Food and hockey. They go together so well. What's a game without a selection of tasty snacks to accentuate it? And hockey players enjoy their food as well--Zdeno Chara eats like it's going out of style, but he has six feet, nine inches, and 260 pounds to keep in motion. Other players, like Tyler Arnason, are more like the rest of us and eat because it's delicious. (True story: Tyler Arnason is forever and ever one of my favorite players because he told the Blackhawks magazine if he wasn't a hockey player, he'd be a fry cook or food critic. Normal players say things like "firefighter" or "police officer" or "architect" or "golfer." Not Tyler. Fry cook it is.)
There was one goalie whose name I cannot for the life of me remember, but got into trouble with the league because he was sitting backup one night, got hungry, and got one of the trainers to bring him peanuts or something that he sat, eating out of his glove. Apparently you're not allowed to do that. And Jeremy Roenick got a slush one time while sitting in the penalty box--also did not go over too well with the officials.
But for you there, Joe Hockey Fan, I know you're asking "tell me, oh wise one, what is the appropriate food to eat during hockey?" Here. I'll tell you.
First things first:
Don't serve this. (Photo from cska-hockey.ru, a website that I love beyond all reason because I have grown attached to the Red Army team. Also they keep me updated on Petr Schastlivy, who I like very much, and was glad to see he's finally shaved. Ahem.) Anyway, I understand the motivation one might have to serve a cake shaped like a jersey, but...don't do it. Just, don't do it. It's too much like symbolically eating your body. (Nice cake, though, CSKA.)
1. Pizza. And lots of it. Pizza is like, hockey's perfect food--you can eat it with your hands, it comes in a box large enough to share (or not, if you're so inclined), and you can get it delivered to your door! Or if you're feeling gourmet, you can get one frozen and cook it in your own oven! Now don't get me wrong, I love cooking, but not on game night. I can only keep track of so many things, you know?
2. Chips. Now this is where Canada excels--chip flavours. Recently dill pickle chips have become available in the States, at least in my neck of the woods, and have become exceedingly popular in my family. THEY ARE SO DELICIOUS. And KETCHUP chips--I was only introduced to ketchup chips when I moved to Canada, but I cannot believe I spent my whole life without them. Ketchup chips are a gift straight from God. And there are so MANY chip flavors--bacon chips! Curry chips! Roast chicken chips! Salt and pepper chips! Cheeseburger chips! You see, the fun never ends. Just be careful not to get really excited and knock your bowl of chips all over the couch and into the carpet. (Not that that ever happened, Mom. To me.) Bonus: dip!
3. Other snack foods. I'm putting in this category things like popcorn and pretzels, things I don't really care for, but lots of people I know do.
I think you get the gist of it. Nothing that involves A) elaborate preparation or B) utensils.
1. Beer. Duh. I don't particularly care for beer--it's all right, I guess, though I do really like Rickard's Red--but beer is like, The Face Of Hockey. I think it's Molson's entire advertising strategy at this point. And given the absolute rivers of beer that flow at hockey games, I think this one is a gimme.
Bonus Drinking Game! : Get an alcoholic beverage. (Preferably more than one.) Watch a Pittsburgh game. Drink every time they say "Sidney Crosby." With a bit of luck you'll be hammered well before the halfway point of the first period, at which point you'll forget you're watching a hockey game and turn it off in favor of the Home Shopping Network. In which case you'll be better off anyhow.
2. Gatorade. Only recommended if you really, really, really identify with one of the players and want to be Just Like Him. Even so, you're better off with water--you won't come off like such a tool. Let's face it--they're playing an extremely physically demanding sport, you are sitting on the couch like a shlub, and probably eating pizza. (True story: One time Tomas Holmstrom inadvertently soaked himself in blue Gatorade on the bench and had to borrow a jersey from a fan, there being for some strange reason no other white jerseys around for him to wear. He signed it and gave it back to the fan later. Luckiest. Fan. EVER.)
And For Dessert Thankfully, we've established those cakes will not be on the menu.
1. Those chocolate puck things. You know, the ones that look like a hockey puck. These things. They're not very tasty, and sit in your stomach like a rock so you'll think you HAVE eaten a puck. Very timely, though.
2. Any other dessert, ever. You could serve a triple chocolate mousse to the drunkards in the 300 row of a stadium and it would be more appropriate than one of those awful chocolate hockey puck things.
3. A cake. Just out of curiosity now, I googled "hockey cake," and this cake came up. I like it so much I'm going to make myself one for my next birthday.