Chicago-style hot dogs versus Cleveland Polish boys, deep-dish versus Ohio Valley-style pizza, these are just some of the Midwest food face-offs inspired by this year’s World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. But beyond these mainstream food fights, there’s the making of an epic indie snack-off featuring delicious foods and spirits produced by independent makers in both states.
And the competition is fierce.
So before you turn on Game 6 Tuesday night, check out this quick recap of the indie snack winners we’ve been feasting on during the past five games. Play ball!
Game 1: Cubs 0, Indians 6
Okay, Ohio, you win this round… For those of you who haven’t tried it, this vodka will really come out of left field and surprise you with its fruity flavor. The gorgeous crimson color is stunning in the glass, but it's the bright, fruity and remarkably complex taste that had us hooked. It’s made with whole local Montmorency cherries, yellow peaches and fragrant apricots. There are also notes of almond, fresh hibiscus flowers and a touch of Ohio wildflower honey. It’s perfect for a fall-flavored cocktail whether you’re celebrating a blowout or nursing your wounds from one. Yeah, you’ve got team spirit.
Game 2: Cubs 5, Indians 1
Forget the peanuts and Cracker Jack… We’ll take these plump, roasted and salted cashews coated with zingy lemon and honey! Inspired by bold flavors (and beer), Chicago-based maker Chris Ferguson dreamt up this combo for his home city’s Craft Beer Week in 2011 and knew it would be mutiny if he didn’t continue to keep them in his lineup. (Even New Yorkers know not to mess with a Chicagoan’s beer and bar snacks.) Chicago ties it up with this grand slam of a snack.
Game 3: Indians 1, Cubs 0
This snack really hits it out of the park. These beer-based crunchies are made with terrific craft beer, butter and whole grains. Anyone watching at home isn’t liable to miss stadium hot dogs when snacking on these with an indie cheese and charcuterie platter! Daelia’s beer flats are supremely crisp and go perfectly with any meats and cheeses you happen to be serving. Ohio takes the lead…
Game 4: Indians 7, Cubs 2
Another win for Ohio. Major-league good, aged for two and a half years, it’s smooth and drinkable and has just enough spice to balance out its caramel and vanilla notes. This whiskey is made with 60 percent corn, with the traditional addition of wheat and rye, plus the addition of five percent spelt (to show off the local flavors of Ohio). Whether you’re celebrating or commiserating at the end of the World Series, you’ll definitely want some of this bourbon.
Game 5: Indians 2, Cubs 3
This snack is a big hitter at Mouth HQ. These light, crunchy potato chips are seasoned with layers of chipotle, cumin, mustard, ancho chile, garlic and brown sugar. More smoky than sweet, this flavor ratio strikes the right chord between Mouth-watering savoriness and sweetness while still packing a little heat. Chicago isn’t out of it yet…
Tally: Ohio 3, Illinois 2
Which indie treat will win next? Who will bring victory to their state in our World Series of Indie Snacks? Stay tuned for Game 6… Make sure to cover all your bases and get them all for your watching party!