The Super Bowl is almost upon us… and game day parties across the nation will feature the same boring buffet of chicken wings, nachos, hot dogs and chips — You brought chunky salsa? I’ll treasure this unique moment forever!
Please. No one remembers the party that played it safe. Fortunately, dear party host, The Casual Gentlemen are here to help make your Super Bowl spread as epic as the game. Ditch the tired classics and go bold with these five bi-costal foods native to the cities represented in the Super Bowl… San Francisco and Baltimore!
5.) Berger Cookies (Baltimore)
A cultural icon of Baltimore, the Berger Cookie is a vanilla wafer topped with a thick layer of chocolate fudge. The recipe was brought from Germany in 1835 by — you guessed it! — George and Henry Berger. Though the original Berger bakery (in east Baltimore) has been purchased by DeBaufre Bakeries, Berger Cookies are still handmade in a small factory in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. Mmm… scrumptious.
4.) Sourdough Bread (San Francisco)
Sourdough Bread is so closely linked to San Francisco that, do this day, the mascot of the ’49ers is called “Sourdough Sam.” Though it originated in Egypt around 1500 BC, Isidore Boudin made it famous in America. His sourdough mixture has been passed down through the generations from a single, cultivated batch of “mother dough,” which contains the perfect mix of cultures for future loaves. As legend goes, during the earthquake and fire of 1906, the widow of the Isidore Boudin ran to safety carrying the “mother dough” in a bucket… That’s a woman with priorities!
3.) Lake Trout (Baltimore)
“Lake Trout” is actually fried Atlantic whiting fish — which is neither trout, nor from a lake. An everyday food, it is typically served as a sandwich with condiments such as horseradish or ketchup. Knock it back with some National Bohemian, aka Natty Boh, a classic Baltimore beer (and a must have refreshment for a bi-costal Super Bowl party). Or, if you’re a mega-fan of The Wire like me, pair your Lake Trout with a nice, cold grape soda.
2.) Cioppino (San Francisco)
Possibly San Francisco’s most famous native dish, Cioppino was created by the Italian immigrant fishing community. Basically, anything left over from the day’s catch — crabs, clams, scallops, muscles, shrimp, fish, whatever! — was thrown into a giant communal pot along with tomatoes, wine and herbs. Some believe the dish’s name comes from an obscure Italian word, ciuppin, meaning “to chop,” while others proclaim the name actually comes from wharf cooks’ broken English calls for fishermen to “chip in” part of their catch.
1.) Jumbo Lump Crab Cake (Baltimore)
Oh! My! God! You’re Super Bowl party will not be complete without several of these mouth watering delights, Hon! The more crab meat the better! And don’t be an idiot, please make your crab cakes with Chesapeake Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus)… We’re celebrating Baltimore, after all. Crab cakes are pretty much God’s perfect gift to man… but if you’d like, you can serve it with a saltine cracker. Enjoy!
Now you have all the ingredients (*ahem*) for a truly unique and entertaining Super Bowl party. A multitude of fascinating stories thread through Sunday’s epic clash of titans… will your Super Bowl spread be one of them? May the best feast win!
Oh… and one more thing. GO RAVENS!
- Chef Mario Batali and Chef Michael Symon Make Super Bowl Crab Cakes and Breakfast Burritos (shoppingblog.com)
- Temptation of the Week: Create a distinct Super Bowl feast (balanceoffood.typepad.com)
- Spence’s Super Bowl Prediction (kluc.cbslocal.com)