What more could you ask for at a party? Community, celebration, games, sharing and good, (No! Scratch that!) GREAT food and drink. That’s what a tailgate party is all about! Wait, did you think it was all about the game?
Even if you aren’t a football fan, you have to admit tailgating looks like a blast. People have been tailgating for over 100 years (148 years to be exact) where legend has it the first party was held at the Princeton vs. Rutgers game in 1869. If you believe that, then Yale would like a few words with you. They would argue that their field hosted the first tailgating party held on November 24, 1906.
If you believe it all started in 1869, then the origins of “tailgating” came from sitting at the “tail end” of your horse, eating and drinking while watching a game. If you are more of the belief that it all started in 1906, then it was the “tail end” of the car that set this whole parking lot party into motion. Then the 30’s rolled around with the introduction of the station wagon and that really set tailgating the modern way in motion with a lowered tailgate to set the table!
More seriously though, some say that the occurrence of tailgating has nothing to do with football and more to do with war, a “civil” one. In the summer of 1861, on a Sunday no less, (eight years before the first football game at Rutgers) the Confederate soldiers and Union soldiers met in the First Battle of Bull Run where civilians arrived as spectators (!) in wagons loaded with food, whiskey and wine. As most of these visitors were travelling almost 7 hours by horse and buggy, they brought along refreshments more out of necessity than to party. When the action started, they dropped the “gate” down on the back of the wagon, and proceeded to cheer on their favorite “team.”
It may be hard to agree where the idea of tailgating actually came from but we can agree on the underlying theme… food! And, tailgating has certainly evolved from its humble beginnings out of a picnic basket. From pop-up tents to elaborately set tables, this pre-game tradition has become an industry with $196 dollars per person spent on food per game.
So, whether you plan to tailgate (at the stadium), home-gate (your living room), or sail-gate (on the water of course!) this football season, try out these sure to please recipes for your football (and food!)] loving crowd…
- Bacon and Bleu Cheese Sliders: Delicious and easy to hold while your playing a game of corn hole or chatting pre game statistics
- Chile Glazed hanger Steak – The chile glaze on this steak will get you FIRED up for the game!
- Breakfast tailgate dogs – Going to an early game? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Obviously, these three only scratch the surface of gourmet parking lot dining. What are your favorites? Are you a pro at this? What tips do you have for first-timers? We’d love to hear from you.