Attacking Those Cats

by CLAIRE WILLETT · March 28, 2008

    soupThe concrete benefits of hangover cures, whether pharmaceutical or homeopathic, are scientifically disputed, although those clever French have une petite chose called "Security Feel Better," made from the juice of artichokes, which breaks down alcohol six times faster than your body can. Americans, particularly those in the under 30 bracket, tend to use excessive drinking as an excuse for equally excessive consumption of fried carbohydrates and a mimosa or four, but we wondered if foreigners had come up with more original solutions.

    Many nations use some version of our own fat/carbs combo, though some cut out the carb portion. Tibetans and Bhutanese drink gallons for yak butter tea (not for drinking-induced hangovers, but to combat the similar effects of high-altitude) -Dr. Atkins would be proud. Our personal favorite is probably the pickled sheep eyes, dreamed up, no doubt, by a vengeful Mongolian shepherd. We also love the German word for hangover: der Katzenjammer, which literally translated means "the wailing of cats."

    Eastern Europe - Pickled Cucumber Brine; Russians use sauerkraut instead.

    The Netherlands - Raw herring in a bun with onions.

    France - French onion soup.

    Romania - Ciorbã de burtã, or tripe stew.

    North Irland - Ulster Fry, a mash of potato bread, fried eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, mushrooms, and soda bread

    Scotland - Morning Glories (double whiskey, dash of absinthe, 1 egg, 2t sugar syrup, lime, lemon. Black Velvet: Half Guiness, half brut Champagne. Hair of the dog: 1oz whiskey, 2 oz cream, 1t honey.

    Japan - Pickled plums (umeboshi) --the mildly hungover need nosh on only 1/4 of the plum, while the truly stricken may want an entire one.

    Mexico - Menudo, a soup of tripe (again!), calfs foot, chili peppers, hominy.