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When you think about great duos throughout history, you think about Han Solo and Chewbacca, Rocky Mickey, and sports and food? That’s right, the U.S. consumes over 8 million pounds of popcorn, 28 million pounds of potato chips and 1.23 BILLION chicken wings on Super bowl Sunday alone. Not you, though, you only eat Quest Protein Bars and Powders, right? Sure.
While the tradition of tailgating is considered an American pastime with all manner of greasy goodies getting grilled up and served to rabid sporting fans, what does that tradition look like around the world? Since March Madness and the MLB season are just around the corner, let’s take a look at five of the wildest gameday foods worldwide.
CROW MEAT AND JALEPENO WRAPPED IN BACON
We begin our journey around the world here in the United States with an Arkansas staple – grilled crow meat kebabs. This fowl creation comes from the Ozark Mountains and is a tailgating delicacy at Arkansas Razorback college football games. The mountain folk in the area swear by the taste of crow, which has been described as “gamey, like quail.” Which is exactly how you’d want your “sport” foods to taste…gamey. I’ll let myself out.
Take me out to the ballgame, buy me some peanuts and takoyaki…wait, what? That’s right, baseball, while it may be America’s pastime, it’s also wildly popular in Japan. One of the more sought-after gameday foods in the land of the rising sun is a big steamy ball snack, Takoyaki. It’s filled with diced octopus, tempura, pickled ginger and green onion. And thanks to its ball-like shape, it doubles as the perfect stadium projectile.
MEAT PIES AND BOVRIL
The UK has its own version of football where players kick a ball with their feet. The United States has their version of football where feet are rarely used…but what the U.S. lacks in aptly named sports, we more than make up for in appropriate gameday food. The US enjoys nachos at a game, whereas the UK enjoys a meat pie. Depending who you ask from across the pond, one of the more famous (or infamous) gameday meals is a Meat Pie with Bovril. More of a meat sauce than a meat, Bovril doubles as a topping or if you’re really feeling adventurous, a warm cup of meat juice! MMM-MM-MMM!
There’s no better way to cement yourself to your stadium seat than by consuming a hot pile of French fries smothered in gravy, topped with cheese curds, and occasionally sausage, meatballs and tomato sauce. Poutine is a bowl or plate of artery-clogging goodness and can be found at just about any soccer match and hockey game in Canada — optional sides include an EKG monitor to ensure your heart continues beating.
Nothing says game day food like the sweet smell of fermented bean stew…right? If you’re in China or Thailand, the answer to that is an odorous yes! Stinky Tofu, named after its overpowering pungent aroma, is a Chinese street food that has become popular at martial arts tournaments – probably because matches take place in small areas filled with sweaty men which helps mask the smell. The snack is typically marinated in a brine made from months-old fermented vegetables. It may smell like well-worn sweaty socks that sat in a hamper for a week, but it tastes like well-worn sweaty socks that sat in a hamper for a day!
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