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January 30, 2013

Super Bowl: What To Eat



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One need only watch the television ads during football season to see what people eat during football games. Super Bowl Sunday is a billion-dollar event for the companies that make the goodies.

A recent Harris Poll confirmed the obvious: chicken wings, pizza, chili, dips, and deli spreads (remember six-foot heroes?) are the most popular treats – all washed down with beer, of course.

According to USA Today, Super Bowl Sunday is like Thanksgiving – and wings and beer are the equivalent of a turkey dinner. There is also the fact that wings are a self-contained finger food, so macho guys watching the game don't have to divert their eyes from the big screen TV, though what to do with the bones is a touchy subject, especially for whoever gets stuck cleaning up.

Whatever the allure, the appeal of chicken wings is palpable: over 100 million pounds, or about 1.2 billion wings will be devoured by the time the game ends.

What to dip them in? You know the usual suspects: hot sauce (number one), blue cheese dip, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and so on.

Health.com recommends "healthy" super bowl treats (duh), which mean stuff no macho guy would be caught dead eating. Try giving spinach-artichoke dip or zucchini fries to your friend Tony after he watches the team he bet $500 bucks on cough up the football and you might find yourself wearing the stuff.

Burgers used to be the go-to Super Bowl meal, and while they still hold a special place at tailgating parties, they are losing their appeal on the big game day. Why? One expert guessed no one wants to man the grill during the game. However, expert BBQ guys should be able to put them on the grill, flip them once, and plop them on rolls just as halftime begins. Since it will be Beyoncé performing, chances are she'll be faking the whole show anyhow.

The new breed of finger foods is sure to make an appearance at some of the more . . . zero carbon footprint homes. That would be wraps, California rolls, fruit (ugh) and maybe even sushi. Oh no, wait that's not for Super Bowl Sunday that's for the ballerina's birthday bash. Get on your tutus, guys. Hey, whatever happened to pigs in the blanket?

Locally, it's fun to go with a Bonac flair. We'll start with clams casino – sauté a little bacon, red pepper, and shallot in olive oil, put a little of the mixture on top of a littleneck clams on the half shell (with its liquid) and sprinkle some bread crumbs and parmesan cheese on top. Put it under the broiler until the breadcrumbs brown, cool, and serve. We follow that up with chili – if you're a Republican, shoot a deer with an automatic weapon and make venison chili. If you're a liberal, ground fat free turkey. The rest of you use chopped beef like normal Americans do. Remember to make your chili hot – the cold ones go down easier. There are still Bay Scallops around – broil them in lemon and white wine for two minutes, sprinkle with pepper, and serve with toothpicks.

Finally, we have nice codfish running out here. Buy a couple fillets, cut them into finger sizes, and place on a stainless steel pan in the refrigerator (the worms, if any, tend to come out – yes, there are worms in fish, Matilda). Dip the fish into beer batter and drop pieces into a deep fryer until they pop back up, golden brown. Serve with any of the above-mentioned dips.

Remember to get into some office pools or perhaps make a small wager to keep things interesting. The Super Bowl has become an American tradition – enjoy the show.

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