The Super Bowl food throwdown

In the Super Bowl food fight between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts on Feb. 6, there’s no contest. The Saints have gumbo, jambalaya, bread pudding, King Cakes (it’s Mardi Gras season, too – what a delicious coincidence). Need I go on?

Indiana food? Anyone got any ideas? Well, there’s popcorn. Brazil, Ind. holds a popcorn festival each October that includes contests for popcorn recipes, popcorn eating and Orville Redenbacher look-alikes. According to The Food Timeline, traditional foods of Indiana include pork tenderloin sandwiches and pork and beans. Thrilling. There’s also Sugar Cream Pie, a plain-sounding concoction of brown sugar, vanilla and butter. Donna Segal, a freelance food writer in Indianapolis, tells me that it was designated the official Indiana state pie a few years ago, but it’s hard today to find it on restaurant menus. When you consider the New Orleans praline alone, that makes it three-and-out for Indiana.

Sorry, Colts.

My buddy Judy Walker, food editor at the New Orleans Times Picayune, can tell you anything you want to know about authentic Louisiana food. She’s blogging all week here. She adds: “Our section publishes on Thursday, and it’s almost all NOLA Super Bowl food. Lede is recipes from the personal chefs of the extremely popular Saints Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey.”

Around here, Yancy’s Creole restaurant in Raleigh, N.C. will reopen on Feb. 4, and hold a Super Bowl party Feb. 6. Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse in Durham, N.C., which specializes in Cajun favorites, isn’t holding a Super Bowl party. But you can celebrate early with classic gumbo and red beans and rice when the restaurant provides the food for the Tab Benoit concert on Feb. 5 at Lincoln Theater in Raleigh, N.C. Papa Mojo’s proprietor Mel Melton and his Wicked Mojos will be on the stage as well.

Just ’cause I like y’all so much, I’ll post my favorite jambalaya recipe this week, which is guaranteed to feed any size hungry horde.

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