I was born and raised “from the North,” as everyone living in states below Maryland would say. My autumns were always met with chilly breezes, colorful leaves, and, of course, football season. To me, football has always meant hanging on the couch with my family next to the fireplace. Little did I know what football season meant in the South. On my first trip to visit my cousin (shout out to Courtney) at the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, I was jolted out of my liberal art school haze and sucked right into the world of SEC football.
Alabama on game day is even more magical than it appears on ESPN. Crimson and houndstooth adorned each tailgate that littered the main quad, which buzzed with music and excitement. While the sheer amount of tailgating was impressive, the quality and variety of food is the true showstopper. From chips to catfish sandwiches and everything in between, tailgates at Alabama have it all. Here are five ideas I got while at Alabama to try out at your next tailgate that will be a game changer at any school.
What better twist on the original chocolate chip cookie than cookie dough dip. Much more portable for those long road trips to away games, cookie dough dip is a valuable addition to any tailgate. The base of the dip is easily transformed into any fan’s favorite cookie, which makes it a versatile crowd pleaser.
When I discovered buff chick dip in high school, I finally knew what all the fuss was about. This dip is highly addictive, and even with all the restraint in the world I couldn’t have just one bit. Crowds will flock to your tailgate at the sight of this dip on your table, which makes it a tailgate must-have. Make sure to bring at least two pans, because a riot might break out if you run out.
If one buffalo-flavored item wasn’t enough for your spread, these cheesy on the inside, crunchy on the outside mozz sticks should do the trick
Nothing screams southern more like fried chicken. Crispy and spicy on the outside, yet tender on the inside, a SEC tailgate is just not complete with a bucket of fried chicken on the table. While frying your own chicken might seem as scary as losing to a rival team, you can make your own with a little time and patience. In just four easy steps, this recipe will guide you to scoring your own game-ready chicken.
You thought pizza could not get any better…then it did. Check out this link for the recipe to take your tailgate from good to legendary.
The veggie-based cousin of buff chick dip, spinach dip is a tried and true favorite for the tailgating table. With only six ingredients, spinach dip is easy to make, yet huge on flavor. If you’re bringing your A-game, try serving this dip warm and/or in a bread bowl.
If you haven’t caught on so far, basically anything with cheese and bread will attract people to your table
Nothing goes together like tailgating and barbecue, hot dogs and buns. Among the hundreds of tents sent up on the Bama quad, there was not one without a grill sizzling with the savory smell of charcoaled dogs. Hot dogs are a game day necessity for a reason: they require very few ingredients and are one of the easiest foods to prepare.
#SpoonTip: if you are nervous about what’s inside your game day dog, look for brands that are labeled kosher, which means they have followed a series of strict rules and regulations and use only high quality meat. For a list of the best kosher hot dogs, visit this link.
Want to add some spice to your tailgate? Try these nachos with extra jalapeño to get your guests fired up for the game
For those hardos who think just a plain ol’ hot dog is not enough, these pigs in a blanket only need Iggy Azalea to make them fancier.