Veep Debate-Viewing Vittles

Tonight’s the night for the sole vice-presidential debate of the 2008 campaign, which means just one thing in this space: your only chance to make Veep-appropriate snacks.

Baked Alaska in progress. (Flickr/Tommy Williams).

When Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) take the stage at Washington University in St. Louis at 8 p.m. local time, it’s anyone’s guess who will emerge victorious, but as with any good spectator sport, drinkies and nosh are vital components of the experience.

Palin supporters have many options in both the food and drink departments. Although it’d be difficult to rustle up the fixins for moose stew (apparently one of the governor’s favorites) on such short notice, wild Alaskan salmon would make an excellent stand-in. Easier still is a platter of smoked salmon, which loves teaming up with crackers, toast points, herbs, cream cheese, even pizza. Here in the Pacific Northwest, salmon jerky -- smoked salmon that’s air dried first to give it a chewier, crustier texture -- is easy to find.

If you’re in the mood to do some deep frying, fish and chips (with Alaskan halibut) would be fun and greasy. Dessert should be nothing other than baked Alaska, the weird and dramatic ice cream-cake interior with a meringue shell that gets set on fire. (Here’s an intriguing individualized version from pastry chef Gale Gand.)

Drink options? Moosehead beer to make up for the lack of moose meat, as MA reader Kat from Baltimore suggested, or perhaps Alaskan amber, a tasty brew available in a handful of states west of Mississippi.

Have you heard all the recent flap over Palin, the name of a Chilean winery (pronounced Pah-leen) producing a 2006 organic Syrah that, before the Republican convention, was decidedly uncontroversial? Now, you can’t your hands on the stuff.

Still, given all the drama around McCain’s running mate, I maintain a bowl of Palin Punch is in order. Recipe ideas, folks?

For Biden supporters, the snacking associations are harder to come by. Biden’s home state of Delaware has fewer culinary notes of interest, but we’ve got a few (and would love more, if you’ve got’em).

That savvy Kat from Baltimore is suggesting Dogfish Head, a Delaware beer and brewpub with a loyal regional following.

And then there’s the home-spun dairy factor, which well may be Delaware’s little secret. Tucked away in the little town of Hockessin (pronounced Hoe-kess-in) is Woodside Farm Creamery, a family-owned operation making ice cream from the milk of Jersey cows. Getting your hands on the actual goods might be a stretch, but getting some locally-churned ice cream from your own neck of the woods sounds like a respectable substitute.

Apparently, Biden likes pasta, but specifics on shapes or accompanying sauces remain to be seen.

Although he grew up in Delaware, Biden was born in Scranton, Pa., which means that Pennsylvania-style snacks are fair fare, this Pa.-born gal argues. Soft pretzels would be ideal, but in a pinch, I’m thinking a bag of Snyder's of Hanover (based in Hanover, Pa.) sourdough hard pretzels, with a strong mustard for dipping, would do the trick.

For completely non-partisan snacking, there's the St. Louis factor. Ribs, anyone?

Add your snack bites in the comments area below.

More of my thoughts on Veep debate snacking with Post Politics Podcast host Emily Freifeld.

By Kim ODonnel |  October 2, 2008; 10:00 AM ET Entertaining
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There is a wonderful dairy in Scranton that makes their own ice cream - Mannings. Whenever we go to visit my mother-in-law, my husband and kids go at least 3-4 times! Plus, as mentioned in "The Office," Cooper's is a local landmark (seafood).

And, as for Wilmington, there used to be a fabulous pizza place on Rte 7 in the Shop Rite plaza run by a family from Italy. Had the BEST deep dish pizza! The Bon House Chinese Restaurant at Limestone Road and Kirkwood Highway had some of the best I have ever had (I've never been able to find the mango chicken since then!) My Wilmington suggestions are several years old although Bon House was still there the last time we cut through Wilmington on our way to Philly....

Posted by: Julie in NC | October 2, 2008 7:30 AM

For Delaware, I'm thinking salt water taffy and boardwalk fries. And maybe some scrapple.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 2, 2008 8:37 AM

Delaware is the home of the Punkin Chunkin contest, so I'm thinking pumpkin anything is cool for Biden. Hey, you gotta do something with your test fires before the big day! Bonus points if the pumpkin was pureed by trebuchet.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | October 2, 2008 8:45 AM

Delaware's state bird is the Blue Hen Chicken - any chicken dish would be a good representation.

Posted by: Delaware | October 2, 2008 9:04 AM

I got the baked alaska in the freezer all ready to be lit tonight!

Thanks for the mentions, I'm honored :)

Posted by: Kat | October 2, 2008 9:08 AM

The confection "Moose Munch" from Harry and David's might be a more convenient stand-in for Gov. Palin's preferred dish.

Posted by: vard | October 2, 2008 9:29 AM

Perhaps you should do some Delaware style BBQ. There are several places on the slower-lower Delaware shore that often fine BBQ.

Posted by: Beth | October 2, 2008 10:49 AM

Halibut??? You're clearly "in the tank" for Palin. :-)


This is going to be hard, switching back between the Cubbies and the debate.

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | October 2, 2008 11:24 AM

It might be a little late, but you could make mooseburgers. DC resident Baylen Linnekin has an article up today recounting his ordeal acquiring moose meat (it's illegal to sell). He ultimately got it via Craigslist Vermont from a feisty woman hunter who had bagged a 650 specimen. It's a great read.

Article here:
Recipe here:

Posted by: Jerry | October 2, 2008 11:38 AM

If you are going to go with the St. Louis Factor. Toasted Raviolis, and anything with provel cheese on it would be perfect.

Posted by: Daniel N. | October 2, 2008 3:28 PM

Since Biden is from PA, some Yuengling would be my drink of the evening.

Posted by: ozzie | October 2, 2008 3:30 PM

I'm glad to see Dogfish Head is on the list. If a PA beer is also required, I'd go with something from Victory for Joe.

Posted by: Superfecta | October 2, 2008 3:55 PM

"Delaware's state bird is the Blue Hen Chicken - any chicken dish would be a good representation."

Not only that, but half of southern Delaware's inland territory is chicken farms. We used to get an economic report for DE in which a major indicator was "broiler chicks placed".

Posted by: Joann | October 2, 2008 5:20 PM

Wake up people - the Delaware entrees of choice are both blue - blue hen and blue crabs. To be served with sweet white corn and chipped steak Bobolis from the Rehoboth boardwalk. Assawoman Bay yields great crabs and other seafood - flows along behind Bethany Bch and Dewey. Fish in there for tonite. Don't let the claws snap shut on your finger, or anything else it can grab. Assawoman treats for you!

Posted by: Assawoman Bay treats | October 2, 2008 6:13 PM

The state flower is the peach blossom...would cobbler be a stretch?

"The First Steak?"

Posted by: Patrick | October 2, 2008 6:22 PM

See Palin Practice for the Debate with a Joe Biden Stand In, You can see all of the debate videos, Watch Clips and All of the Debate Videos

Posted by: Anonymous | October 2, 2008 7:03 PM

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