Fall is officially here, and we’re celebrating the best way we know how by cooking and eating lots of yummy food, and watching a lot of football while we do it. Turns out, October is chock full of food holidays that remind us of some of our most treasured tailgating experiences. (We have a feeling you might be right there with us for some of these.) And even if you’re not a football (or sports) fan, we can’t help but think that you might enjoy these food holidays nonetheless. So read up and keep track of these dates!
October 4: National Taco Day
First off, we don’t need a single reason to eat tacos at any time or on any day of the year. But hey, we’ll happily take an excuse. And, would you look at that…National Taco Day just happens to fall on a Tuesday this year! It’s a legit double taco whammy. Shall we say National Taco Tuesday Day?!
When we think of tacos and football, we are immediately transported in our minds to San Diego, the former home of the Chargers. We’ve enjoyed many an epic tailgate outside their stadium (rest in peace SDCCU/formerly Qualcomm Stadium), which was about 20 miles north of the US-Mexico border. (OMG, the carne asada we have had! We cannot begin to tell you without immediately drooling…)
While the Chargers now reside about two hours north in Los Angeles, it’s still correct to call them a southern California team. And nothing says Southern California like tacos. Fish tacos in particular come to mind, but really any kind of taco will do. Celebrate the right way with our pan-seared fish tacos or our pork tacos al pastor.
Oct 8: National Pierogi Day
Each year, we set aside October 8 to celebrate everyone’s favorite flavorful Polish dumplings (or Ukrainian ‘varenyky’). There’s even a hashtag for this one: #NationalPierogiDay. Pierogies were traditionally considered a peasant food, but they gained popularity over time and spread throughout all social classes—including nobles in Europe. We can see why: They’re made of unleavened dough, boiled, and then baked and fried with butter. Umm, yum!
Obviously, the Pittsburgh Steelers come to mind when we think of these delicious bite-sized dumplings. The last time we tailgated at Acrisure Stadium, we basically ate our weight in pierogies, and then some. They go down pretty easy (thanks, all that butter), but then like 30 minutes later, the gut bomb hits you like a Mack Truck and keeping your eyes open to watch the game becomes a very occupying activity. Oops. However you eat your pierogies, eat like a noble and try out this sweet take on the traditional pierogi.
P.S.: The Steelers play the Bills on October 9, so you might want to keep the pierogi celebrations going through the weekend. Just sayin’...
Oct 8: National Salmon Day
If you’re feeling more of a Pacific Northwest vibe, you can jump coasts and celebrate National Salmon Day on the very same day. (University of Washington football fans, we see you.) Nothing feels like fall in Seattle more than a University of Washington football home game, and what better way to celebrate than to eat some fresh-caught salmon? Sure, we’re all heard of tailgating, but Washington fans take it up a notch with their epic “sailgating” parties. Yep, it’s a thing and it’s exactly what it sounds like: tailgating but on boats in Husky Harbor. (It’s pretty epic and should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already.)
Celebrate National Salmon Day with our famous “walk the plank” salmon recipe. Just be sure not to go overboard! (Insert pirate joke here…)
Oct 9: International Beer and Pizza Day
Here’s something we can all agree on (sports aside): pizza and beer are awesome. This international food holiday is undoubtedly well-loved by all because…well, pizza. And beer. Come on now. We’d argue that most of us Americans probably inadvertently celebrate this holiday on most days, but we feel it’s right to give everyone a free pass to go especially crazy today. Grab a slice (or five) and a pint (or three), and say cheers to arguably the best thing to come out of Italy (we know, that may be a stretch) and a cold brew. And, because we love pizza so much and October just happens to also be National Pizza Month, we made you a guided tour de pizza highlighting all the various styles across the US. Check it out here.
Oct 9: Submarine Hoagie Hero Grinder Day
Yeah, it’s a mouthful. Literally. A sandwich known by many names, traditionally, the submarine hoagie hero grinder consists of a long bun filled with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, olives, peppers, and slathered with mayonnaise. Nowadays, you can find a sub “grinder” in many varieties.
Curious about why it’s called a “grinder?” We were too. Basically, subs are harder to bite into with the thick bread and all the toppings, so somewhere along the way, they got translated into "grinders," since that's what your teeth have to do to get through a bite.
When we think of this sandwich of many names, we cannot help but think of the great city of Philadelphia. (Here’s lookin’ at you, Eagles fans. You know what’s up.) Turns out, we aren’t alone. Apparently most food experts consider Philly to be the best place in the whole world to get a hoagie hero grinder.
Whether you call it a grinder, a hoagie, a wedge, a sub, or just delicious goodness, we think you’ll love this sandwich. (It just happens to be one of our most popular recipes…for good reason.)
Oct 12: National Gumbo Day
When we think of gumbo, we think of NOLA, and when we think of NOLA, we think of the New Orleans Saints. Today is the day to appreciate this heavily seasoned, savory state dish of Louisiana (although, we say gumbo is a perfect bit of indulgence any day, anywhere).
Gumbo typically consists of strongly flavored stock with three main elements: sausage or shellfish (or both), a thickener, and seasoned vegetables. In the world of Cajun cuisine, the trio is known as the “holy trinity.” Add in a Saints game, and you’re pretty much at church already. We like to call it the Church of the Holy Couch. Curl up and savor these flavors while you cheer on the Saints or your favorite team.
Oct 25: National Greasy Foods Day
People suffering from game day hangovers, unite! Although not the healthiest of choices, every once in a while, we say it’s OK to indulge in some greasy food. From burgers, to fried chicken, to french fries, to bacon, we all like a cheat every once in a while…particularly after an overindulgence of the beverage variety. Today is the day to treat yo’ self, and we think our Carnival Burger is just the right way to do it.
Oct 28: National Chocolate Day
And last but definitely not least, we’re closing out the month on a sweet note with National Chocolate Day. If you’re already sneaking into the Halloween candy, we don’t blame you. We’re right there with ya! While many specific chocolate-related holidays exist throughout the year, National Chocolate Day celebrates all things chocolate. (Some sources designate July 7 or December 28 as Chocolate Day or International Chocolate Day, but this just goes to show how much we Americans love our chocolate.) What better way to celebrate than to dip to your heart’s desire with one of our chocolate fondue fountains.
And there you have it, our autumnal tour of varied gastronomic deliciousness. We hope you mark all these down on the calendar because this month is so jam-packed with good excuses to eat ridiculously yummy food that you don’t want to miss any of them! Whether you’re cheering for your favorite football team or simply vegging out at home, here’s wishing you a very very tasty October.