For all the technological wizardry of game telecasts and the high-level sideline scheming of coaches and coordinators, football remains, at its essence, a turf war waged between slabs of meat: big, strong, fast dudes in lines trying to push through and around each other. Super Bowl snacks should suit the brutish occasion. Fortunately, this year, both cities contending for the trophy — Pittsburgh and Green Bay — are well-established bastions of all-American blue-collar fare.
Both cities are known for culinary traditions as formidable as their teams' offensive lines, foods designed to shore up the strength of farmers, laborers, and factory workers and fend off wicked winter chills: cheese curds, brats, and Leinenkugel in the case of Green Bay; and chipped ham, kielbasa, and Iron City in the case of Pittsburgh. As it turns out though, these classics are only the beginning. Turn the page for our Top 5 lesser-known snacking options…
5. Pickled beet eggs: Okay, so these are a tougher sell for the buffet table than brats and beer. A Pennsylvania Dutch invention, these pickled eggs are dyed a lurid purple-pink by beets sliced right into the brine. They pop up frequently at Pittsburgh groceries.
4. Chicken booyah: “Boo yah” may be the sort of thing bit characters say in action movies before they jump out of planes or get toasted by enemy fire, but in Wisconsin (to be honest, the northeastern part), “booyah” refers to an incredibly hearty chicken stew popularized by Belgian immigrants in the 1850s.
3. Whitefish boil: Sounds colorful, right? Well, it isn't, but that's okay. Serve this cream-to-beige-hued spread of fire-simmered potatoes and freshwater fish with rye bread and melted butter.
2. Haluski: Cabbage and noodles doesn't have the immediate appeal of spaghetti and meatballs, but the dish, an Eastern European import, is both delicious and all over Pittsburgh: fat, slightly browned egg noodles with sliced cooked green cabbage and lots of butter.
1. Pickled mustard greens: Nearly 50,000 Hmong live in Wisconsin. Hmong cuisine has some overlaps with Lao and Vietnamese food, primarily with regard to the use of lemongrass, garlic, green onions, and other aromatics. Pickled mustard is a Hmong specialty. It would be good on a brat.