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Super Bowl XLVII Extra Fan Fare: Baltimore vs. San Francisco

Baltimore has much more to offer than crab cakes; San Francisco's bounty goes beyond cioppino

Robert Taylor
Posted: January 24, 2013

Looking for other ideas for Super Bowl XLVII party fare? Crab cakes aren't all Baltimore has to offer. Pit beef is a local specialty of top round cooked over charcoal, unadorned with sauce or rub, then thinly sliced and dressed with raw onion and a spicy horseradish-and-mayonnaise blend called tiger sauce. Lake trout is neither trout nor from a lake, but rather fried Atlantic whiting or hake, served as a sandwich with ketchup and horseradish sauce. The Baltimore chicken box usually features a half-dozen fried wings and French fries, for which locals often supplant ketchup with gravy as a condiment. Zeke's coffee is the local micro-roaster, and Baltimore dessert options include snow cones, peach cake, chocolate-dipped shortbread Berger cookies and Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman's Charm City Cakes.

For 49ers fans, there are plenty of other San Francisco treats to consider besides cioppino. Another dish—often credited to chef Victor Hirtzler of the St. Francis Hotel—exploiting the bounty of Dungeness crabs is crab Louis salad, with lump crab meat piled atop lettuce with tomato, hard-boiled egg, asparagus and the famous local green goddess dressing, made with mayonnaise, tarragon, anchovies, parsley, chives and garlic. For a more modern salad, chef Alice Waters' warm goat cheese salad was one of the most important creations of the 1980s California cuisine movement.

Particularly appropriate for celebrating the 49ers is the hangtown fry, a gold-rush favorite among those who'd struck it rich—the story goes that it was created when a lucky prospector demanded of a Hangtown hotel saloon (Hangtown, formerly Old Dry Diggins, would become Placerville) the most expensive dish it could make, which proved to be a bacon and oyster omelet. And chicken Tetrazzini was created at San Francisco's Palace Hotel by chef Ernest Arbogast, according to late cooking icon James Beard. The casserole of spaghetti, julienned chicken, almonds, Sherry and Parmigiana sauce topped with bread crumbs is named for Italian soprano Luisa Tetrazzini.

For dessert, San Francisco's favorite native sweet is It's-It, a scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies and dipped in dark chocolate. Popsicles were a happy accident invented here, while Jelly Belly jelly beans come from across the bay in Oakland. And a lucky gift from San Francisco's Chinatown is the fortune cookie.

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