Everyone has their morning rituals after a long night of guzzling down alcohol. There’s just something about waking up feeling like you were thrown out of an aeroplane that screams: “I need food!” It’s no surprise then that a hangover is a hangover is a hangover no matter where you are in the world. However, the cures are vastly different from place to place – which is why we’re here to help.
1. United States: Pancakes
In America, nothing cures a nasty hangover quite like a stack of hot and fluffy pancakes. Whether they have blueberries, chocolate chips, or maybe just a little syrup, they do a fantastic job of soaking up the six shots of tequila you drank last night. Oops. Good thing we’ve got plenty of breakfast restaurants open 24/7 to cater to our every post-bender need. Thanks, IHOP.
2. China: Congee
Congee is a popular dish in China for people who aren’t feeling well, and when are you feeling worse than when you’re hungover? It just makes sense. This rice porridge is thought to re-hydrate the eater, a necessity for everyone who drinks a little (or a lot) too much. You can put meat, fish, veggies, or herbs in your congee. Mmm, delicious!
3. Denmark: Reparationsbajer
Denmark: where the hungover just keep drinking. That’s the spirit. Reparationsbajer translates to “repair beer,” and is a pale ale beer specifically made for hangovers. Apparently it’s mighty refreshing as well. Just don’t drink too many or you’ll leave yourself in a never ending drunk/hungover cycle.
4. Thailand: Pad Kee Mao
A kick of spice is just what every groggy hungover person needs. This dish, nicknamed “drunken noodles,” is made with rice noodles, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, meat, seafood, bean sprouts and various seasonings. This is a popular choice among Thai people who have just woken up from a crazy night.
5. Bangladesh: Coconut Water
You’re already reaching for a glass of water first thing when you wake up, but people in Bangladesh are reaching for coconuts. Not only is coconut water hydrating, it contains antioxidants, ascorbic acids, and magnesium and is very high in potassium. How refreshing.
6. Norway: Lutefisk
Popular in Nordic countries, Lutefisk is dried, salted whitefish, soaked in lye for days, rinsed off, and then broiled. People either love or hate this food, but it’s real appeal is how it helps with hangovers. It’s thought to be great for soaking up alcohol with its excess fish oil. Hopefully it works, because I don’t know why else you’d eat it.
7. South Africa: Ostrich Egg Omelette
Omelettes when you’re hungover: it’s not a hard concept to grasp. When you have a particularly big headache, go for the particularly big egg. Just remember one Ostrich egg is the size of over 20 chicken eggs, so you’re going to need one crazy big pan.
8. Japan: Umeboshi
Umeboshi is a tiny little pickled sour plum, and are super sour. Not only do they help with hangovers, they also cure digestion issues, promote liver function, and prevent nausea. You’re killing multiple birds with one small fruit.
9. Canada: Poutine
French fries seem like an obvious choice for a hungover snack, but put some gravy on top and sprinkle it with some cheese curds, and you’ve got Canada’s most popular food after a big night of drinking. Grease seems to be a terrific way to eat the pain away.
10. Italy: Espresso
Coffee on a hangover isn’t hard to grasp, but Italy takes it up a notch. After a night taking shots of sambuca, they throw down shots of espresso. Did you know caffeine dilates the blood vessels? It helps get rid of headaches quicker.
11. Mexico: Menudo
A burrito might seem like an incredible idea in the morning, but that’s not how Mexico does it. Instead they make Menudo, a soup containing beef stomach and red chili pepper. Not quite the trip to Taco Bell you were thinking, is it?
12. United Kingdom: Full English Breakfast
You’d bet the British have their own signature hangover cure down they way they drink, and they do. A classic English breakfast includes bacon, sausages, eggs, black pudding, toast, tomatoes, mushrooms, and lots of baked beans.
13. Poland: Pickle Juice
Finally, a weird foreign food that you can find in your own fridge. Pickle juice is great for re-hydration as it contains vinegar, water, and sodium. This is a good tip to remember when you’re hangover’s so bad, you’ll try anything.
14. Mongolia: Pickled Sheep Eyeballs In Tomato Juice
Okay, this one I’m never trying no matter how desperate I am. The “Mongolian Mary” has gone back generations. The tomato juice is good for the liver, but the eyeballs are unexplained. Maybe they’re thrown in just cause they taste good? Who knows.
Next time you wake up in a totally foreign place feeling half-dead, remember what you know now. You should now have no trouble coming up with something to cure your massive headache. Let the drinking begin!