All public parks have refreshment areas with barbecue grills, tables and benches. Any kids' birthday party ends up grilling burgers or preparing hot dogs, but Texans love for grilling reaches pro levels. Every occasion is good to take your own barbecue kit with you, loaded on the back of a pick up truck; one of the most tempting occasions, for example, are football matches, when tailgate parties kick off.
But, what is a tailgate party?
Tailgate parties are social events that take place around the trunk (tailgate) of a car, in the hours preceding or following a sports event, car show or concert. In order to avoid arriving too late or getting stuck in traffic, the supporters of the various teams arrive very early and kill time eating and preparing food and drinks. Don't expect a very sad thing, sitting on the asphalt with a sandwich, because they are very organized here. Since, almost everyone owns (at least) a pick-up truck, which is really handy when you have to transport an icebox and a gas grill. And don’t forget tents, foldable chairs (often with the logos and colors of the team you are supporting), tables, coolers full of goodies and much more. It is not unusual to also see beer taps, ice machines, cocktail blenders and, of course, a generator to make everything work!
Contrary to what would happen in my country, Italy, you are not rivals until the match begins. This means that everyone is welcome at someone else’s tailgate party and everyone is offered food, even if you are supporting the opposing team. Everyone brings beers to share or a potluck item of some sort.
The organization of the tailgate party calls for the loading (out of proportion) of the hood/trunk of the car with lots of food (already cooked or to be grilled on the spot), lots of beer and lots of those colored drinks so dear to Americans such as cool-aid, punch and so on. On the list of unmissable items cannot miss a soccer ball or football (not the same thing in America as American football is not soccer and vice versa), the loudspeaker for music and, of course, big beach umbrellas because the Texas sun is merciless.
The preparation of the party is undoubtedly the most fun part of the trip because it allows, among other things, the interaction among neighbors; so in an atmosphere of fun, with the smell of sausages that fills the air, the sharing of food starts with a parade of appetizers, snacks, hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, corn on the cob, trays of mac&cheese, as well as potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans (stewed beans with bacon and spices) as well as the classic picnic desserts such as brownies, cupcakes and blueberry muffins.
One thing that will never be missing in each of these events will be very very loud music.
PICTURE BELOW OF A REGULAR BARBECUE as I haven’t been to a tailgate party yet.