At high school basketball games in the South, concessions are king. Spectating is hard work; it requires specially crafted food to sustain energy levels. Although every town has its own idiosyncratic foods, two unusual items seem prevalent throughout the South's basketball belt: pickles and Frito pie. Sour and super-salty, dill pickles are a popular choice among southern basketball spectators. Served alongside a hot dog or nachos with deliciously artificial cheese product, dill pickles bring a cold crunch to any fan's dinner. Sometimes, fans will request glasses of pickle juice to accompany their meals. More familiar to most as a shooter served with whiskey or bourbon, pickle juice is actually refreshing on its own. In fact, a Texas company has started producing an energy drink from pickle juice designed to minimize cramping during exercise!
Frito pie is another concession stand favorite. Oftentimes, the cook just pours chili into a bag of Fritos and tops it all with cheese, onions, and jalapea±os. The spicy, salty mixture tastes like processed food heaven: everything fans could want while cheering their team to victory. Concession stands usually stock huge vats of chili, enough to make dozens of pies and have leftovers for chilidogs. Supremely messy, the chilidog is less contained than the Frito pie, necessitating dexterous coordination of clapping and eating.
If you find yourself at a basketball game in the South, look out for dill pickles and Frito pies. When watching basketball at home, try this recipe for Swedish hot dogs with shrimp salad and pickled cucumbers-a more upscale version of American comfort foods.