5 foods you will find at every parent tailgate on college football Saturday

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Parent tailgates are the best place to be on a Football Saturday. Mostly for the food.

If you went to a college with a semi-decent football program — or more importantly, a semi-enthusiastic football-rooting community — you are familiar with the parent tailgate and, more importantly, its culinary staples.

If you didn’t, allow me to explain, though it’s pretty self-explanatory. A parent tailgate is a tailgate hosted by parents and/or other adults. They don’t have to be your parents or even parents at all, really. Any parent-adjacent adult crowd of older alumni will do.

You will know it’s a parent tailgate because the adults will refer to it as a tailgate and not a pregame. There will be copious amounts of food, liquor that comes in glass bottles and beer that’s not called Natty Light. Whether the parents in question are alumni of the school at which you’re tailgating or enthusiastically sharing their skills with your school, they bring literal decades of experience grilling, day drinking and light trash-talking to the patch of grass or pavement on which they deign to set up camp. (Parent tailgates really do have tents and camping chairs.) To attend a parent tailgate is an honor and a learning experience.

As a student, parent tailgates are the golden ticket of college football season, mostly because college students have never not been enticed by free food and nice booze. After graduation, parent tailgates are still a boon, because while you may not be a student and while you may have acquired some years of personal Football Saturday experience, there is still no one on campus who tailgates better than a parent.

But enough about that. This is a food blog and these are 5 staples you’ll find at every college football parent tailgate.