Steeler Nation! The Pittsburgh Steelers are on their way to a record eighth Super Bowl appearance and potential seventh Super Bowl win (they’re already the winningest team in NFL history with six Super Bowl rings, but who’s to say we can’t use another one?).
If you’re the type of party-thrower who loves to match the food to the event, Good. Food. Stories. has just the menu you need. The following is a list of traditional Pittsburgh food , drink, and dishes that any transplanted yinzer will scoop up faster than Rashard Mendenhall can whisk a pass into the end zone.
Throw some cheese curds and canned meats on the table in deference to the cheddar-eating, meat-packing competitors from Wisconsin (sorry, Hank), and you’ve got a Super Bowl spread. And, probably, indigestion on Monday.
Here’s what to make to celebrate the Pittsburgh Steelers and have a great party:
Pittsburgh Food for the Super Bowl
Kielbasa Brought to western Pennsylvania by Polish immigrants a few centuries ago, kielbasa (or as we pronounce it, kolbassi) is a garlicky, slow-smoked sausage wonder. Eat it slow-simmered with sauerkraut, or grilled and stuffed into a sandwich. It’s great with mustard in a hard hoagie roll, but if you really want to be authentic, you need…
Primanti’s, the world’s greatest sandwich. With meat (seriously, choose the kolbassi), provolone, French fries, tomato, and vinegary coleslaw tucked between two massive slices of Italian bread, it is a meal like no other. Make your own coleslaw using my recipe and serve it up to happy Super Bowl party guests.
Heinz ketchup Undoubtedly the most famous of all Pittsburgh-born foods, I wouldn’t recommend adding it to your Primanti’s sandwich, but you should keep a cup on hand for any fries that fall out. Did you know that the best way to get Heinz ketchup out of the bottle is to upend it and hit the “57” logos embossed on the neck with the palm of your hand? Try it—it’s true.
Isaly’s chipped chopped ham “Chipped ham,” a common deli order, refers to the extremely thin-sliced ham pioneered by the Pittsburgh company Isaly’s. If you’re not ready to slice your own, give Isaly’s a call—they ship to Steelers fans nationwide.
Pierogies The Polish immigrants left a few other delicacies behind as part of their culinary legacy, not the least of which is this potato-filled pocket. The Pirates, the city’s baseball underdogs, host a pierogi race between innings, pitting four flavors against one another in a dash around the bases: onion, cheese, sauerkraut, and jalapeño.
Beet-pickled eggs, the curiously pink Pennsylvania Dutch specimens that are de rigueur at supermarket delis, holiday buffets and family picnics. The beets give the brine a sweetness similar to bread and butter pickles, permeating the white and happily offsetting the creamy egg yolk.
Rolling Rock beer Originally brewed in Latrobe, PA (hometown of Arnold Palmer and Mr. Fred Rogers), Rolling Rock was sold to Budweiser in 2006, yet another economic casualty of a Pittsburgh brand. Though it’s now brewed in Newark, just 10 minutes away from the Jets’ home stadium of the Meadowlands, you can still raise a green bottle in honor of the Laurel Highlands mountains where it was born.
Iron City beer Are you ready for this? After Rolling Rock vacated its Latrobe brewery, I.C., which was sold by the Pittsburgh Brewing Company in 2007, left its Pittsburgh brewery and moved operations to the old Rolling Rock headquarters. It’s the circle of life, ‘Burgh-style.
Klondike bars Another Isaly’s invention, and one that’s more widely available than chipped chopped ham, for sure. Surprisingly, the ice cream treat that spawned the national ad campaign “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” wasn’t even sold beyond Pennsylvania and Ohio until the 1970s, depriving millions of children the opportunity to nibble away at the crunchy chocolate coating until the melting ice cream ran down their arms.
Gardner’s peanut butter meltaways and Boyer Mallo Cups Two Altoona-area candy companies that are still churning out the chocolate since 1897 and 1936, respectively, Gardner’s and Boyer are still making their confections using family recipes. The Mallo cup, a confection of marshmallow sprinkled with coconut and surrounded by milk chocolate, and the creamy—not chunky—whipped peanut butter meltaway are the best of the bunch.
Eat ‘n Park smiley cookies Pittsburgh kids have been eating these salad plate-sized sugar cookies lacquered with a Crayola-bright smile since the ’80s. The simple, sweet icing is traditionally white with multicolored smiles, but when the Steelers win, Eat ‘n Park busts out the Pittsburgh black and gold and ships across the country.