Betting on the Snack Bowl

Author: Alecia Pirulis

English: Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pi...

We’ve waited months, riding the roller-coaster of ups and downs, twists and turns … our hands in the air, our shouts of joy and disbelief echoing around us, and finally, we’re inching toward that final breath-stealing finale that signals the end of the ride. Football fans know what I’m talking about … the Big Game is Sunday.

Okay, I’ll admit it … just as when the roller coaster finally slides to a stop, I’m sort of relieved that it’s over. Sure, I want to go again (next year), but for now, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. I get my couch back. Finally, my husband’s friends will find their way to their own homes and start doing all of those tasks that have been neglected on weekends while they’ve been planted in front of my big-screen TV, munching chips and drinking beer … washing cars, painting trim, mowing lawns.

For the big finale, I’m planning an all-out party. I could go the typical route and serve 7-layer taco dip, sliders, chili, and hot wings, but I think I may want to try something new this year … something I like to call the Snack Bowl. I’m going to make the food compete, just like the players on the screen. Who will win? I’m not sure – New England and New York are both famous for their amazing food and drinks.

First up: the Battle of the Chowders. New England clam chowder has an edge here … it is thick, creamy, and delicious. Of course, Manhattan clam chowder could pull off an upset. The tomatoes add just enough of a bite to keep the guests coming back for more. I’m going to make two big batches of each and see which one gets gobbled up first.

Second round: Battle of the Pizza. My husband, a native New Yorker, makes one mean pizza, so he’ll be in charge of the New York style pizza. I’ll be making the New Haven clam pizza. Honestly, the New Haven clam pizza is the clear underdog, simply because my husband has managed to find and befriend all of the displaced New Yorkers in a 50-mile radius of our Atlanta home. They will be at my house on Sunday, gobbling up their native pizza pie. But you never know — the New Haven clam pizza may win them over.

The grand finale: It may all come down to this … New York Style cheesecake versus Boston cream pie. They’re both great, but my money is on the Boston cream pie. It’s light, fluffy, creamy … and it is topped with chocolate. Sure, the cheesecake is dense and rich, but chocolate and cream? They’re all-stars.

At the end of the game, I’ll determine the Snack Bowl winner, based on the amount of leftovers I’ll be wrapping up and sending home with our over-stuffed guests. I’m guessing after consuming large quantities of chowder, pizza, and cheesecake, not to mention the must-haves hot wings and nachos, they’ll resemble the people who had too much cotton candy before climbing into the roller coaster … slightly green. That’s okay – maybe next year the party will be at someone else’s house.