Metcalfe's Market at Hilldale shows its Green and Gold spirit.
The beauty of planning a Green Bay Packers-themed Super Bowl party is that it doesn't have to be complicated. Many classic football foods are already green and gold. And those that are not can be colored to fit the occasion. Too busy to even handle that? Local supermarkets are ready to step to your aid.
It was Josh Pederson at the deli at Hy-Vee on Madison's east side who first got me thinking about green and gold food. "We'll be having specials on our guacamole -- it's about the right color," he tells me. With the simple addition of tortilla chips, there's your green-and-gold hors d'oeuvres with a minimum of fuss. And while no one is arguing about the simple perfection of guacamole and chips as a football snack, why stop there?
At Metcalfe's Market at Hilldale, deli manager Kathleen Torbleau is stocking the cases with green-and-gold pizzas (spinach with yellow tomatoes) and green goddess dip with "just green and yellow veggies." Limited-time-only green and gold popcorn (sweet green apple and pina colada-flavored) was already moving fast for the Packers-Bears game, reports Torbleau. Metcalfe's wing bar will also be featured -- pack up the wings yourself, or order in advance. The bakery has Cheesehead cakes, baked in the shape of wedges of cheese...and, of course, cheesecake is another option. While the deli would appreciate 24-hour advance notice, they are willing to try to complete last-minute orders.
Whole Foods is holding a "Get in the Game" tasting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Super Sunday for each department to highlight its favorites for super-procrastinators. While a 48-hour advance order for catering is appreciated, its deli is willing to do last-minute orders, says marketing manager Amanda Jahnke Sauer, and the grab-and-go deli and hot bar will be stocked up. Specials include the quesadilla platter, chicken wings, deluxe nachos kit, pizza to go and a veggie tray.
The catering arm of Willy Street Co-op requires a 72-hour advance notice, so if you are reading this any time after noon on Thursday, you'll be looking at the co-op's prepared foods. Willy wraps and Wisconsin cheese platters will debut Super Bowl weekend, as will Bell and Evans natural chicken buffalo wings, artichoke dip and a taco dip featuring vegetarian refried beans.
Willow Creek brats (made with pastured pork) are in stock, as well as a football-shaped cheese ball. Certainly the preponderance of cheese at Packer parties can be difficult for vegans to cope with. Organically grown ingredients for a vegan guacamole, along with Garden of Eatin' tortilla chips and other veggies, are on hand in produce.
Knoche's Food Center has steaks and brats on special...and the brats are homemade. The deli also prepares cheese and sausage trays, and asks for 24-hour advance notice to prep those. Copps Food Centers and the Jenifer Street Market ask for at least 24-hour advance notice for their deli trays, too.
Finally, Brennan's Market can get you all set up with green-and-gold cheese curds at $6 a pound.
Now, this is the kind of devotion we've come to expect from Packers fans. Robin Shepard, our beer guru, writes that he's arranged for a couple of growlers from Green Bay's Titletown Brewing Company for his Super Bowl party -- Johnny "Blood" McNally Irish Red Ale (medium-bodied and made with Wisconsin malt and English hops) and Canadeo Gold (a light golden, easy-drinking Kolsch). If you're not up for making a special trip to Green Bay for growlers, Titletown is on tap at the Old Fashioned.
More conveniently for most of us, Green Bay's Hinterland Brewery has a number of bottled beers for sale in the Madison market -- Maple Bock, Luna Stout, Cherry Wheat, Amber Ale and a Pale Ale among them. Hinterland is available at Star Liquor, Hy-Vee, Woodman's and Steve's.
In fact, an order for Hinterland Amber Ale and Pale Ale has been shipped to the White House, where the beer will be a centerpiece of the Obama Super Bowl party. If only all Bears fans were so amenable.