By Derrek J. Hull, Blogger-in-Chief
Diners are speaking up about their favorite regional specialties as voting continues in the CQ Roll Call Taste of America competition.
"Last year, this contest proved to be a fun and friendly competition," said Peter Anthony, Senior Vice President and Publisher of CQ Roll Call. "This year, we’re bringing the contest to Nationals Ballpark, where the final reception will involve eight states. The content is open to anyone, so vote early and vote often."
Sixteen foods remain in eight brackets, including a smackdown between the Philly cheesesteak and the spicy sausage of the Nation's Capital: the DC half smoke (pictured above). Other face-offs include: Louisiana jambalaya vs. Texas chili and Arizona chimichangas vs. Alaska King Crab cakes.
The National Restaurant Association is a sponsor of the contest, which is styled after the NCAA basketball tournament.
The contest wraps up next week with the Elite Eight. The state food that receives the most votes in the final round will be named June 28 at a reception at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The reception precedes this year's Congressional Baseball Game, so the contest includes food that would be suited to ballparks.
The rules are as follows: CQ Roll Call has created a bracket of 64 foods, a minimum of one entry per state with several additional entries for the larger states. States will "play" against other states within their region. People are encouraged to go online and vote for the state(s) they want to win. At the end of the week, the votes are tallied and winners advance to the next round.