The Real Super Bowl Showdown: The Foods of San Francisco vs. Baltimore

Super Bowl Sunday.  The day of spicy hot wings, cheesy dips, chili, and cold beer.  Oh…and a little bit of football.  Whatever reason you have for celebrating on Super Bowl Sunday, I think we can all agree that the game is much more enjoyable with great food.  

San Francisco and Baltimore are two cities known for their unique and diversified cuisine.  If we pitted them against each other, though, in a food Super Bowl, who would win?  Below, I’ll share some of the more well-known foods from each city (showcasing some of my favorite foodies in the process), and you decide who would win!

San Francisco Foods

Crab Louie:  A salad featuring Dungeness crab, asparagus, hard-boiled egg, tomato, and olives, on a bed of iceberg lettuce, and served with a creamy thousand-island type dressing.  The exact origins of Crab Louie are debatable, but the earliest recorded serving was in 1904, at Solari’s in San Francisco. 

Cioppino:  A tomato and wine-based fish stew, usually with dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and a variety of fish.  It is usually served with a crusty sourdough bread.

Irish Coffee: Invented in Ireland, but first served at Buena Vista Cafe, Irish Coffee is made with hot coffee, sugar, Irish Whiskey, and a generous dose of cream.

The Martini:  James Bond likes it shaken, not stirred, but the original martini (or Martinez) was first conceived by Jerry Thomas, at the Occidental Hotel,  in the late 1800′s.  Today, you can find everything from a cotton candy martini to a french martini, but the original, made with gin and dry vermouth, is still the best.

Sourdough Bread:  Crusty on the outside, soft and tangy inside, the Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis has been used in San Francisco sourdough since the gold rush days.  Interesting tidbit…the San Francisco 49′s mascot is Sourdough Sam. 

Other well known San Francisco foods include Turkey Tetrazzini, Crab Rangoon, Dim Sum, Hangtown Fry, and Fortune Cookies. 

Baltimore Foods

Pit Beef:  Pit beef sandwiches are strips of beef, shaved thin and grilled over high heat, then served rare, with sliced onion, on kaiser rolls or rye bread with caraway seeds, then doused in a spicy white horseradish sauce.

Berger Cookies:  A soft shortbread cookie, drenched in sticky sweet chocolate fudge, the Berger is “the” beloved cookie of Baltimore.  The Berger cookie was brought to Baltimore from Germany in 1835. 

Natty Boh:  Short for National Bohemian, Natty Boh is an American beer, first brewed in Baltimore in 1885.   The mascot, a little guy with a black mustache, is as well known to Baltimore residents as Micky Mouse. 

Source: nationalbohemian.com via Barbara on Pinterest

Egg Custard Snoballs:  A sweet treat of frozen egg custard, shaved and piled in a large cup, then drizzled with flavors.  Supposedly the ones topped with marshmallow cream are the yummiest.

Black Eyed-Susan:  The “official” drink of the Preakness, a Triple-Crown horse race, run at Pimlico race course in Baltimore.  The drink was named for the ring of daisies placed on the winners neck.  The cocktail is a mixture of whiskey, vodka, sweet and sour mix, and orange juice.

Other foods popular in Baltimore include the Chicken Box, Lake Trout sandwiches, crab cakes, stuffed ham, and turkey with sauerkraut for Thanksgiving. 

I discovered, in my research of these regional foods, how the local cuisine was influenced by their geographies (both San Francisco and Baltimore are seaports, with a steady supply of fresh fish and crab), and their cultural roots.  San Francisco’s cuisine has Italian and Chinese influences; Baltimore has German and Irish influences. From the Italian-influenced Cioppino, to the German-influenced Berger cookie, these cities are another example of how our country is a true melting pot of flavors. 

What do you think?  Who do you think should win the food Super Bowl: San Francisco or Baltimore?  Tell me your thoughts in the comments below, and if you are a San Francisco or Baltimore resident, and have more regional food ideas, please let me know!

(Thank you to all the Pinterest bloggers/photos that I used for this post.  I have taken care to properly cite all sources.  If you find any errors, please let me know ASAP.)