Baseball Food Is All Grown Up

(from Eater.com) What do we think about when we think about baseball food? It used to be hot dogs and chemical-orange liquid cheese and a light dusting of crushed up peanut shells coating the floor underneath the stadium seats. And then it was over-the-top nachos, soft-serve piled high in plastic baseball caps, and absurd mashups like hot dog-stuffed deep-fried pickles on a stick or churro-stuffed doughnuts topped with swirls of frozen yogurt

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But now something else is happening: Stadiums across the major league are focusing on local food. They’re thinking more about how to feel true to their cities, and their commitment to their communities is only growing deeper and more serious. Is stadium food growing up?

Many say yes — and that food isn’t only getting better, it’s also a major force driving the baseball stadium experience. Patrick Schaeffer, the senior executive chef at Citi Field, says stadium dining is a priority for the New York Mets. “Food is one of the things that the Mets focus on the most, other than the players on the field,” he says. “We put a lot of time and effort into that.”

Schaeffer — technically an employee of Aramark, the global mega-brand focused on large-scale food service, including in places like concert venues, stadiums, and arenas — works closely with his partners at Citi Field and in the Mets organization to bring interesting chefs and restaurants into the ballpark. Even before a current season is over, the culinary teams start thinking about which new concepts could be added for the new year. “We put feelers out and see what’s fun, what’s neat, and what we think could fit in [to Citi Field], and then we go after them.”

Read more at Eater.com: https://www.eater.com/2018/4/25/17270746/mlb-stadium-food-novelty-local

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