Not your father's ball game food

 spicy bacon hot dog

Tomorrow is opening day of baseball season in the US, and millions of fans will flock to stadiums across the country to see the first game. They'll also eat a lot of food, and they have many more options now than they did in the past, as Food Republic explains in their history of baseball stadium food.

The offerings at stadiums used to consist mainly of hot dogs, popcorn, pizza, and beer. You can still find those, but today you aren't limited to this standard fare. Across the nation, chefs are bringing outposts of their restaurants to the ballgame. Top Chef alumni Mike Isabella is bringing a new kind of chicken parm sandwich to Nationals Park in Washington, DC. He says his is unique because he is using the whole chicken: on the bottom of each roll is a ragu made with chicken legs. That is topped with the breast cutlet, then tomato sauce, and then a sprinkling of Thai basil.

In addition to gourmet offerings, people are making accommodations for food allergies and sensitivies. You can find gluten-free Philly cheesesteaks in Philadelphia and an entire gluten-free section at Coors Field in Denver. At Fenway Park in Boston there now exists an entire "peanut-free zone, where clean-up crews take extra care to eliminate every trace of the old-fashioned shelled snack in line with modern concerns about allergens."

The discussion of new food offerings in the Food Republic article is only like the first inning of the game. There's also indepth coverage of the evolution of food at stadiums through the years, plus a nod to what we might expect in the future. Now let's play ball!

Photo of Spicy bacon hot dog  from Food Network Magazine by Marcela Valladolid

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