Food for the Big Game!

By Ann Thelen

We love food and so do football fans! On Sunday, millions of people will gather around TVs to watch Super Bowl LI (51). Whether you’re cheering for the New England Patriots or the Atlanta Falcons, everyone cheers for good food! 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Super Bowl Sunday is one of the largest days of food consumption in the U.S. – second only to Thanksgiving. From buffalo wings, chili, dipping sauces, chips and pizza to homemade recipes, food is often the main attraction at a Super Bowl party.

Merlot-Candied Bacon, Maytag Blue and Arugula SliderThe National Chicken Council predicts that a whopping 1.33 billion chicken wings will be consumed during the big game. While wings have seemingly become a staple of every Super Bowl party spread, there are so many other delicious choices to munch on during the game, including pork. Pork consumption is expected to tip the scales once again with big numbers similar to 2016:

  • 12.2 million pounds of Bacon 
  • 12.1 million pounds of Chops
  • 10.2 million Pounds of Ribs
  • 12.8 million Pounds of Sausage

This is good news for Iowa’s farmers who raise more hogs than any other state. Most of the pig farms in Iowa are family-owned and have been in the family for generations. Farmers today provide one pound of lean pork using 41% less water and 78 percent lass land than they did in 1959. Now, that’s something to cheer about! And, for trivia buffs, that was eight years before the first Super Bowl was played on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, Calif.

Let’s not forget about pizza – the meaty, cheesy, vegetable, saucy comfort food that we all love! One in seven (or 48 million) Americans will order takeout or have food delivered to them on game day and what will the majority of them eat? Pizza! Sixty percent of takeout orders are pizza. In fact, a recent survey completed by the National Restaurant Association revealed that 61 percent of people consider pizza a "must have" Super Bowl treat. In Iowa, pizza topped with sausage is a fan favorite!

Google has even gotten into the game and released the names of the most searched for Super Bowl recipe in each state. What are Iowans searching for? Artichoke Dip. If you’re one of the thousands of people searching for an artichoke dip recipe, look no further. You’ve got to try this recipe for Cheesy Chicken and Artichoke Dip at Flavorful chicken is paired with cheese, yogurt, artichokes and peppers for a creamy dip that has a kick of spice.

What pairs well with artichoke dip? Anything. From shrimp to turkey to beef, you’ll delight fellow party-goers with a table spread that mixes flavors and textures. For an abundance of flavor and a healthy portion of protein, try these sliders, which will practically melt in your mouth!

Click here for the Merlot-Candied Bacon, Maytag Blue and Arugula Slider recipe.