Baseball is still America’s favorite pastime. After all, what’s better than sitting at your local ballpark on a warm summer evening cheering for your favorite slugger or southpaw? But there’s something else besides the action on the outfield that keeps fans coming back for more: the food. Let’s take a closer look at the history of ballpark foods, along with a culinary tour of some of the country’s best stadium fare.
In the Beginning … .
“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack … ” Penned by Jack Norworth in 1908 and sung during the seventh inning stretch at all of the country’s 30 ballparks, the classic “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” lyric speaks to the very origins of ballpark food. From the early 1900s, classic ballpark food consisted of the aforementioned favorites, along with ice cream, hot dogs and brats, and beer.
The New Guard
While these timeless treats still remain tried and true favorites, the past few decades have seen the emergence of several inspired new ballparks, accompanied by an entirely new breed of regional ballpark cuisine.
From the finger-licking barbecue and Maryland crab cakes at Baltimore’s Camden Yards to San Francisco’s AT&T Park’s haute California cuisine — including everything from an antipasto bar to clam chowder to Dungeness crab — these new offerings changed the way we think about ballpark food.
Today, the sky’s the limit when it comes to dinner with a diamond view: the new Yankee Stadium serves up Cuban sandwiches while Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium delivers on the famous barbecue — pulled pork, brisket, and “burnt ends,” anyone? — for which the city is known. At Fenway park they’re serving up fresh Maine lobster; it’s Skyline Chili in Cincinnati; and authentic tamales at Chase Field in Phoenix. Washington, D.C.’s Nats Park, meanwhile, is a vegetarian-lovers dream thanks to everything from vegan cheesesteaks to made-to-order burritos. And did someone say “gelato?”
The Home Advantage
While trips to the ballpark are few and far between for many Americans, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a ballpark-themed snack or meal from the comfort of your own living room while you watch the game on your flatscreen. Nor does it mean dealing with grocery store crowds, endless ingredient lists, and hours slaving over the stove. Gourmet mail order foods from FoodyDirect make it easier than ever to fulfill your inner baseball fan and foodie.
Of course, there’s the classics: if you’re craving a toothsome treat of the dog/brat variety, take your pick of crowd-pleasers.
If you’re up for a contemporary spin on ballpark fare, meanwhile, FoodyDirect’s also got you covered. How about digging into some classic Kansas City barbecue while rooting on The Royals, noshing on world-famous jumbo lump, Old Bay-infused crab cakes during an Orioles game, feasting on some Southwestern favorites while watching the Diamondbacks, or chowing down on some chili when the Braves take the field?
Specialties from Jack Stack BBQ, The Narrows, Hot Damn Tamales!, and Skyline Chili promise all of this and more. In fact, this is just a small sampling of what’s available thanks to today’s extraordinary mail order food offerings.
Don’t have tickets to a ballgame anytime soon? Don’t worry: you’re still in the game. Wherever your culinary craving takes you, there’s transportive ballpark fare — and the means to have it delivered right to your door — just a delicious click or two away.