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Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Photo by Craig T. Kojima, photo composite by Dean Sensui, Star-Bulletin


On this major party day, fixate
on something meaty, hearty
and easy to eat


The Souper Bowl concept has more going for it than just a bad pun.

As we were casting about the newsroom for Super Bowl food ideas last week, the office cynic, ever helpful, had one contribution: "It's a Guy Day, right? Guys don't care!"

OK, maybe. The nation's trend-trackers would beg to differ, however.

The American Institute of Food Distribution says Super Bowl Sunday is the second highest day of food consumption, behind only Thanksgiving. Hallmark Cards says it is the top at-home party event of the year, bigger even than New Year's Eve. The California Avocado Commission says it is the second biggest day for avocado consumption, second only to Cinco de Mayo.

IN the days approaching the Super Bowl, Americans spend $50 million on food, including 50 million pounds of cheese and 30.4 pounds of snack food. This according to such authorities as AC Nielsen and the Snack Food Association.

That's a whole lotta nachos.

And so, back to the soup idea.

Kick-off is 1 p.m. Sunday, meaning lunch, even for those whose stomachs are distended by pregame consumption of beer and cheese puffs.

Soups have these advantages:

Bullet They can be made ahead of time and left to keep warm on the stove. The gamespeople can eat when the urge strikes. If you are not of the football persuasion, you can run away. Go shopping, for example -- stores are blessedly uncrowded on Super Bowl Sunday.

Bullet Some soups are 30-minute convenience foods -- low hassle. The longer-simmering ones don't have to be watched, so use the time to make the TV room presentable and organize your share of those millions of pounds of chips.

Bullet Bowls and spoons! Neat and easy to hold while perched on the couch.

Bullet Soup doesn't dry out or get soggy when it sits for several hours. It'll still be good -- perhaps even more intensely flavored -- during the post-game show.

Bullet They are nutritious, low in cost, high in flavor and make good use of leftover vegetables, meats and herbs. In other words, they balance out the nachos.

Consult your favorite cookbook for great soup ideas.

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