When foreigners think “America,” there’s a good chance pork is involved — football (the pig-skinned kind) and hot dogs. Or, more likely, both at once. And, yes, when this time of year rolls around, Monday nights echo with cheering fans and cracking charcoal. And, yes, we like a good grilled brat. But as obsessed as we are with the home team’s stats, we’re equally fanatical about food, and as far as we’re concerned, there’s nothing more American than irreverent international mashups. The land of the gridiron is also, after all, the birthplace of sushiritos and cronuts. So don your beer helmet, brandish your grill tongs, and dig into our multicultural tailgate feast, where the beer nuts speak Spanish, the hot wings are from India, the griddle sizzles with Baja heat, and the pig — we can’t forget the pig — is French. Because at Mantry, we think you should eat well, even if it’s from the back of your car, and eat global, even if it’s in a parking lot.
California Lime Olive Oil // Sutter Buttes Olive Oil // Sutter, CA
Inspired by the founder’s global travels, but brought home with olives grown within 30 miles of the eponymous buttes (a cluster of volcanic spires outside Sacramento) and a SoCal sunburst of zesty citrus, this oil makes a Baja-style fish fry to rival the taco truck in the next parking spot over. Fillet a flaky white fish (we like mahi mahi; East Coasters go for cod), marinate in oil and spices for a half hour, then quickly sauté, slap on a tortilla, and top with sliced mango.
Bloody Mary Elixir // Pacific Pickle Works // Santa Barbara, CA
Let us add to the list of non-salads in Errol Morris’s epic game-day beer ad, the Bloody Mary. Morris liked his mayo, we prefer our veggies spiced and boozy. And so do Pacific Pickle Works. They’re smart: They know you can easily — and cheaply — get your own tomato juice at the corner store, so their mixer gets right to the good stuff. Spicy, salty, briny, and all made from scratch, right down to the homemade Worcestershire mixed in. They’re smart so you don’t have to be. Just add booze, juice, and toppings of your choice. We prefer, well, all of them, including a healthy slab of sausage. Otherwise, no salad.
Saucisson Sec // Les Trois Petits Cochons // New York, NY
What started as a little slice — er, *un petite tranche* — of Paris in Greenwich Village has become a medal-draped charcuterie empire, with a factory in Wilkes-Barre and an Eiffel-sized spread of mustards, terrines, patés, and, of course, cured meats. The Three Pigs might not be *petit* anymore, but their work is just as tasty, like this air-dried sausage from the Pyrenees. At a Paris bistro, you’d top a slice with good Dijon and a crusty baguette — but stateside sidewalk cafes are made for brunching, and brunching means Bloodies, where a spear of sausage makes an indulgently irreverent garnish.
Tandoori Rub // Acanela // Los Angeles, CA
Not your typical spice shop, Acanela is more a travel company, leading adventure tours to artisan communities around the globe, so they know a thing or two about eating well, and eating exotic. Missed the boat on their latest expedition? At least you can take your taste buds. This rub is the classic mix of spices like cumin and turmeric with a special kick from a bit of dried mango. Mix with yogurt and honey for a sultry chicken-wing marinade: let them sit for a few hours then bake at 400 degrees during half time. Serve with cilantro and an IPA.
Dark Cocoa Chili Peanuts // Lush Gourmet Foods // Kalamazoo, MI
Whether you’re watching the game at the bar or in the stands, you won’t be far from a bowl of nuts. And we don’t mean your drunken buds. Ubiquitous mindless munchies, peanuts are like the foam fingers of sports food, and often just as flavorful. Not these. One pastry chef, one generations-old family recipe, a grad school cooking project, and a whole lot of peanuts means a simple snack with a ton of taste. These send Lush’s basic recipe — a little sea salt, a little sugar — south of the border with the rich, sweet and spicy earthiness of a great Mexican mole sauce.
Coffee Toffee // Dave’s Sweet Tooth // Detroit, MI
One who travels must, eventually, return — so let’s finish out our world tour with a domestic dessert. And this one is as local as it gets: simple stateside goodness, all Michigan-made. But the former firefighter behind the namesake tooth eschews the mechanical means of his Detroit neighbors — no assembly lines, no microwaves, just butter, sugar, hand-sliced almonds, and whole roasted beans from down the road in Ferndale. A sweet end to a long journey.
October 2016 Mantry | Tailgate World Tour
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