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Tailgating: Super Bowl Style

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One mom wondered what tailgating was all about, so she did some investigating and experienced it yesterday firsthand. Here's what she found.

woman tailgating in an SUV

Guest blogger Yvette Manessis Corporon: I used to think that tailgating was all about a bunch of drunken sports fans guzzling down beers and chowing down on hamburgers and hot dogs in a parking lot somewhere. That was before I spent the day Super Bowl tailgating in Tampa. Boy, was I wrong.

Forget the beer and burgers -- these tailgaters are gourmet all the way!!

I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would taste the most incredibly delicate and delicious pickled herring in a parking lot outside a pimped out RV. The food was to die for -- smoked pork, sautéed prawns the size of my fist, perfectly seasoned tilapia tacos, 30-pound lobsters grilled to perfection!!! I think I actually ate more than my body weight.

Now while the food was amazing -- it was the tailgaters themselves who really blew me away. And, no, contrary to what you might think (and what I thought before today), tailgaters are not just men looking to fill up before game time. For some tailgaters, these parties are a family affair -- and an education, as well. Just ask mother of three, Karen DiEugenio. Karen says she too was once a football widow, but that was before she hit her first tailgate party. Not only was she hooked, she and her husband Jay took the kids out of school and spent the entire football season traveling from game to game. Karen tells momlogic, "It was extremely educational. Between cities, we visited museums and historical sights. We went everywhere from the Spam Museum to Little Big Horn." Karen loved it so much she is now the editor of "Tailgater Monthly Magazine" as well as the author of the ultimate tailgater's guide, "I Got Your Tailgate Party Right Here."

But Karen also tells momlogic there's another huge reason why she and her family love the tailgating lifestyle: "Tailgating is the last great American neighborhood. My family and I decided we want to live in that neighborhood." In fact, her favorite tailgating experience was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Karen explains, "Many of these people still didn't have homes but they were still out there cooking and I fell in love." So did I, Karen, so did I.

Now if you want to talk to another diehard tailgate fan, look no further than Food TV host Guy Fieri. Guy gave me a crash course on tailgating and says these parking lot chefs are the best of the best. In fact, Guy summed it up by saying: "This is where the real competition is. The guys out here are just as competitive as the guys in the stadium." And from everything I saw and ate today, I can tell you Guy isn't kidding.

So from now on, whenever my husband tells me he's heading out to a tailgate party, I'll no longer be annoyed -- I'll insist on tagging along.

Keep watching for more of my Football Widow at the Super Bowl blogs...

How about you? What's your favorite tailgating food???


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