Someone Pass the Ice Cream Tub

We’ve all had our feelings hurt. Brittany didn’t ask you to the prom, your mother called you fat, your wife ran off with that flirty fitness instructor she’s always gushing about. As a great philosopher once said, “Sh*t happens.”, and we have no choice but to deal with it.

And people deal with such things in different ways. Some people go to the golf course to blow off some steam. I personally watch children’s cartoons and hug my cat. But other people find their comfort in food, and stuff their faces with tasty treats and goodies.

We all know the one friend who will devour an entire container of chocolate ice cream in one sitting, in response to emotional trauma. In English we have a few words used to describe this phenomenon, such as “comfort food” and “binge-eating” and “just . . . sad”. But again the Germans beat us English speakers to a more fitting definition, which nicely adds up all the elements at play in one perfect word. That word is kummerspeck (pronounced KUM-er-speck). The word stands for “Excess weight gained by eating comfort food”.

The word is based on the German word kummer (for “grief”) and speck (for “lard”). The Internet, in its brilliance, has chosen to interpret lard as bacon, so the popular English term for the word is “grief bacon”.

If only it was this easy

If only it was this easy

That really sums up the spirit of the word, doesn’t it? Nothing says comfort food like a big tub of grief bacon. And kummerspeck is such a fun word to say. It’s something you can imagine yelling in a grease-fueled stupor, clutching your grief bacon and crying salty tears.



Jacob Rennick was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1993. He has lived in several cities during his life, and made the move to Ottawa in the summer of 2012, where he’s currently studying Professional Writing at Algonquin College. He lives with several roommates and his two cats, Virgil and Maximus. He has written several short stories and is working on a longer piece called Cleaning House.

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