It’s football season and Texomans take that seriously. Something else that we take just as seriously is our game day food. Whether it’s a high school or college tailgate party or a football-watching party at home, that fully-stocked table is almost as important as the game itself. If the favorite team scores a big win, the food just adds to the celebration. Should the team of choice bite the dust, the devastated fans can drown their sorrows in chips and dip.
A recent Facebook survey asked local folks what their must-have game day foods were. The responses showed that even though the favorite teams may differ, what fills those paper plates is very similar. Below, in no certain order are the most mentioned football party foods.
1. Gettin’ cheesy with it
Cheese dip, preferably with Velveeta rather than a discount brand, is practically a game day requirement. What’s in the dip varies a little. Some like plain melted cheese and Rotel (another brand preference rather than a lesser-priced version). For others, the dip wouldn’t be complete without sausage. Of course, there’s got to be tortilla chips since eating the dip with a spoon is just plain boring. Some specified certain chip brands including On The Border and Doritos.
2. Things start popping
Popcorn is a favorite for lots of reasons. It’s inexpensive, easy to make, healthy and can be easily eaten with your hands. Popcorn is also the perfect thing to throw at someone who dares to utter some less-than-complimentary remark about your favorite team or player, plus it’s a great celebration confetti of sorts.
3. Spicing things up
This is the south and we like things spicy, so anything jalapeno is always a game day food choice. There’s jalapeno dip, jalapenos filled with cheese (of course), baked stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon (You can never go wrong with bacon on anything.), and jalapenos right out of the jar.
4. It’s a smokin’ good time
Another long-time party table favorite are the tiny sausages (Little Smokies being the preferred brand). These bite-sized treats can be grilled or baked (wrapped in bacon … again), but one of the most popular ways is simply throwing them in a slow cooker on low or warm, covering them with barbecue sauce and letting the irresistible aroma bring folks to the table. Oh, and they’re extra good with cheese dip and tortilla chips.
5. If the player trips, just dip
The cheese dip may take a top spot, but few game day tables limit the choice to just that. Dips of all kinds – guacamole, ranch, veggie and tons of others – are popular. Sit a few bowls next to a plate of celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes or sugar snap peas and watch them disappear. What a great way to get a daily serving of vegetables!
6. Put a little Italian in the mix
Pizza is a staple at not just game day gatherings, but just about any event. Who can resist that pie-shaped slice covered in spicy meats and grilled vegetables and covered up in … you guessed it … cheese? With pizza, it’s good served hot, room temperature or even cold and is just as tasty the next day as a leftover as it is when it just comes out of the oven.
7. It’s all in the toppings
It’s hard to go wrong with nachos. You’ve already got the tortilla chips, melted cheese, guacamole and salsa, so just add in some spicy, browned ground beef (or maybe just some chili), grilled fajita meat, pico de gallo and sour cream and you’ve got nachos. It’s another dish that you can let folks put them together however they want which gives you time to enjoy the game!
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