There'll be plenty of hot dogs and pretzels served during the MLB playoffs, but this year, the stadium pickings won't be quite so slim. In fact, baseball fans can find a growing assortment of gourmet eats at stadiums across the country. Forget peanuts and cracker jacks; these are foods you'll want to munch on even after you're done rooting for the home team. Without further ado, here are 10 baseball foods — some local favorites, others designed by iconic chefs — that we crave around the country.
If you're one of those die-hard baseball fans who's been watching Summer games from the comfort of a living room couch, you don't have to miss out on all of the indulgent snacks. Hot dogs, nachos, and a homemade riff on Cracker Jacks are even more delicious when you make them yourself, and we've got all the recipes for you. Ring in baseball season's halfway point tonight: grab a beer from the fridge (it's so much cheaper than the ballpark ones!) and go back for seconds, thirds, and fourths without steep lines — or prices.
Can I tell you a secret? I simply don't care for baseball. Most of the year this is a nonissue, but I live in San Francisco, where Summer means baseball. While I may not understand the hoopla over the actual sport at hand (sorry), I can get behind one important aspect of the experience: ballpark food.
Pungent garlic fries, snappy hot dogs, and nachos loaded with bright-orange cheese lure me in without fail, and for as long as the indulgent bites keep coming, I feel a part of this quintessential American experience. Now I get that bacon-wrapped hot dogs aren't exactly traditional ballpark fare, but in the spirit of the Giants, it only seems appropriate to serve up a riff on a hometown favorite: the Mission hot dog. These bacon-wrapped beauts are standard late-night fare hereabouts, and while one could enjoy these sober, come next game day party, I'll be sticking to tradition and double-fisting with a beer in one hand and this juicy treat in the other. Just don't tell anyone that my attention will be elsewhere than the game at hand . . .
Happy National Pretzel Day! It'd be hard to imagine a pretzel lover who hasn't had a moment of weakness with one of Auntie Anne's soft baked pretzels. To learn how the eatery makes its signature item, we headed to the YumSugar test kitchen at Surfas. Start with homemade pretzel dough or the Auntie Anne's at-home baking kit, then watch the video to learn how to best construct a pretzel, either with the more advanced "lasso" technique or a simpler kid-friendly method. To top it all off, dip your baked goods into Auntie Anne's hot salsa cheese dip or sweet glaze.
San Francisco couldn't be more excited for the Giants to enter the World Series. The whole city is lit up in orange, and the streets are peppered with proud fans donned in Giants paraphernalia. The lucky few spent a precious sum to attend the actual games, but for those of us at home, you can still get a taste of the AT&T Ballpark with these San Francisco ballpark favorites.
Anchor Steam BeerBrewed in San Francisco since 1896 and beloved by natives of the area, Anchor Steam beers are a foggy city trademark. Thick and hardy, this beer keeps San Franciscans warm when huddled in the AT&T Ballpark on cold, foggy nights.
Gilroy garlic fries are a must purchase when entering AT&T Ballpark. The skin-on fries are tossed in minced garlic and parsley. Wash 'em down with a beer, large soda, or even hot chocolate. To make at home, toss hot french fries in a metal bowl with about a tablespoon of minced garlic and half a tablespoon of parsley until the fries are evenly coated.
This year root for your favorite film by hosting an Oscars party in its honor. So many wonderful movies came out in 2011, and they happen to make excellent themes for parties.
If you're hoping Moneyball takes home the Academy Award, serve up elegant versions of ballpark eats. From pigs in a blanket to homemade Cracker Jack, this spread promises to be not only festive but also deliciously comforting. Read on for our suggestions.
Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
Josh Springer, founder of Montesano, WA-based GrinOn Industries, came up with the idea to fill a beer pitcher through the bottom rather than from the top. The dispensing machine uses a cup with a hole in the bottom that's covered by a circular magnet.
The magnet, when secured onto the system, is lifted up by the flow of high-pressure beer, and the cup fills up until the weight of the liquid presses the magnet back down over the hole. See how it works for yourself when you read more.
On Major League Baseball's Opening Day, there'll still be plenty of ballpark favorites like hot dogs and pretzels, but this year, the stadium pickings won't be quite so slim. A number of food service companies are following in the Yankees' footsteps and serving up nontraditional fare. Delaware North, which caters to the likes of the White Sox and Padres, has teamed up with Food Network to develop new menus and signature dishes for suite menus at all of the company's stadiums.
Aramark, which services the Red Sox, Rockies, and Mets, is expanding its gluten-free and vegetarian fare. And Centerplate, which works with the Giants and the Rays, will be rolling out vegan soups, veggie dogs, a charcuterie and cheese offering, and a fresh seafood stand. I always appreciate a little variety, although I still don't believe canapés will ever really compete with chili dogs at the ball game. Not to mention if a beer costs $9 at the stadium, I can't imagine how much a charcuterie platter would set me back.
How do you feel about the enhanced offerings?
Source: Flickr User Dan Bock
Now that baseball season is in full swing and we'll soon have access to all manner of Summer fair foods, I'm having a hankering for a corn dog. Do you like to indulge in this hot dog on a stick?
- The new Yankee Stadium will serve up sushi by Morimoto and specialties from Le Cirque. — New York Times
- A few creative ways to make the most of leftover wine. — Washington Post
- Learn how one pizza fanatic constructed a hand-built firebrick oven at home for $15. — Los Angeles Times
- Find out which store-bought grapefruit juice fared best. — San Francisco Chronicle
- Meet the "tween" salad: hearty, warm medleys that smooth the transition between Winter and Spring. — Chicago Tribune
- Do women reach for different food than men? — Boston Globe
- Lebanon's winemaking dates back to biblical times, but it's the region's modern wine that's garnering worldwide attention. — Wall Street Journal