Come January 1, the world will be collectively reeling from New Year’s Eve excesses: Because unfortunately, the biggest party night of the year leads to the biggest hangover next morning.
If you’re like a lot of Americans, you’ll combat day-after damage with a fistful of Ibuprofens and a hot, greasy breakfast: scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, oily sausages and butter-slathered toast are the order of the day.
But comforting as it seems, your fatty morning-after meal may not be the most effective hangover remedy. Nutritionists and physicians suggest myriad more effective alternatives, including plain old water, bananas and dry toast.
Or you could try something a little more exotic.
Type “global hangover cures” into Google and you’ll come up with over half a million results. These folkloric remedies have stood the test of time, and loyal adherents swear by the cures’ ability to ease aching heads, steady blurry vision and soften cotton mouth.
5 Hangover Cures from Around the World
Kokorec: Turkish Gut-Based Gut Remedy Your U.S. doctor isn’t the only one to recommend dry toast to settle an upset tummy. Turkish cooks also rely on toasted bread—with a twist. Of lamb guts. Kokorec is a street dish made with roasted suckling lamb intestines, wrapped around heart, lungs, kidneys or sweetbreads. Lest you mistake the latter for a baked goodie, be aware: Sweetbreads are an animal’s thymus gland. Scooped onto toast and garnished with chopped tomato and thyme, this hangover remedy is one of Turkey’s most popular fast foods.
Milky Moqueca Stew from Brazil If the thought of tucking into a bowl of milky stew makes you sicker than one too many caiprinhas, do not find yourself hung over in Brazil. A coastal dish slow-simmered in a clay pot, Moqueca is a rich and creamy fish stew made with palm oil, coconut milk and mangrove tree sap. To punch up the flavor, cooks add tomatoes, garlic, and onions. But the key ingredients are chunks of boneless fish—swordfish preferred, but any fisherman’s catch is acceptable.
Cure your crudo with hot Menudo As with Turks, the people of Mexico follow the adage, “You are what you eat.” When feeling crudo (“harsh”) and suffering belly ache, Mexican revelers swear by the soothing properties of menudo, a soup made with beef stomach and red chili peppers. Garnished with guajillo chilies, lime and cilantro, the fatty broth is served with tortillas. Even if you forego the worm in the tequila bottle, don’t refuse this dish when offered: It is a labor-intensive soup that can take up to seven hours to prepare.
Korea’s Haejangguk Black Pudding The Korean word Haejangguk translates to “soup to chase a hangover”—seemingly making this broth the perfect morning-after remedy. Haejangguk soup is made with dried cabbage, bean sprouts, radishes and eggs steamed in in a hearty beef broth. So far, so good. But add the final ingredient: congealed ox blood. Like the Brit’s black pudding, congealed ox blood is a type of blood sausage. Whether or not you find it appetizing, Haejangguk has staying power: First served in the late 1300s, this dawn-damage remedy is still available today from Seoul street vendors.
Luwombo: Uganda’s Banana Leaf-Wrapped Cure It behooves Ugandans to know a little something about hangover fixes: Uganda has the highest rate of alcohol consumption in Africa. The most tame dish on our list, Uganda’s Luwombo is a mix of beef, chicken or fish and mushrooms, onions and tomatoes steamed in banana leaves. First introduced in 1887 as a delicacy for royalty, luwombo is now served most often during the holidays—or whenever you’re feeling the wrath of Uganda’s drink of choice, Waragi, a homemade Gin.
Think you might opt for one of these international hangover remedies? Or are you going to fall back on that egg and cheese on a bagel?