Serious game day tailgaters wholeheartedly believe the food prepared, served and consumed in the parking lot of Gillette Stadium could never be considered excessive. The spread is supposed to be an over-the-top presentation of exceedingly caloric foods that fortify fans for their crucial task: using their collective might to push the team into the end zone as often as possible.
Pinterest offers myriad ideas of how one can glam up tailgate ambience with luxury items like leather aprons, Yeti coolers, portably chic sound systems and professional bartenders. But the fare stays pretty traditionally low brow. There’s always something cold (brewed, typically); something stewed (a pot of chili, most often); something burrowed (into a sub roll); and something barbequed.
While glamming up the food and drink may not be a plausible option for this long-standing tradition, greening it up is definitely a sustainable idea.
With the explosion of microbreweries in New Hampshire, picking a local one that keeps water usage in check, offers growlers to cut down on packaging and uses local grains and hops when possible, is not an onerous job.
But cutting back on the amount of carbon-footprint heavy meat consumed during a typical tailgate is going to take some tact, and a few reducetarian strategies. For example, flipping a heavy meat-to-beans ratio on its head will green up your beef chili without sacrificing flavor. Tucking fewer, highly-flavored items into a sandwich like in The Green Cuban will satisfy the masses with less pork in the mix. And grilling a couple of local chickens in a spatchcock presentation over propane (it’s greener than charcoal, after all), shows off your BBQ chops while using the whole animal instead of focusing on a few unnaturally pumped up breasts.
If you’re sitting in a parking lot at Foxboro Stadium, you’re most likely rooting for the red, white and blue. Just know that it’s not mutually exclusive to go for the green as far as your menu is concerned. Go Pats!