Yum, sewer shrimp from Muncie.

SUPER BET AND WATCHING — I’m reading this Superbowl article and happen upon the traditional bets between governors which usually entails some sort of food swap so the typical legislative bureaucrat can get even fatter. But this year’s was really sickening since apparently they do not eat anything remotely interesting in Indianapolis –at least nothing worth using as a wager. There is no distinctive food in Indiana? When you consider the fact that there is actually a good sized town in Indiana named Gnaw Bone, you can understand why. What’s worse is that the supposed traditional Indiana food includes such long time favs as salsa and candy and shrimp. Shrimp? I guess they grow ’em in the sewers.

GOVERNORS’ SUPER BET: SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Super Bowl rings are great, but you can’t eat them. That’s why the bet between the governors of Illinois and Indiana is so practical.

If the Colts win, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has promised to fork over deep-dish pizza, cheesecake and kosher candy and nuts.

But if the Bears win, Gov. Mitch Daniels will pay up with an assortment of Indiana foods, including candy, pretzels, salsa, pickles, popcorn and shrimp cocktail.

Bets among mayors and governors are traditional whenever a major championship is on the line, but Daniels said he and his Illinois counterpart are genuine sports fans.

  1. Dan says:

    I feel as though I should stick up for my hometown/state. I believe the shrimp cocktail they refer to is from St. Elmo’s Steakhouse, which is about as famous a restaurant as you will find in Indianapolis. Apparently their shrimp cocktail is a big deal.
    Also John, your comment made it sound like we would send them “salsa candy” not salsa AND candy 🙂

  2. JT says:

    That is about that nastiest assortment of foodstuffs in Super Bowl betting history. Most people who received this stuff for Christmas would toss it out. How about betting something valuable like a million dollars to fund the winning Super Bowl city’s party. That isn’t even 30 seconds worth of Super Bowl ad time. Now that would be a real bet.

  3. RTaylor says:

    Most of the shrimp consumed in the US are fresh water prawns produced by aquaculture. Few are raised in the US, most are Asian imports. The commercial fisheries are in such decline they couldn’t begin to furnish the demand.

  4. Fixed the salsa candy thing…thanks. As for the St. Elmo Steakhouse I found the pic of the owners. Too much steak in their diets. And exactly how short is that one guy anyway? 4 foot?

  5. djweimer says:

    Corn is going up a dollar a bushel…’nuff said.

  6. stew says:

    We got another cash crop we don’t talk about oil. Most of the Midwest supply’s it’s own oil.

  7. hoosierplew says:

    I don’t know if a tenderloin would hold up well in shipping. As for popcorn, many people don’t know Orville Reddenbacher is a native Hoosier. I’m not sure why we have pickles in the mix. Or salsa, really – unless it has something to do with Red Gold tomatoes.

    If for some reason you’re ever in the area John, check out St. Elmo’s. It’s worth the trip.

  8. bear fan says:

    you could buy all that indiana crap at any gas station in chicago

  9. Floyd says:

    I’m an Indianapolis native, but haven’t lived there since the mid-80s.

    St. Elmo’s is a very good steakhouse, with famous shrimp cocktails. Also in Indy is Shapiro’s Deli, which has great corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, and is considered to be one of the top ten delis in the US.

    I’d guess the best “native” Indiana food is fried chicken (there are chicken dinner restaurants all over the state), with Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn in second place, and corn on the cob roasted in their husks in third place. Pork tenderloin sandwiches are hard to come by in Indiana these days.

    In general, Hoosiers are just not all that original with their cooking. After all, the state is populated with industrial workers and farmers, and yuppies are fairly rare. Sushi is considered an expensive novelty there.

  10. DimtheLights says:

    Hey Ya-al,

    Dunt noew wha dis thing ’bout shrimp dis. Mabee da goevner ment to say crawdad fixuns n’ stuff. We have lot oh corn- corn cob and corn soup and popcorn and corn fritter and fried corn and baked corn and … o he did mentshen corn.

    Dem big sity slikers like shicaugo beers wunt win da bij gam owr horseys are fastest then der beers. All dear winenns will belongs ttwo us u will cee. Wee also have more corn den tem. Shicaugo not gud enuf. We will eet der peeza and dings then poop it into river so it go rite bakk to em ha ha ha.

    OUtcH me mama jist hits me with big spoon eye mus go back two my stewdents work befo I milk sum cows. By no n’ thanky.

  11. Mr.Newton says:

    #10-that puts it in perspective,,,,excellent post…good on u…made me laugh…u should b prez…

  12. Mr.Newton says:

    waaaait a minute,,is this george? had me going there 4 a minute .u r the prez.

  13. Named says:

    Shrimp cocktail a big deal?

    Geez… OK, here’s the recipe.

    Buy shrimp. Frozen, fresh… don’t matter. Just make sure they’re the big’uns. No 34-40 shrimps. Actually, buy fresh. You can pick the humongous ones.
    I’m lazy so I shell them first. Water, add lemon. Bring to boil, reduce, add shrimp. 2-3 minutes later remove and rinse with cold water. Now the REAL TRICKY part!
    Cocktail sauce.
    Catsup, whoresraddish, lemon, Tabasco. Instead of Tabasco, I use Sambal Oelemek. For those who know, it’s got more chili taste, less vinegar. Season your cocktail sauce to your liking.

    If you want to get all fancy like, change your base for the shrimp boiling.

    There you have it. A 13 dollar dish reduced to the cost of your shrimp and a few cents of condiments.

  14. DimtheLights says:

    Nu11 n Nu. 12

    Isa alwey prezident in skhool But mine nam is Willburr, dey calls me willburrz for short. I hafta read sexteen bibl versuses now that Iwasa cought on naughty Internets pips. Den I hafta sneeek to allmart and gits mees a teevee width mine lemonsaids pin nees I smishded on da railtoad trex two wach da bij gam aginst beers. Ha ha we winds.

  15. Mr. Fusion says:

    Yes, Orville Reddenbacher is from North West Indiana, about an hour from Chicago. About 4 or 5 years ago they closed his plant and moved all the production out of state. Iowa I think, but I could be wrong.

    There is a growing movement to get rid of the governor. He rode the terrorist coat tails of Bush in 2006 and has been a big disappointment since. Shoot, he even worked in the Budget Office for Bush before that. I gotta get me one of those bumper stickers that say Ditch Mitch

    Although I am a Colt fan, I know this will be a good game regardless. Both teams have earned their place.

    Go Colts

  16. Brezhill says:

    He should have bet Rod a new hip or a new knee.

    John since you are getting older, you might need one yourself soon. You should be aware that a lot of them are made in Indiana.

    As far as the football game goes, who cares!

  17. Floyd says:

    16: Prozac and most RVs are made in Indiana, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be part of the bet.

    Personally I’m torn about which team I want to win the SuperBowl, as they’re both favorites. I lived in Indy and in the Chicago area for a number of years, so whoever wins will be OK with me, as long as no one gets hurt during the game. Then both teams can come back to the Super Bowl next year.

  18. venom monger says:

    I’m lazy so I shell them first.

    Ack. Half the flavor is in the shell. I’m sure the ones you make are excellent, but they’d be better if you boiled (or steamed) them before peeling.

    If you want to make peeling boiled shrimp easier, boil some crabs first, and then clean them. After cleaning boiled crab, peeling boiled shrimp seems like a party.

  19. Named says:


    Peeling shrimp IS a party. But I use the leftover shells for bisque. Better if they’re not cooked first.

    Also, the best part of crab is the butter. When you flip over the body and lift off the top (which is now the bottom) and you drink that sweet sweet nectar that pools there… YUM!

  20. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    One food peculiar to some Indiana roadhouses is the sweetbread sandwich. Wonder why it’s not on the list. 😉

  21. Named says:


    Sweetbreads are AWESOME! And I am assuming you mean the thyroid or pancreas, not the testicles.

  22. Joe says:

    So I have lived here in Indiana most of my life, in various parts of the state. There is no centrally consumed food here. The breaded tenderloin is sold just about everywhere but it is VERY popular with Hoosiers. Orvile Ridenbacker, Axel Rose, Larry Bird, All of the Jackson’s even the crazy ones, were born in Indiana, but no good food, sorry. We also put 6 astronauts through college at Purdue university, so suck it.

  23. jccalhoun says:

    Unless there is more than one Gnaw Bone in Indiana, it is NOT a sizable town. There are about 4 houses there and a gas station. The highway doesn’t even stop nor does the speed limit get lowered when you drive through it.

    Because Indy and Chicago are fairly close together there really isn’t all that much differences in local foods. In southeastern indiana we have a whole hog sausage which is pretty tasty, but it is just sausage with different flavoring. We also have a variant on Cincinnati-style chili where we cook spaghetti noodles in with the chili (instead of cooking it separate and putting the chili on top of it like true Cincinnati-style chili). But I doubt that those are indicative enough of Indiana.

    Now if we were to have a Euchre game or something, THAT would say Indiana.

    I’ve never heard of “sweetbread” despite being born and raised here in Indiana.

  24. Mr. Fusion says:

    #23, I’ve almost missed Gnaw Bone (I blinked) once when my wife dragged me down to Nashville in Brown County. You are very right, but it is the kind of name one remembers.

    And I agree about the food. If there was a state dish it would be the “Quarter Pounder” or “biscuits and white grease gravy”. Another contender might be “chicken fried steak”.

  25. jccalhoun says:

    Oh, and by all accounts the little gas station in Gnaw Bone has a restaurant attached to it and by all accounts has a pretty awesome tenderloin. I’ve never tasted it myself, though.

  26. Uncle Patso says:

    No distinctive Indiana food? What about Spudnuts? As a youth, I always thought Spudnuts were an Indianapolis institution. I suspect I’m mixing in childhood memories of former Mayor William Hudnut….

    Though the tenderloin sandwiches can be outstanding, and the locally grown corn is some of the best in the world! Mmm, late-summer picnics with sweet, buttered-and-salted corn on the cob, mmm!

    Now I’ve made myself hungry & have to fix something to eat. TTFN


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