If baseball is the number one American pastime, then seeking out the inventive food offerings at ballparks is a close second.
Each year foodservice operators at the nation’s baseball stadiums try to outdo each other by offering signature menu items that elevate the experience for attendees—everything from unexpected, over-the-top combinations to creative, high quality stadium foods.
Many of these items feature flavorful, on-trend sauces and flavors to help them stand out and differentiate them from the rest of the playing field.
The versatility of sauces
Ball park food is all about big flavor—which is why utilizing a wide range of sauces is a smart idea for operators looking to keep up with customer expectations. Brands like Ken’s Foods offer popular and trending sauce and dressing options, as well as innovative recipe ideas, to keep menus fresh.
Sandwiches are one of the simplest choices for menuing barbecue since they can include a variety of meats and ingredients. Pulled pork, boneless chicken breasts or thighs and sausage are all popular barbecue sandwich options for stadiums and spring cookouts. Finger foods can also pair well with barbecue, such as chicken tenders served with a barbecue dipping sauce like Ken’s Cannonball Barbecue Sauce.
For a shareable platter with the flavor of barbecue, consider offering Beer Boiled Shrimp with Texas Blue Ribbon Barbecue Sauce—beer-boiled shrimp cooked with cayenne, Old Bay seasoning, garlic and a bottle of Harpoon Sweet Spot beer, served with Ken’s Texas Blue Ribbon Barbecue Sauce and garnished with lemon and parsley.
Other options popping up on stadium menus include bowls, such as mac-and-cheese topped with pulled pork or brisket, or nachos topped with barbecued meats and drizzled with sauce. A simple option that’s sure to appeal to the whole table is the Stadium Pulled Pork Nachos, made with tortilla chips topped with cheddar cheese, pickled jalapenos, queso fresco or cotija cheese and warm pulled pork with Ken’s Cannonball Barbecue sauce, served with a cilantro-sour cream and salsa verde.
Updating a ballpark classic
Another popular trend on stadium foodservice menus is the modernization of the classic hot dog by using a variety of creative toppings and sauces, such as a spicy mayonnaise or flavored mustard.
Consider this twist on the classic dog: Beer Cooked Bratwurst with Brewpub mustard, which is comprised of bratwurst cooked with butter, onions, and beer of your choosing, served on a crusty bread roll with Ken’s Signature Brewpub Style Mustard. Or, consider serving corn dogs cooked in a jalapeno, corn, onion, buttermilk and cayenne pepper batter, served with Ken’s Signature Dijon Horseradish Sauce on the side for dipping.
Regional and spicy flavors
Operators can also experiment with less-familiar sauces that carry the promise of interesting flavor experiences, particularly if they reflect the authentic culinary traditions of a particular region.
Fried Chicken Drumsticks with Creole Chili Pepper Sauce, for example, feature a spicy breading made with cayenne pepper and other spices, and are served with Ken’s Signature Creole Chili Pepper Sauce.
With spicy chicken sandwiches in strong demand, another option is a Buttermilk Brined Hot Chicken Sandwich with Chipotle Mayonnaise, in which a boneless chicken breast is pounded flat and brined overnight in a 50/50 mix of buttermilk and hot sauce, then dredged in a seasoned flour mix and fried. Serve on Hawaiian rolls with cabbage slaw, pickles and Ken’s Signature Chipotle Mayonnaise.
Other sauces that can elevate a dish for stadium or cookout menus include aiolis, remoulades and glazes. Balsamic Fig Glaze, for example, can be used not only on a range of salads but also can be drizzled on pizza slices or used to create an unexpected and unique twist for a dessert such as a Raspberry Sorbet with Balsamic Fig Drizzle, topped with fresh berries and mint.
When it comes to stadium food offerings, look to dressings and sauces from brands like Ken’s Foods that can help elevate and add depth to signature menu items.
This post is sponsored by Ken's Foods Inc.