Chowing Down

Posted June 29, 2012 at 1:15pm

While Democrats summarily spanked their Republican counterparts (18-5) on the baseball diamond Thursday night at the CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, the rest of us stuffed our guts with the top contenders in CQ Roll Call’s annual “A Taste of America” showdown.

Now in it’s second year, the regional taste-off pits iconic dishes from all around the country against one another, with items narrowed down by public vote.

Cherry cobbler, the official entry from Utah, handily claimed the 2012 crown. The dish was delightful, pairing sweet-and-sour cherries with a crumbly, streusel-like topping. Many reception-goers opted to add melty scoops of vanilla ice cream to the dessert equation, an a la mode audible well-justified on such a hot day.

We saw folks lining up for seconds of many of the “elite eight” contenders, including: well-spiced jambalaya (Louisiana), indulgent smoked cheddar mac and cheese (Wisconsin) and savory mini cheese steaks (Pennsylvania) The all-you-could-eat spread also featured bite-sized BLTs (Iowa), sweetish pulled-pork sandwiches (North Carolina), salsa-covered chimichangas (Arizona) and chunky chocolate chip cookies (Massachusetts).

The bracket-style elimination was sponsored by the National Beer Wholesalers Association, National Restaurant Association, National Pork Producers Council and American Frozen Food Institute.