It’s the last day of March and the Madness is almost over. After two weeks of wall-to-wall college basketball dominating the televisions in every bar and halting the productivity in most offices, the Final Four is set. Florida will play Connecticut and Kentucky will do battle with Wisconsin on the court this weekend, but here at F&W we need a winner in the contest that really matters: Who has the best food.
Florida: Key Lime Pie
UConn: The Hamburger
Kentucky: The Mint Julep
Wisconsin: The Brat
Florida vs. UConn
Representing Florida we have perhaps the only state dish to inspire legislation, key lime pie. Back in 1965 state representative Bernie Papy Jr. wanted to fine anyone advertising key lime pie made with other kinds of limes. It didn’t pass, but it proved that they take their pies seriously in Florida.
And representing Connecticut, the hamburger. It may seem unfair for Connecticut to bring in a ringer like the burger, but according to the Library of Congress, this superstar of American cuisine was first sold in New Haven, Connecticut way back in 1900.
As delicious as a slice of key lime is after a few daiquiris on the beach, it can’t compete with the versatility, juiciness and general deliciousness of a hamburger.
Kentucky vs. Wisconsin
Taking the floor for Kentucky is the mint julep. Yes, it is a cocktail and not a food, but nothing says Kentucky more than this slow sipper championed by former secretary of state and proud Kentuckian Henry Clay. The pile of ice on top of the mint and bourbon makes this the perfect drink for a lazy Sunday.
And for Wisconsin we have the brat, the perfect blend of meat and spices in an easy-to-eat tube. If you have not been to Wisconsin on the day of a big game, you may have never truly seen brat culture in action. You can barely turn around without someone offering you a kraut-covered sausage.
The Julep is just too polite to take on a juicy brat right off the grill.
THE FINALS: UConn vs. Wisconsin
Burger versus brats? How can you pick?
As much as it pains your author (who was a proud resident of Madison, Wisconsin for 18 years), the edge has to go to the burger. It has been transformed and reinvented so many times that there is a burger for literally every single person. Apologies to the other competitors, but no one was going to beat the burger this year.