By Amanda Little
Everyone has a cure to a hangover that they swear by, and some of them get pretty outrageous. If you're on a bender abroad, you may as well treat your hangover like the locals do.
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Ireland and England
A full breakfast in either England or Ireland is sure to set you straight for the day. Both hearty dishes include bacon, sausage, blood sausage or black pudding, fried eggs, and baked beans. Ireland also includes a fried tomato, which England swaps out for fried bread or toast. All of these carbs and the greasy goodness of everything else will help absorb the alcohol, and is comfort food to boot.
Roll ‘em up and pop them into your mouth if you’re looking to get over your hangover in Germany. Rollmops are just pickled herring with gherkin and onions, which makes for a slightly sour but electrolyte-packed breakfast. Locals can enjoy the particularly pungent breakfast food, but those who have never had it before might want to start out with just a taste. Nobody wants to see these fish swim back up.
Widely considered a cure-all in Japan, these sour and salty pickled plums are thought to help with digestion, nausea, and liver function. These three traits are what makes them the perfect hangover food, if it's true. The hard part is getting your face to stop puckering from their notorious sour punch!
Start off the morning with a warm bowl of rice porridge and low lighting when recovering from a night out in China. Congee is a wonderful comfort food, and is often given to those not feeling too well. While it doesn’t have any special traits, an abundance of electrolytes, or grease to soak up the alcohol, this porridge rehydrates the body in a way that doesn’t risk throwing up.
Heavy beefy broth loaded with melt-in-your-mouth caramelized onions, nearly half a loaf of bread, and topped with cheese, a good French onion soup is the best way the French forget about how much wine they’ve downed. A bit of grease, a bit of carbs, and plenty of comfort for your battered body, French onion soup is a popular hangover cure in more places than just France.
The perfect hangover cure for those who aren’t babies about hangovers: a double espresso. Treat your hangover the way the Italians do and ignore it until it goes away. While a good, strong cup of espresso can help dilate blood vessels and get rid of a headache quicker, those who are nauseous might want to pair it with some carbs to ease the sloshing in their stomachs.
Return to life with the Mexican salad vuelva a la vida, which literally translates to “return to life.” A healthy heaping salad topped with lime, onions, tomatoes, and shrimp is probably one of the healthiest hangover cures out there. While many with a hangover in Mexico resort to this to get through the day, it's also a popular dish after a quiet night in.
Simmer a variety of meats (chicken, pork or beef), potatoes, corn, plantains, and yuca to make sancocho, Colombia’s hangover cure of choice. This hearty soup is helps absorb the alcohol in your system, bringing you back to your best self in no time.
Did someone say protein? If you find yourself hungover in South Africa, seek out the ridiculously huge omelet that comes from frying up an ostrich egg. With one ostrich omelet equaling about two dozen chicken eggs, this dish is best eaten with your hungover friends. Wash it down with some amasi (a fermented milk drink) to truly beat a hangover, South African style.
Americans have probably heard that pickle juice is good for hangovers, and those who can stomach the briny liquid can drink it straight from the jar. Pickle juice is made up of water, vinegar, and sodium, so it's actually a great way to rehydrate. Its most popular in Poland, but can be found in quite a few countries.
The best Canadian food for the drunk or hungover is unquestionably poutine. French fries slathered in a thick, salty brown gravy and cheese curds melting into all the cracks, this plate of pure gold is best while drunk, but does a good job of soaking up the alcohol the morning after.
Be weary of your Bloody Mary in Mongolia, it may be staring blearily back at you. The tomato juice concoction similar to a Bloody Mary has a few extra ingredients to make your morning after special, and that includes a whole sheep’s eye. Tomato juice is good for your liver, but it’s unclear what purpose the eye serves, other than weeding out the weak.
The “soup to chase a hangover” in South Korea takes on many forms, but all are called haejangguk. The soup to cure what ails you usually consists of Napa cabbage, a robust beefy broth, plenty of veggies, and the special ingredient: congealed ox blood. This recipe goes all the way back to the 14th century, so it must be doing something right.
You won’t be alone while eating your hangover cure in Thailand, your noodles will be drunk too! The dish nicknamed drunken noodles is a spicy bowl of bean sprouts, meat, garlic, seafood, fish sauce, soy sauce, and broad rice noodles that will clear your sinuses and soak up the alcohol. This tasty dish is a good one if you can stomach it.
Netherlands and Denmark
Hair of the dog or reparationsbajer, “repair beer,” in Denmark, there are several countries who believe the best way to battle a hangover is to get back on the horse by making your way to the bottom of a bottle. A little extra booze in the morning might sound like a bad idea, but one, and they do mean just one, drink to ease the painful transition into sober can really help take the headaches out of hangovers.