Starch Madness: Round of 64 Voting

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Appetizers/Sides Region

Via How Stuff Works

(1) French Fries VS (16) Potato Latkes

Was there any doubt that French Fries would be a number one seed? In fact some may call them the number one overall seed. Even if we were still calling them Freedom Fries, these delicious potato powerhouses dominate the starchy landscape. So many shapes and cuts all with so many ways to be enjoyed, fries usually come equipped with salt and ketchup. For those who want more of a meal, let’s talk cheese fries or even chili-cheese fries. Have we mentioned Poutine? The possibilities are endless and no starch has a higher ceiling than the French Fry

Their competition has potatoes in common, but that’s about it. If you have never indulged in potato latkes you are missing out. This traditional Jewish dish has gone from a holiday mainstay to a year-round non-secular appetizer. The latke or potato pancake usually consists of shredded potatoes and onions packed together into a pancake and pan-fried in oil. As their popularity has grown so too has the number of variations you can find. From zucchini to carrot to butternut squash and pumpkin. The possibilities with these savory pancakes are endless. Just don’t forget your applesauce and sour cream! Don’t count out this Starch Madness sleeper, they have a huge fan base.

(2) Quesadillas VS (15) Arancini

In the food pyramid of yum, cheese is right near the top. Without cheese, quesadilla would cease to exist. Fortunately for us, cheese is very real, and so are the chance for Quesadillas in Starch Madness. This amazing Mexican-American staple is so simple it’s mind boggling. A flour tortilla filled to the gills with shredded cheese and your choice of toppings. There are so many ways to make a quesadilla that you really can’t go wrong. Just as long as you come heavy with the cheese, everyone goes home happy.

Like we said cheese is important, and Italians know how to eat it. This fact is evident every time you bite into a well-made Arancini. These little balls of pleasure are made of creamy risotto cooled down and filled with mozzarella cheese then rolled in egg and bread crumbs before getting a bath in the deep fryer. Old School Italians throw in ingredients like peas and ground beef or pepperoni. No matter what flavor you enjoy, the Arancini is a very underrated starch that could make a move past round one.

(3) Table Bread VS (14) Crab Rangoon

Today in America, you often times cannot sit down to a meal at a restaurant without receiving a fabulous basket of table bread. It is such a staple, that some people refer to eating as “breaking bread”. Table bread had an inside track on a one seed, but the Gluten-free movement hurt its positioning. There are so many varieties from Italian baguette to the mixed basket at Cheesecake Factory to that fantastic brown bread at Outback. Everyone is a fan of this three seed. Pass the butter!

Wontons are great but are they are good as Table Bread? Fill them with cream cheese and crab meat and they might be even better. Yes, even when it is imitation krab and not real crab (notice the spelling?). Even better, and pretty much necessary is deep frying these little bad boys. With their sweet and tangy sauce coming off the bench, there is no telling what Crab Rangoon is capable of.

(4) Nachos VS (13) Hushpuppies

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When we say Nachos aren’t talking about those weird things at 7-11 they call Nachos. We are talking cheese-smothered, topping-covered, protein-packed, straight up stacked to the ceiling nachos! Nachos that get to the table and make you think  “this is enough to feed a small country!” Listing the number of toppings you can throw on a plate of nachos would take as long as it would shed the weight gained from eating all 64 members of the Starch Madness bracket. Let’s just leave it with this: As long as the toppings are bountiful and the chips remain crisp, you can’t go wrong with nachos!

When you taste a Hushpuppy for the first (or millionth) time, you will understand why they can push Nachos to the brink in this 4-Vs-13 matchup. These fried corn meal nuggets are like cornbread but bite-sized and fried. If you aren’t a big fan of the one seed (french fries) you might find yourself falling in love with hushpuppies. If that is the case, skip the ketchup, dip them in honey butter and thank me later!