We're spending at least 30 minutes more cooking in the kitchen these days, and apparently much of that time is spent on the crust. Pizza is the top comfort food and there's one big reason behind it.

When stress happens our brains scan for memories that bring us comfort, and the experts say some of the best childhood memories are tied to food, especially pizza.  That's why pizza is the top comfort food right now.

Every Friday when I was growing up in Nebraska, my mom, sister, and I accompanied my dad to a doctor visit so he could get his weekly vaccination to ward off his wasp allergy.  After that doctor visit, we always stopped at Pizza Hut for hamburger pan pizza, and the way the gobs of hot mozzarella dripped from the spatula onto my plate will be forever etched in my brain.  As the pizza cooled, the sprawling cheese came to a stop on my plate kind of like a snowdrift forms a wall when it hits the wind.   Chunks of cheese, a soft thick crust, and a little grease.  Oh, it was so good.  So yes, maybe we do look for comfort foods based on good childhood memories.  Minus the wasp shots.

The NY Post said pizza is the top comfort food right now, followed by burgers, ice cream, french fries, mac and cheese, and spaghetti and meatballs.  I don't see entire jars of Nutella on the list (with a Ritz cracker), but I'll give America time to come around on that.  For now, pizza will do.

All of the comfort food eating has led to a six-pound weight gain for the average person since the pandemic began, but that's below some of the social media posts I've seen about the "quarantine fifteen."  If you're a goal-setter like me, we've got some work to do to hit our mark.  Nine pounds to go.

Top 5 reasons Americans reach for comfort food, according to the NY Post.

Tastes good: 48 percent
Satisfying: 43 percent
Brings happiness: 41 percent
Something to look forward to: 39 percent
Sense of comfort in uncertain times: 38 percent

Or, all of the above.  It's football season after all, and there are some good football party memories to draw from too.