Much like the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Purdue Boilermakers were just begging to be included in the Edible Bracket. A boilermaker is apparently a “trained craftsman who produces steel fabrications from plates and sections" (weird mascot, no?), but it’s also a surprisingly delicious beer cocktail. Opinion differs on whether a boilermaker is a shot followed by a beer chaser, or whether the drink involves dropping the shot INTO the beer. We went with the latter, for dramatic effect, as demonstrated in the accompanying slideshow.
Did you know that more sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina than in any other state? It’s true—approximately 38.5% of the country’s sweet potatoes are grown there. So for late entry UNC-Asheville we cooked up a food that highlights the bounty of North Carolina: sweet potato curry.
OK, go with us on this one. This Indiana State food art has many meanings, many layers. Let’s unpack it together.
1. Ficus sycomorus, sometimes called the sycamore fig, sycamore, or sycomore, is a fig species that has been cultivated since ancient times. Thus, the fig represents the Indiana State mascot, Sycamore Sam.
2. Larry Bird was an Indiana State star and a major NBA star. Bird was born in Indiana and also coached the Indiana Pacers. Dude is all around Indiana star. The fact that the figs have been shaped into a bird (um, sort of) is an homage to him.
3. Finally, and also, we love Portlandia, a show starting Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, which features a hilarious skit called "Put a Bird on It."
We wanted to put a [Larry] Bird on it. So we put a bird on this sycamore fig. Get it?
This is definitely our weirdest entry.
Rumor has it that the King himself loved this sandwich. And who else do you think of when you think of Memphis? Well, maybe you think of the Tigers now. But Elvis still lives; he’s still the King of Memphis. And we must bow down to the King and bring him an offering. This is our offering, our Elvis sandwich: banana, bacon, and peanut butter.
All three of these ingredients are disgusting to Laura. And yet she ate it. For the bracket.
About 5 years ago, the U.S. Congress quietly gave up its silly idea of calling French Fries Freedom Fries (an idea thought up by some Republican congressmen when the United States was mad at France for not wanting to invade Iraq). But we think if there’s one team out there that’s sticking to calling them Freedom Fries, it’s be the George Mason Patriots. Not only are they called the Patriots, but GM’s law school is one of the most conservative in the country, and the school’s econ department is full of libertarian free-market enthusiasts—just the type of people who would go to the school cafeteria and order up a plate of Freedom Fries.
For us, St. Peter is associated less with Jersey City (home of St. Peter’s College), and more with the City of Rome, where a basilica stands in his honor. We’re not sure what the Romans ate when Jesus and Peter were hanging out, but we like to think it was classic Italian dishes like baked ziti.
We’ve already noted how South Carolina grows a lot of rice. But we wanted to get a little more creative with our rice cooking this time around. So we made a modern twist on a classic casserole in which rice is king. Sort of like a nicer version of the kinds of dishes served in college cafeterias all around the country.
We have to admit we’re a little New York-centric here at Edible Bracket HQ. So when we think of Hampton, we think of the Hamptons out on Long Island. And how do the Hamptons roll? With lobster. Yum.