Super Bowl XLVII: Cuisine of Champions

superbowl47This weekend, like so many other folks, we’ll be getting things ready to watch The Big Contest on Sunday.

Allen St. John says in his book, THE BILLION DOLLAR GAME, “The Super Bowl is anything but one game. It’s the championship of America’s Game. It’s the world’s biggest single-day sporting event. It’s an unofficial national holiday. It’s a billion-dollar economic engine that’s bigger than the GDP of many nations. It’s an opportunity for a couple of hours of unity in an increasingly fragmented world…”

We might not go so far as St. John with effusive praise for the importance of the day, but we really do love Super Bowl entertaining.  Second only to Thanksgiving in the sheer amount of food consumed in a single day, Super Bowl Sunday is a celebration of Big Snacks. (We’ve got a great story on our blog about Americans’ favorite Super Bowl foods.)

Some of the thirty million pounds of snacks eaten that day include

  • guacamole and other dips (see this week’s Saturday Samplers, right) with chips,
  • a big pot of spicy chili (see this week’s Recipes of the Week, lower right),
  • peppery Buffalo wings, pizza,  and
  • popcorn to go with

fifty million CASES of beer consumed on SB Sunday.

Looking for a new twist on the traditional party menu?

This year’s Super Bowl pits the San Francisco 49’ers against the Baltimore Ravens, both cities with rich culinary traditions. Why not base your menu around these teams’ local food specialties?

A Baltimore menu might include Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs (boil them in rock salt and Cape Cod Seasoning), Pit Beef (barbecue topped with a homemade BBQ sauce), and Berger Cookies (shortbread with a fudgy topping) for dessert.

A San Francisco menu could feature sourdough bread, the San Francisco Burrito (forefather the giant Chipotle/Panchero’s/Qdoba burrito), and a chocolate dessert made with Ghirardelli chocolate.

Don’t want to pick sides? Pick the host city, New Orleans, for your menu ideas: gumbo, red beans and rice, and king cake are party pleasers.