Now that the Super Bowl has become more or less a national holiday, it's time to make the most of the edible delights of the day.
In terms of American regional cooking, who could ask for a more varied geographic triangle than San Francisco, Baltimore and New Orleans?
Mix up your party spread with dishes from each of the teams' cities, plus the city which will host the Bowl. Here are some recipes and notes to get you started.
California fare: Fresh and tasty
- Classics from the city by the bay
- Black Gold 49ers Cookies have chocolate and caramel to give them the appeal of gold nuggets.
Baltimore recipes: Crab dip, crab cakes, Lord Baltimore cake
New Orleans: King of cuisine
- Gourmet takes on shrimp gumbo, jambalaya, chorizo cornbread, chili gumbo, fried oysters with saffron aioli, shrimp grits, more.
- New Orleans cooks show how it's done
Note: All three of these cities are on oceans or bays, so they use fresh fish liberally. I once visited a cousin who has a home right on Chesapeake Bay. He dropped a cage off his backyard pier, hauled it up and voila, it contained some softshell crabs, which he promptly cooked, sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning and served up to us, his amazed Chicago cousins. That's not going to happen in Chicago in February--or anytime--but we can always do our best with frozen or canned crab, and get into the spirit of regional cooking.