Who wins this food fight?
Super Bowl LIII has finally arrived. While football fans across the country gear up for an epic battle between Tom Brady’s Patriots and Jared Goff’s Rams, us foodies are left pondering a more important question: what’s for dinner?
We’ve decided to leave the game day predictions for the professionals. Over here at the Made In studios, we’re breaking down the incredible food trends coming out of Boston, Massachusetts and Los Angeles, California. Each city boasts an incredible culinary profile. Still, there’s no denying their extreme differences.
So, let’s consider it the ultimate matchup of East vs. West. Cold vs. hot (have you felt the temps in New England this time of year?). And of course, the Super Bowl veteran champs vs. the hopeful underdogs.
Football facts aside, which city wins in terms of deliciousness? We’ll weigh all the important foodie factors (and toss in some scrumptious Super Bowl Sunday treats along the way!). So buckle in, grab a beer, and prepare for the game of the year.
Coin toss goes to New England, so that’s where we’ll start. Ready, set, go!
Photo Credit: Gerson Repreza, Tiffany Chen, Unsplash
What is New England food known for?
Whether we’re talking Boston, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard or other Northeast locales, it’s smart to start at the coast.
When on their home turf, Brady’s boys are likely chowing down on plenty of seafood and other coastal ingredients fresh from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. In particular, no trip to Boston is complete without a hearty bowl of New England clam chowder.
This classic dish is perfect for sub-zero tailgates in the Northeast, but it’s also as equally refreshing sitting on a peaceful dock in the middle of August. So, what other dishes or ingredients are synonymous with Boston? Here’s a brief breakdown for your Super Bowl menu inspiration.
Recommended recipe: New England Clambake from Leite’s Culinaria
The Super Bowl is taking place in Hotlanta this year. But lest we forget—New England is known for its freezing cold temps throughout the latter part of the football season. So, it’s no surprise that many of the region’s foods are inspired by our craving for all things warm and comforting.
Clams are a great way to indulge no matter the reading on the thermometer. Whether you’re dunking them in a steaming hot bowl of buttery, garlicky goodness or piling them high in a massive clambake, yummy littlenecks are a Boston classic. Put your own spin on the above recipe, and game day guests will forget about the score.
Recommended recipe: Mini Lobster Rolls from Giada De Laurentis
From the wharfs of Nantucket to the Northern coast of Maine, New England luxury is encapsulated in the decadent lobster. Its smooth, sweet flesh is a welcome treat in practically any dish. But in the spirit of the Super Bowl, finger foods are the way to go.
Known for their generous mix of mayonnaise, lobster rolls are also beloved for their refreshing bite of lemon and the crispy crunch of their lightly-toasted buns. Take a cue from Giada, and downsize your rolls so guests can grab and go!
Recommended recipe: Boston Lager Chili from Tops Markets
Thanks to its East Coast locale, Boston enjoys a history steeped in early American culture. Whether you’re checking out Harvard or strolling around Faneuil Hall, the city is truly historic. Their legacy of beermaking is just as revolutionary.
Sure, you can stock your cooler with a case of Sam Adams Winter Lager. But why not take New England’s beer-loving inspiration literally to the kitchen? Grab a bottle and pour generously into this unbelievable chili recipe courtesy of Tops Markets.
Recommended recipe: Boston Baked Bean Dip from Carlsbad Cravings
Although they sound roasted in the oven, baked beans are typically stewed in a sweet, juicy liquid and canned for America’s convenience. Not so glamorous, you might say. So, how can you elevate this Boston staple without guests giving you the cold shoulder?
Every Super Bowl party needs at least one kind of dip! Incorporate some Boston baked beans into your favorite 7-layer dip. Or, go with this Carlsbad Cravings version and serve with nachos, chips, crackers or bread.
That’s 4 for 4 for the good old Pats. How will the Rams do? Let’s see…
What is Los Angeles food known for?
We’re not only traveling all the way across the country to arrive at Rams’ headquarters. More importantly, we’re ditching the Boston cold for sunny skies, clean eating and a green obsession associated with none other than Los Angeles.
Let’s face it. The LA food scene isn’t very tailgate friendly. But get past the low-calorie approach, and you’ll discover an abundance of flavor and freshness. Los Angelenos are known for their love of health-conscious cooking. Drive up north, and you’re also reminded of the truly impressive offerings of the great state of California.
Award-winning vineyards, olive orchards and the growing farm-to-table movement make the West Coast a strong kitchen contender. Infuse some of these SoCal ingredients into your Super Bowl party, and you’ll be more than pumped. Hopefully, you’ll lose a few pounds in the process.
Recommended recipe: Brunch Juice Bar from Food and Wine
The ‘juicing’ trend has taken the United States by storm. But go back decades in time, and you’ll find Los Angeles at its origins. Liquefying fruits, veggies and other healthful ingredients is not only delicious—it’s also an effective delivery method for the vitamins, minerals and nutrients essential to life.
Round out your Super Bowl spread with a refreshing lineup of juice mixers. Whether you’re topping them with Tito’s or drinking them straight, these nutrient-packed drinks promise pure energy (and flavor) to wash everything down.
Recommended recipe: Super Bowl Guacamole from Reboot with Joe
While folks back in Boston can hardly keep their weeds alive, Rams fans’ gardens are thriving. The consistent climate in California makes it one of the greatest places to grow avocados. In fact, they account for roughly 90% of our domestic crop.
They may be healthy, but avocados are having a serious moment right now in kitchens across America. They’re filling, flavorful and go perfectly in any cuisine. Our chosen recipe takes a low-calorie approach, but pair with some awesome street tacos or fajitas, and the fam will thank you kindly.
Recommended recipe: Escalivada from California Olive Kitchen
Did you know that Los Angeles is famous for its International Extra Virgin Olive Oil competition? This essential ingredient has a long history in the state of California, so it’s only fitting that Ram Super Bowl menus take advantage of its amazing taste and versatility. As an ode to olive oil (and LA’s Latin influence), we’re going with a tapas recipe.
Roasted eggplant and red peppers, garlic, sherry vinegar, ricotta cheese and delectable EVOO top off a chunky ciabatta bread in this mouthwatering halftime treat.
Recommended recipe: Super Bowl Sunday Sangrias from Tipsy Bartender
Don’t forget the bar! And never forget California’s unparalleled reputation for wine. The state produces 90% of the wine Americans consume. Its vineyards are famous all over the globe, with tens of thousands of visitors descending each year to the Napa Valley to tour the region and taste its many wonders.
Hit the local wine store, look for the ‘California’ label, and check out our top Super Bowl sangria tips from Tipsy Bartender.
Who wins: Boston or LA?
We’ve eaten across New England and stuffed our bellies Hollywood style. So, who wins the ultimate showdown? The Made In verdict is in: it’s a tie!
While Boston’s hearty comfort foods are a warm welcome to game day, Los Angeles’ health-conscious angle provides the essential balance we all need before bikini season (it’s right around the corner!). You’d be crazy not to take inspiration from both teams, no matter where your loyalty lies.
Who gets your vote? Check back for more amazing Made In Super Bowl ideas.