Some foods just scream summer. Meant to be enjoyed under an umbrella on the beach, or at a picnic in the park, there are some foods that are so undeniably meant for summer, you wouldn't even fathom eating them at any other time of year. Luckily, summer is here and the time has come to indulge in all of your favourite summer treats, from hot dogs to ice cream sandwiches.
Check out 15 foods that are the epitome of summer.
15 Hot Dogs
Party time dogs with the works (chili & fennel slaw) Built these grilled hot dogs with some favorite cast iron tools from @finexcookware and @williamssonoma Serve your dogs straight from the pan, and the bottom gets crusty leaving the top nice and soft (unlike grilling the buns butterflied beforehand, which makes them too crunchy) Tap the pic for others joining the party and sharing grilling tips tonight 🔥 #CastIronCreations
Hot dogs represent summer in two key ways. First, hot dogs can be barbecued, and we all know that barbecuing on the deck in your flip flops is what summer's all about. Whether you're having a small bbq with your family, or a huge summer blowout with all of your friends and neighbours, hot dogs are a sure bet. They're inexpensive to buy, quick to make, and loved by everyone young and old. Plus, all you need to add is a little ketchup and mustard (maybe some relish), and a hot dog bun, and voila you have a meal! Second, hot dogs are traditionally sold at baseball games, and what would summer be without the slow yet artful game of baseball. Peanuts! Popcorn! Hot dogs! That is all I want to hear in the background at any baseball game I go to...while I'm sitting there with a hot dog in hand obviously. We all know that hot dogs are the real reason people go to baseball games... What are you waiting for? Grab some hot dogs and head to the ballpark!
Watermelon is sweet, light, and refreshing – basically, all I could ever want in a summer food. Watermelon is also extremely versatile. It goes great in savoury salads, with different veggies and herbs. It also goes great covered in chocolate, drizzled with dulce de leche sauce, or with ice cream. Watermelon is also delicious in wine slushy form, my personal favourite. Seriously all you need to do is add some juice, ice, and watermelon to your wine glass and you have the most magical drink in existence. You can even add a little fresh mint if you're in the mood for something ultra-refreshing. And like any good summer food, watermelon can even be grilled on the barbecue for an added bit of smoky flavour. Serve alongside fried chicken or tender slow-cooked ribs and you're in for the best summer dinner of your life.
13 Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is meant to be eaten in the summer time. Perfect for a big family event, preferably outdoors, pasta salad is a cool and tasty side that goes with a wide array of BBQ classics. Pasta salad is inexpensive to make (duh, pasta is super cheap) and can be easily made for a large number of people which makes it perfect for a picnic. In addition, pasta salad in some cases can be healthy which makes it perfectly suited to some of the less healthy main dishes that people tend to eat in the summer (see the hot dogs above). Finally, pasta salad is cold. And when you've been laying out in the sun for hours, you're really not going to be in the mood for spaghetti bolognese. However, rather than forfeiting pasta altogether, pasta salad allows you to eat your carbs while not feeling even hotter. Oh, and did I mention pasta salads are even yummier in the summer than in the winter? In true summer style, stick to pasta salads with seasonal veggies, like the cherry tomatoes pictured above.
The best way to cool down in the summer is by eating a cold, juicy popsicle. Freezies won't cut it, not in a world where gourmet popsicles reign supreme. And if the picture above is any indication, you'll realize that the world of gourmet popsicles is happening right now. Gone are the days when you had to choose from orange and grape, now popsicles are made with everything from chocolate and nuts to yogurt and matcha. Enjoy a popsicle dipped in some prosecco like above, or just buy one from the grocery store, regardless, a popsicle is the best way to cool you down. Plus, it's easily transportable. Eat on lying poolside or while you're on the go to work - there is never a bad time for a popsicle. The trick is to eat the popsicle before it melts all over you. Believe me, it's harder than it looks.
11 Lobster Rolls
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As if seafood didn't make you feel summery enough, eating lobster rolls is a fantastic way to spend your lunch break in the height of summer. A hot dog bun, fresh crab meat, mayonnaise, and a few spices, and there you have a summer classic! It's easy to make, and lobster is both refreshing and filling so you won't feel hungry after eating one of these bad boys. They may come at a bit of a premium, but they are way cheaper than buying a whole lobster at a restaurant (and way easier to eat). Be sure to buy one of these this summer, or even try making your own. Whatever you do, do not let this summer pass without at least one taste of that delicious lobster meat.
10 Ice Cream Sandwiches
If you're looking for something heartier than a popsicle, an ice cream sandwich is your best bet. Combining two desserts into one, an ice cream sandwich will satisfy all your sweet cravings and is best enjoyed in warm temperatures. Plus, because it's technically one dessert you don't have to feel guilty about eating both cookies and ice cream in one sitting. Oh, and similar to the evolution of popsicles described above, ice cream sandwiches have become seriously gourmet in recent months. Don't get me wrong, the rectangular chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwiches we all grew up with are still damn good. But now if you're in the mood for something a little less childish, restaurants around the globe are selling ice cream sandwiches made with brownies, waffles, chocolate chip cookies, and even donuts. It's a crazy world we live in! Similar to the popsicle warning though, just be sure to eat it before it melts all over you.
9 Fish Tacos
Light, spicy, and full of yummy veggies, fish tacos are the perfect go-to meal in the summer. Instead of leaving you stuffed, they'll leave you invigorated (which is exactly how you want to feel before you reach for that ice cream sandwich for dessert). Tacos by nature are a summery food. Light tortillas and fresh salsa make for a scrumptious summer meal. Even if you're not a fan of fish, do yourself a favour and have tacos several times this summer. For whatever reason, perhaps due to the rise in popularity of Chipotle, Mexican food has become more hip than ever. Super easy to make at home, but typically very inexpensive to buy at a restaurant, you'll likely be able to find several decent taco joints in whatever city you live in. Get out there and enjoy the taste of fresh pico de gallo.
8 Cherry Pie
There's nothing quite as elegant as a cherry pie. Simple, tart, and with a perfect lattice-top crust, cherry pies epitomize the summer time. Seriously, even attempting to make or eat cherry pie at any other time of year is bad karma. Besides, we all know cherries are only in season in the summer. And when a fruit is in season, it doesn't make sense to make any other kind of pie! While cherry is the ultimate summer pie, peach, strawberry-rhubarb, and blueberry also make incredible summer pies. Basically, you should be spending your summer eating pie - otherwise you're doing it wrong. Apple is yummy (especially on the Fourth of July), but let's all admit that cherry pies are the true star of summertime.
7 Barbecued anything
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Steak? Sure! Chicken? Throw 'em on the grill! Portobello mushrooms? Yum! There is literally no food on earth that doesn't taste better barbecued. These magical propane-filled grills somehow transform a boring and plain chicken breast into the most exciting item on the menu. I am not vegetarian and would normally not be thrilled by the thought of a portobello mushroom being my dinner, but honestly, if it were barbecued, I would happily eat it as my full meal. Full of rubs, marinades, and spice mixes, barbecue season is a heavenly time of year. Every time we roll that barbecue out come May I always promise myself that one year I'm going to move somewhere where I can barbecue all year round...sadly that day has not come yet. Although, I suppose when I can finally barbecue at the start of summer each year it is that much more exciting. To barbecuing season!
6 Corn on the Cob
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A summer classic, corn on the cob is best enjoyed at a state fair or in the backyard of your home. Despite the several minutes of flossing that eating corn on the cob results in, there is nothing quite like slathering your cob in butter and taking that first bite. Pictured above is some incredible Mexican Corn on the Cob which perfectly highlights how versatile corn is. At state fairs you'll see everything from deep fried corn to bacon wrapped corn. While some of these options may sound super appetizing, you can't deny that corn is the quintessential summer food. Unbelievably good roasted or boil, on the cob or off, there is no wrong way to eat corn in the summer (unless of course, you're not eating it at all).
5 Potato Salad
Similar to pasta salad, potato salad is a summer side classic. Everyone loves it, both adults and kids, and so it's a great option to bring to a big picnic or family get-together. It may not be the healthiest option, but it's summer so we should all be relaxing and having a good time and not thinking about our weight, regardless! Made with egg, with spicy mayo, or with lots and lots of chives, there are many different ways to make potato salad. So if you're sick of the same old thing, why not try and impress your family this year by trying out a new potato salad recipe. Or, if you're like me, stick to the classic because it is delicious and pairs perfectly with a nice roast chicken or even some tender pulled pork.
Strawberries are best enjoyed in the summer time. With a little sugar on top, in a bowl with cream, or in any baked good you can think of, strawberries are never better than in June and July. Most places have farms where you can pick them yourself and this is especially great if you're looking to make your own strawberry jam or strawberry shortcake. Other amazing options include using strawberries for a salad (they pair great with arugula), making them into a sorbet, or whipping up some delectable strawberry vanilla bean scones. Whatever you're in the mood for, know that strawberries go with pretty much anything. Plus, strawberries are never sweeter or juicier than in the middle of summer...
3 Iced Tea
Whether you live in the south or not, summer means iced tea. If you're used to buying store-bought iced tea, maybe considering trying to make your own from scratch this summer. It's easy to do and you can introduce unique flavours that you would never have otherwise tried. From honey and lavender to mint, iced tea is a go-to summer drink. And for all of the adults out there, it's pretty much undeniable how well iced tea goes with a little booze. Make a family-friendly batch and then slip a little bit of something into your own mug, and I guarantee you, it will transform your summer experience.
2 Ice Cream Cake
Ice cream cake is not just for children's birthday parties. No sir, ice cream cake is the perfect summer cake. Think of it this way: when it's the middle of summer and it's scorching outside, you don't want to come inside and turn your oven on to bake a cake. There are two reasons for this. First, the heat from the oven is not going to be enjoyable after you're already sweating from the weather. And second, who really wants a hot piece of cake from the oven when they could be eating something light and refreshing like a popsicle, an ice cream sandwich, or better yet, an ice cream cake! You know I'm right. Though ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen make for a great birthday treat anytime of year, summertime allows you make ice cream cakes from scratch. And of course, summer also means that you will have more ice cream flavours at your local grocery store. So go big! Make a cake made out of Ben & Jerry's, or use a wildly funky flavour like Cotton Candy and create a cold and colourful masterpiece. Whatever you do, ice cream is always the right answer.
Sipping on lemonade is the best part of summer. The sourness of the lemon is much-needed in the height of summer when you're looking to cool off any way you can. Lemonade can be store bought, homemade, and you can even add a few interesting flavours in there to mix it up. While lemon makes for a great base, don't shy away from adding other fruits like strawberries or grapefruit, or even some herbs like mint or basil. No matter what way you spice it up, sipping on lemonade by the pool is an awesome way to unwind after a long, hot summer day. In fact, if you work in an office I recommend instituting a lemonade summer policy. Sure, coffee will wake you up, but lemonade is what will keep you going during those sweltering summer afternoons.