We’ve all been there: the throbbing headache, the undercurrent of nausea and overall physical lethargy that threatens to haunt your entire day. It’s miserable on a day off, even worse on a workday. Was the night before worth it? Only you can answer that. The real question is what are you going to do get rid of it. And the answer probably depends on your geography.
Maybe you’re in the “hair of the dog” camp and like to treat your hangover with more booze, or perhaps you like to nurse it away with a day of rest and relaxation. Either way, it’s smart to get some food into your system.
Many countries believe that the best way to cure a post-drinking illness is to sweat out the toxins with spicy dishes or hot soups. Bolivians swear by the properties of fricasé, a spicy pork mash similar in consistency to chili. Move over to Mexico, and a night of tequila is followed by hearty bowls of Menudo soup made with red chili peppers.
The sweat-it-out philosophy can also apply to the actual temperature of the food. Take Japan, for example, where businessmen and Harajuku girls alike eat a special version of miso soup made with shijimi clams, which contain an amino acid that increases liver function.
Getting hungry yet? Wait until we tell you some of the weird ingredients used around the world that are said to reset your alcohol-soaked system. Perhaps the most surprising hangover dish comes from a place known for its delicious, indulgent dishes: on the island of Sicily, people chew on a dried bull penis. We’ll just stick with the gnocchi, thanks.
And in case you thought that only savory dishes and, um, odd meat choices, can cure you, we made sure to include countries that chase their big nights out with a side of something sweet. The geniuses in Luxembourg enjoy a take on the funnel cake with verwurrelt gedanken, a fried and sugar-coated cousin of the doughnut.
As for our fellow Americans, well, if you haven’t had a Prairie Oyster than you might as well call yourself Canadian. The drink, made with raw egg, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco, is as patriotic as drinking too many beers while watching football on a Sunday.
Whichever way you choose to nurse your hangover, these 13 dishes are sure to help you out.
1. Luxembourg: Verwurrelt Gedanken
These sugarcoated doughnuts are said to soak up alcohol in the sweetest way and are popular during Carnival.
2. Germany: Rollmops
Jarred and pickled herring fillets are rolled and stuffed with a savory filling like gherkin or green olive.
Emily Sher is a special contributor to The Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @shershare.