Saturday, August 12, 2017

Review: Ballpark Eats by Katrina Jorgensen

Title: Ballpark Eats
Author: Katrina Jorgensen
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: February 1st 2016
Source: Netgalley/Capstone Young Readers

Book Description:

Forget peanuts and Cracker Jacks! America’s Ballparks now offer a dizzying array of edible options. These make-like stadium recipes give young chefs and sports fans a culinary road trip at home. From the famous fish tacos at the Giants’s AT&T Park in San Francisco to the mouthwatering Cuban sandwich at the Tampa Bay Rays’s Tropicana Field, these diamond dishes are perfect for any seventh-inning stretch.



Batter up! I love baseball. You almost have to when you're from Chicago, since there's two teams, and a whole lotta history and rivalry. So, I knew I'd enjoy this one. Overall, it was a pretty good cookbook, but there were a few issues.

First, holy curve balls Batman, there is a LOT of information here. There's information about all of the baseball stadiums. There's park information like why/how/when it was built, nicknames, how many people it seats. There's information and background story for the recipes included, like how they came to be and where they're popular.

The recipes are divided by division, which makes it easy to navigate. There's also a glossary and a map in the back, and there's even fun facts and quizzes sprinkled throughout.

As this book is written with kids in mind, this is a super approachable book. The recipes are all pretty idiot proof, and it's great for people who aren't big cooks. There's easy to follow, step by step instructions.

Some of the recipes are even too simple. For example, adding onion to a hot dog or putting garlic salt on popcorn. Not really a recipe so much as "yeah, that's a thing..."

Other than that, there's a pretty good blend of drinks, snacks, meals, and desserts. And, there's plenty of pictures.

And then we come to the bones I have to pick with Ballpark Eats- on behalf of Chicago. Not all of the information is accurate. At the time of printing, the home of the Chicago White Sox was US Cellular Field (at this point in time in 2017, it's Guaranteed Rate Field, so it's already outdated). Anyway, the book says that its nickname is "The New Comiskey". It's either called The Cell, US Cellular Field, or Comiksey Park out of stubbornness, the way we still call it the Sears Tower (because what the hell is a Willis Tower?).

There's also an issue regarding the "Chicago Style Hot Dog". It's what we do, what we love, and there is a very specific ingredient list that makes it so, and the book misses the target. They're missing celery salt. It also says "jarred hot peppers"- but it's specifically sport peppers. And a poppy seed bun. And if we're being super nit picky, neon relish. It's really weird, because it says in the facts that these are the ingredients, but then they're omitted in the actual recipe. Maybe it's meant to be substitutions for things not sold outside of Chicago? Not sure, but it's pretty annoying. Also, their recipe for elotes is just frozen corn and cheddar cheese. Which is weird, because elotes has not just cheese (cojita) but also butter, lime, cayenne, and mayo. And... Frozen corn? Blech.

US Cellular- i have never heard it called "the new comiskey" we just, out of stubbornness still call it comiskey, same as sears tower.

Chicago style hot dog- not right. missing celery salt. has "jarred hot peppers" - it should specifically be sport peppers. relish should also be neon, but i get where that's picky. also poppy seed buns. don't call it something it's not. says right in the facts it should have sport peppers and salt and poppy seed bun, but doesn't have it in the recipe- weird. also, corn is just frozen corn with cheddar cheese, whereas elotes is mayo, cayenne, lime, butter, and cotija cheese.

Anyway, I'm done picking the Chicago section apart.

The recipes (with the above exceptions) sound pretty delicious. The three that I think sound the yummiest are Poutine with Apple Blondies with Maple Glaze (Toronto Blue Jays), BBQ Ribs with Homemade Pickles and Cornbread Muffins (Kansas City Royals), and Cheddar Bacon Stuffed Burgers with Apple Pie on a Stick (Minnesota Twins).

All in all I think this is a fun book for a sports fan, whether that's a tailgating adult or a little leaguer child. The recipes are easy, and it's fairly educational on top of it. Though now, it's a little out dated.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Wow. Seems like they missed the mark on this one. If they screwed up so much on a field you are familiar with, who knows how accurate the other stadiums are. I get that some ingredients are specific to the region and may not be found out of state, but at least make a note that the original would be "x,y,z" but if you can't find them you can sub it out with these other ingredients. The recipes may be good but don't make the book sound like you're getting an insider look into actual ball parks if you're just making stuff up the whole time. :(

    1. That's how I feel about it too. Like, are people in Philly or Tampa going to be annoyed with their dishes too?