During the 2014 baseball season, Bennett Jacobstein and his wife traveled to each of the major league stadiums to investigate the variety of food offerings. In January 2015, Bennett published The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine. It is available for sale on Amazon..
Baseball is a game that is identified with food. We even sing about it at every ballpark during the seventh inning stretch: “….buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack…” The famous song was written by Jack Norworth in 1908.
From the early part of the twentieth century until the 1980s, classic baseball fare consisted mostly of hot dogs, ice cream, peanuts, and Cracker Jack. Then ballparks slowly began to sell new items. A proliferation of new food offerings during the 1990s was fueled by the opening of twelve new major league ballparks.
Now, teams around the country sell a variety of exotic food. Some stadiums have gone all out to showcase unique, gourmet-style food. Many parks emphasize regional food as well as having offerings from well-known local restaurants. There are also several ballparks where retired ballplayers are shaping new careers as signature food purveyors.
“The new food era has brought such a wonderful gustatory experience at the ballparks with chef-prepared masterpieces, vegetarian and kosher delights, as well as amped up riffs on the hot dog and sausage,” says Bennett.
The Joy of Ballpark Food begins with the history of the first hot dog at a ballgame and concludes with a culinary tour of all 30 major league ballparks.