5 favorite summer foods celebrate the start of summer


5 favorite summer foods celebrate the start of summer. Time to light the grill. These favorite summer foods are centerpiece of many summer gatherings.

Schools out, vacation starts and summer is in full swing. Certain foods are synonymous with summer. 5 favorite summer foods are obvious to most families. Think about any barbecue or summer gathering, what do you serve? I willing to bet that the majority of families serve these five foods at least once a summer.

If you said hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob and watermelon, you listed the 5 favorite summer foods. These iconic foods are staples on Fourth of July, family picnics and neighborhood gatherings. Time to light the grill and enjoy.

5 favorite summer foods, hamburger, photo by Cristine Struble


The classic hamburger is by far the favorite summer food. Chargrilled, served medium rare and delectably juicy, the classic hamburger screams summer food. While hamburger toppings have become more exotic, cheese is the most popular topping.

A great tip for melted gooey cheese on your hamburger is to use a metal bowl or dome. When the hamburger is almost cooked, place the metal over the hamburger. Covering the burger creates a little steam which helps to melt the cheese. In a few minutes, the cheese will be oozing over the whole burger. Every bite will be filled with cheesy goodness.

Summer favorite foods, photo by Cristine Struble

Hot Dog

Call it a hot dog, wiener or frankfurter. Drag it through the garden or eat it plain. Grab one at a baseball game or grill some in the backyard. The hot dog is a favorite summer food.

The favorite hot dog topping is ketchup. But, don’t dare put ketchup on a hot dog in Chicago. The Windy City will top your hot dog with what could be considered a salad, but ketchup will never be seen on a Chicago dog.

The German import has become part of the American culture. The Wienermobile and wienie whistle from Oscar Mayer bring many a smile. The annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest is popular Fourth of July tradition. But, don’t try to eat as many hot dogs as these professionals.

Potato Salad, photo from Pixaby.com, CC0 Public Domain

Free for commercial use

Potato Salad

At many barbecues, picnics and summer gatherings, the most popular side dish is potato salad. While potato salad originated in Germany, the American version of potato salad is served more often. Traditional German potato salad is often served warm, with bacon, oil and vinegar.

American potato salad is often either mayonnaise based or mustard based. Also, the potato salad usually has a crunchy element, like celery, onions or pickles. As people’s taste preference change, potato salads evolve. From the simple recipes from your grandparents to the elevated versions on food television shows, one of these side dish recipes will be appear at least one summer gathering.

Just remember, keep the mayonnaise potato salad cold. No one wants to get sick because this side dish sat out in the sun.

Corn on the Cob photo from Pixaby.com, CC0 Public Domain

Free for commercial use

Corn on the cob

Corn on the cob is the simple vegetable that can be so difficult to eat. Generally, corn on the cob is sweet corn. It is picked when the kernels are still tender. Usually, the corn on the cob is boiled or grilled. With a little melted butter and salt, this side dish is ready to be served.

The only downside to serving this side dish is eating it. Corn on the cob is notoriously difficult to eat. Of course, there are special corn holders, butter dishes and other gadgets. But, the likelihood of butter dripping down your chin is high. Truthfully, just accept the mess. Cutting off the kernels might get you a few strange looks.

Watermelon, photo from Pixaby.com, CC0 Public Domain

Free for commercial use


Watermelon is the picture perfect summer fruit. While people think of the red variety, watermelons can be orange, yellow, white or pink. Usually, we eat just the juicy part. But, the whole watermelon, rind and all, is edible. The rind can be used like a vegetable.

Since it is hot during the summer, eating watermelon is a great way to stay hydrated. According to watermelon.org, the fruit is 92% water. Also, a 15 pound watermelon equals about 11 cups of cubes. One big watermelon can feed a big party.

The biggest complaint about watermelon is how to cut it. Everyone has a secret or preferred way. Slice it down the middle, cut it into chunks or just divide it into slices. Some people can carve a watermelon into an elaborate design. Others use a watermelon as a beverage dispenser (you’ve seen the video).

Next: Canned cocktails for summer entertaining

Now that summer is officially here, make sure that you enjoy the 5 favorite summer foods at least once before summer ends. My guess is that these foods will make many appearances on the table before Labor Day.

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