Baton Rouge hasn’t had the easiest 2016. The Alton Sterling shooting, followed by the shooting of three law enforcement officers, followed by an epic flood. The somber mood has made us cleave to what really matters – friends and family. Weekends have many of us huddled up watching football (another letdown lately if you’re an LSU fan) stuffing our faces with gameday eats. That part isn’t so bad.
Somehow, we earned the corn dog nickname. There are so many other things we creatively devious LSU fans could have been called, so many other foods we’re obsessed with and probably smell like…but corn dogs…hmm. Always been a head scratcher. Alrighty. Let’s just go with it. Here’s to embracing your trashy, Bama-hatin’, carnival lovin’ corn dog self this weekend over fine specimens made in the comfort of your own home. It is an away game, after all, robbing LSU fans of the opportunity to cook up elephant-themed delicacies outside Tiger Stadium, which have actually been known to stump aghast internet columnists.
Most of us Tiger fans will be tailgating at home this weekend with friends and family, but if you’re on the road to see one of the SEC’s greatest current rivalries, LSU vs. Alabama, a rivalry that still incenses the Tiger Nation, you need some intel on a good place to eat in Tuscaloosa. I’ve got a spot in the city’s thriving red-brick downtown that won’t disappoint, Epiphany Farm to Fork.
Pimento cheese sammiches with bacon and layer cake worthy of church suppers: Broma’s Deli in Brookhaven, Mississippi has a big menu full of Southern favorites. It’s a convenient stop for Tiger fans on their way to Starkville this weekend when LSU takes on Mississippi State in the team’s first away game of the season. (And first full game after last week’s weird lightening cancellation.) Hungry travelers might need a reliable road food option, and Broma’s has good chow right off I-55.
I’m so grateful to Louisiana artist Betsy Neely for creating the charming original black & white drawings that lead off each chapter in Hungry for Louisiana, An Omnivore’s Journey. Betsy and I had a great time connecting over this project. Our process was to meet and discuss the tone and intention of each chapter, and in those meetings, I shared some of the things that stood out most during my research. As we talked, a single image would generally emerge between the two of us that seemed to sum it all up. Then Betsy would head off to her studio to start sketching.
Earlier this month, the LSU Houston Alumni Association held an event that speaks volumes about the long arm of Louisiana’s culinary culture. The group met at the Firehouse Saloon to savor 3,100 pounds of boiled crawfish provided by the Boil House at what has become a major fundraiser for LSU. It’s the chapter’s biggest gathering of the year, says President Lisa Bunch, a Slidell native (BS, Psychology) who moved to Houston for work in 1998.
With about 650 members, LSU Houston is one of the most active alumni chapters across the country. As part of my interview series with Louisiana expats, I checked in with Lisa about the Bayou State’s gravitational pull — a theme in my book, Hungry for Louisiana, An Omnivore’s Journey. We talked about what it means when members of Tiger Nation get together to carry out the rituals of home, whether it’s to watch a game or belly up to a pile of crawfish.