February 2022

Hot dogs, meat pies: Food at the footy

Hot dogs, meat pies, and sausage rolls have become normal fare at rugby league games. But why is food at the ground so important?

“Larks’ tongues, Wrens’ livers. Chaffinch brains. Jaguars’ earlobes. Wolf nipple chips. Get ‘em while they’re hot, they’re lovely. Dromedary pretzels, only half a denar. Tuscany-fried bats, otters’ noses, ocelot spleens,” shouted Brian Cohen as he made his way around the colosseum in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

While Brian’s snacks were being offered as men died in the arena provided some minor comedy, he wasn’t too far off the mark.

Sure, jaguars’ earlobes weren’t on the menu, but street vendors, particularly around Ancient Roman arenas, sold everything from dried figs and sausages, to fish and apples. 

Wine could also be sourced on the street while hot chickpeas were often the most popular due to their low cost.

For as long as sport has existed, there have been vendors selling their food.

In today’s modern stadiums, kitchens are built to ensure hot food is available on game days, but that wasn’t always the case.

Hot dogs, meat pies, and sausage rolls have become normal fare at rugby league games. But why is food at the ground so important . . .

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