinking a cup of espresso is a simple Italian remedy for everything. Although there are different opinions regarding coffee as a hangover cure, it is said to work as both a stimulant and a diuretic.
Germany – Rollmop
A traditional cure for Germans is to eat rollmops, pickled herring fillets rolled around a filling such as pickled green olives. Rollmops are commonly served as part of the German Katerfrühstück (hangover breakfast) which is believed to restore electrolytes.
France – Cassoulet
French people enjoy eating goose casserole garnished with haricot beans and sausage as a hangover cure. The dish is filling, which is good for the gaping emptiness in the stomach a hangover leaves. Originated in the South West of France, the dish is also enjoyed in the Mediterranean region.
UK – English breakfast
In Britain, one of the most prevalent hangover cures is a big fried breakfast: fried eggs, sausages and baked beans. The grease lines the stomach, the fried bread soaks up the booze and eggs add protein. A lot of carbohydrates in that meal also restore depleted sugar levels.
Poland – Pickle juice
This popular Polish remedy for a hangover relies on its high concentration of electrolytes -- such as high sodium content -- to replenish and recharge the body.
Japan – Umeboshi plum
Umeboshi Plum is a traditional, naturally processed, pickled plum used throughout Japan and other Asian countries for its incredible health-promoting properties. Named “The King of Alkaline Foods,” Umeboshi contains natural bacteria, enzymes, organic acids and powerful alkaline qualities.
China – Congee
Congee has long been considered a comfort food for people who simply aren’t feeling well, which aptly describes anyone hungover. Congee is easy to swallow, while the thick, hearty ingredients soothe alcohol-irritated stomachs.
Thailand – Pad Kee Mao
This simple dish comes in many forms including yellow noodles, glass noodles, wide noodles, topped with beef, pork, chicken or duck and sauce. Many Thais claim spicy sauce helps freshen them up by sweating out booze toxins and shaking off that queasy hangover feeling.
Mongolia – Tomato juice garnished with a pickled sheep eye.
Mongolians beat a hangover with a glass of tomato juice garnished with a pickled sheep eye. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A and C and the antioxidant lycopene.
Russia - Solyanka
Solyanka is a salty soup boiled on a dense bouillon, normally based on meat. Some Russians add fish or mushrooms, but they are rare in modern Russia. Some recipes include ingredients like kvass or cabbage juice.
Iraq – Pacha (lamb’s head soup)
Pacha is a dish of boiled cow or lamb’s head, while other parts of lamb such as the stomach (tripe) may also be used. It is a traditional dish in Iran, Iraq and Turkey. No salt or spices are added during the boiling process.
Ghana – Ground pepper
In order to calm the aching stomach after a night of drinking, putting ground pepper in a breakfast (soup and bread) is believed to help internal organs recover from a hangover.
Sudan – Cow intestine garnished with red pepper
In Sudan, cow intestine is a popular ingredient enjoyed by many for an everyday meal. By eating a fresh-caught cow’s intestine dipped into a red pepper sauce, people in Sudan believe they can build up stamina.
Australia – Vegemite
Vegemite is a dark brown Australian food paste made from yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives, rich in Vitamin B and folic acid which are depleted by drinking. People in Australia believe the power of Vitamin B to aid in hangover recovery.
By Kim Da-sol