Football party

Since 1967, football fans across the United States have gathered to watch and celebrate one of the most popular sporting events of the year- the Super Bowl. Whether your favorite part is the half time show, the commercials or the game itself, one thing is common among all 111.9 million viewers: food is a necessity. As you start to organize your Super Bowl party this year, consider making some of these unique treats that will be sure to keep your guests happy, even if the outcome of the game doesn’t.

Pepperoni Rolls

Italian bread roll sandwich

Take a break from ordering the usual, expensive large pepperoni and cheese pizza for your party and instead get creative with some pepperoni rolls! With prepared dough, cheese and pepperonis this take on traditional pizza can be made in just thirty minutes, allowing you to watch the game instead of being stuck in the kitchen all night. Crispy on the outside and warm and cheesy on the inside, these pepperoni rolls are sure to be a hit among adults and kids alike.

See how to make pepperoni rolls here.

Garlic Parmesan Wings

zesty garlic parmesan chicken wings

A Super Bowl party isn’t a party until the wings are made. This year, try out this simple, yet flavorful recipe for garlic Parmesan wings. With just the right combination of tang and salt, these wings will make guests wish that your Super Bowl party happened more than once a year.

Check out the recipe here.


If your friends are the type that like to arrive early, then dips are a hassle-free way to have food made without taking your attention away from your guests. If a cheesy dip sounds good, then try making Sparkle Markets’ Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Dip. Full of flavorful red peppers and three types of cheese, this dip is sure to be a hit! If rich and creamy isn’t your style, then try making a fresh garden salsa with juicy ripe tomatoes and crisp onions, served with your favorite, salty tortilla chips. This salsa can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to eat.

For more dip ideas, click here.

Cookie Dough Oreo Brownies


Whether you’re disappointed in your team or cheering for another touch down, dessert is a party food staple that should not be overlooked. One treat that most people would agree is delicious no matter the occasion, is brownies. But, this year spice up the typical chocolate brownies by adding cookie dough AND Oreo cookies. Sweet and decadent, these brownies are sure to make all of your guests happy.

See how to make cookie dough Oreo brownies here.

This year’s Super Bowl is quickly approaching so don’t wait too long to plan the treats that you’ll be making! Use some of these recipes as inspiration and head to your local Sparkle Market to get all of the fresh ingredients that you need to make this Super Bowl season a success.


The Great Depression was a tough time for many across the United States. It hit especially hard in parts of the country where manufacturing drove the economy. That was the case here in Youngstown and the surrounding areas. Communities had to come together to make it through these hard times. Families pitched in however they could to put food on the table.


It was during these times that Italians in the Valley relied on their gardens to eat. The economic downturn meant that people did not always have the money to purchase groceries, so gardens were their lifeblood. Tomatoes and peppers were the easiest vegetables to grow in Northeast Ohio’s climate and therefore were easily accessible for all.  Flour was distributed to residents through social programs like welfare. The flour was then used by families to bake bread and pizza crust.


Youngstown’s “Little Italy” was the Brier Hill neighborhood, as it was the first Italian settlement in the city. It was a true blue-collar neighborhood, attracting immigrants looking for work in Brier Hill’s coal mines. In the early 1930s, community ovens were common in Brier Hill. These ovens were built by bricklayers and stonemasons using discarded brick from the mills. Each street in the neighborhood had a scheduled day and time to use the oven. During their allotted time, the women would bake enough bread to last for the week. They then used the whatever flour was left over to make pizza crust. Pair the pizza crust with the veggies from the garden, and Brier Hill Pizza is born.  Top it off with a sprinkle of Romano cheese and enjoy! Romano was used due to its low cost in comparison to the traditional pizza cheese, mozzarella.


Ever since the depression era, Youngstown and surrounding towns pride themselves on Brier Hill Pizza. Most Italians would agree that there’s nothing better than a good slice of Brier Hill. It is a special dish in this part of the country and can be found at pizza shops, churches and grocery stores alike. Now you have to be in the mood for a slice, so go get what you need and make yourself a Brier Hill Pizza!


Christmas is celebrated in many different ways around the world. Different cultures have different traditions, but there is one thing they all have in common: family and food. Here in the United States, Turkey, Ham, Pasta and Potatoes are common dishes at Christmas Dinner, but what about the rest of the world? Let’s take a look at what’s for dinner around the world on Christmas!

Christmas in Brazil

Brazilians celebrate Christmas very similarly to us here in the States. Turkey, vegetables and fruits are the main foods on the dinner table. Stollen, a German bread made with dried fruit is also common in Brazil on Christmas day.


Learn how to make Stollen here!

Christmas in the United Kingdom

Christmas dinner traditionally takes place early in the day in Great Britain. Goose is the main course with Brussel sprouts being the most common side dish. Once you finish your meat, it’s time for the Christmas pudding! The pudding has been a staple in the UK since Medieval times and is made with dried fruits, egg and suet.


Learn how to make Christmas Pudding here!

Christmas in Mexico

The Christmas celebration lasts 9 days in Mexico, and is capped off with a big family gathering on Christmas day. Oxtail soup is the traditional first course. Turkey, chili, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables round out the meal.


Learn how to make Oxtail Soup here!

Christmas in Germany

In Germany, goose is also the bird of choice. Carp is another common dish on Christmas Day. The aforementioned Stollen, the German fruitcake, is the desert of choice. Glühwein is a mulled wine made with red wine and spices, served warm on Christmas.


Learn how to make Glühwein here!

Christmas in Italy

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a tradition in southern Italy. Italians fast from red meat on Christmas Eve, and replace it with fish dishes. Cod, smelt, calamari, shrimp, oysters and more make up the feast. The Italian Christmas cake called Panettone is a dry, fruity sponge cake often served with hot chocolate on Christmas.


Learn how to make Panettone here!

Try one of these international recipes at your holiday party this year! Have any holiday recipes you’d like to share with us? Post them in the comments below!

From all of us here at Sparkle, we want to wish you a happy holiday!


Organic Raw Pumpkin Spice with Cinnamon Allspice Nutmeg and Ginger

It’s October and that means fall is here. Leaves are changing, the air is cool, and Halloween is on its way. While grocery shopping you might notice that everywhere you turn your favorite snack is now available in a pumpkin spice flavor. How, why and when did this happen? What exactly is pumpkin spice, and why is it so popular?

The first evidence of pumpkin spice dates back to the 1950s. Spice brands like McCormick began bundling together all the necessary spices used to make a pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves were blended together into one package, making it easy to prepare your holiday pie. By the time the 1960s rolled around, chefs were using the spice blend in a variety of dishes including soups and cakes. At that time no one knew of the height of popularity pumpkin spice would one day reach.


Here’s a look at seven of the craziest pumpkin products we could find!


Pumpkin Spice Oreos

Oreo has been releasing new desert flavors for a while now. What started with flavors like mint and peanut butter has progressed to cinnamon roll, red velvet, and of course, pumpkin spice.

Kraft Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows

Marshmallows lend themselves well to pumpkin spice. These tiny pillows of jet-puffed goodness pack a punch of flavor to satisfy your pumpkin spice craving. And they’re shaped like pumpkins to boot.

Burnett Pumpkin Spice Vodka

Flavor infused vodka has become a common occurrence in recent years. Though typically reserved for fruit flavors, Burnett’s decided to try their hand at the pumpkin spice craze with this vodka.


Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds

Cinnamon almonds were already a popular flavor, so why not mix in the remaining pumpkin spices? Planters had this thought and decided to release a limited edition pumpkin spiced nut.

Extra Pumpkin Spice Gum

Yep, you read that right. Extra jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon with this out-of-the-box flavor. People are bound to buy this gum out of sheer curiosity.


Land O’Lakes Limited Batch Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter Spread

This spread may actually taste great with the pumpkin spice bagels that just missed making the list. It may even go well with cinnamon bread or pancakes. However, it’s doubtful anyone would put this on their corn or baked potato.

Nature’s Promise Organic Pumpkin Spice Chicken Sausage

What can really be said about such a product? Whose idea was this? Why does such a food exist? Do people actually enjoy it? This one’s a head-scratcher reserved for the truly adventurous pumpkin spice lover.


So what do you think? Has the pumpkin spice craze gone too far? Head to your local Sparkle and see what pumpkin spice items you can find!



Hot Dog Still Life

The 4th of July is upon us! A time for family, fun, food, and fireworks. Our focus today is on the food. More specifically, hot dogs. For many years it has been a tradition to fire up the grill on the 4th, and cook hot dogs. Whether you take yours with ketchup, mustard, chili and cheese, or something a bit less common, the 4th is the perfect time to grill!


Another 4th of July tradition is the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest. According to legend, the first ever hot dog eating contest took place on Coney Island, the contest’s current location, in 1916. It is claimed that four immigrants to the U.S. wanted to settle an argument over who was the most patriotic of the bunch. Though no one is able to confirm the validity of this story, it is certain that it inspired the modern day Nathan’s contest. The hot dog eating contest as we know it today has been a summer staple since 1972. The first winner, Jason Schechter finished off 14 hot dogs in 3.5 minutes. In more recent years, Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, and America’s own Joey Chestnut have dominated the competition, regularly devouring 50-60+ hot dogs in the competition. That’s a whole lotta dogs!


Here are some more fun facts about America’s favorite summer fare…

  • 1900: The year the Oxford English Dictionary recognized the term “hot dog”
  • 20 billion: The reported number of hot dogs consumed in America per year
  • 7 billion: The number of hot dogs consumed by Americans between Memorial and Labor Day
  • 818: The number of Hot Dogs consumed per second in the United States during summer months
  • 69: The world record for hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes. Set by Joey Chestnut in 2013
  • 669: The length in feet of the world’s longest hot dog
  • 20 million+: The number of hot dogs consumed in Major League ballparks each season


Now go fire up the grill, throw on some hot dogs, and have a great 4th of July!

It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t like pasta. Culture to culture, different takes on the food have been consumed for centuries. Who invented pasta? Why is it so popular? Why do we enjoy it so much? Let’s take a look at the history of everyone’s favorite carb!


Though it is argued who invented pasta, The Chinese have the oldest recorded evidence of pasta. It is said that they were eating pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.

It is rumored that Marco Polo discovered pasta while in China, but that is not the case. Ponzio Baestone, a Genoan soldier, requested a small basket of macaroni in his will in 1279. This was 16 years before Polo returned from China.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States. He discovered the dish while serving as an Ambassador to France. He enjoyed it so much that he ordered crates of macaroni, along with a pasta-making machine to be sent back to the U.S.

The first pasta factory in the United States began production in 1848 in Brooklyn, New York. A Frenchman named Antoine Zerega was the owner and operator of the facility. He dried his spaghetti by placing strands of the pasta on his roof to dry in the sunshine!

Meatballs were invented in America. Italians only consumed meat a few times a month in Italy. It was when arriving in the United States, where meat was far more plentiful; the Italians began adding it to more dishes. This is when meatballs came to be.

Italians consume more than 51 pounds of pasta per year! That’s over three times more than we do here in America, where the average person consumes about 15 pounds of pasta per year.

Approximately 2.75 million tons of pasta are made in Italy each year, and 1.9 million tons are produced in the United States per year. That’s a whole lotta pasta!

There are more than 600 different shapes of pasta produced around the world!

Are you hungry yet? Go eat some pasta already!



March is here and that means that St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! Have you ever wondered about the history behind your favorite traditional St. Paddy’s Day cuisine? You may be surprised with what you find out!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

One of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day dishes is corned beef and cabbage. You will see restaurants all around offering corned beef sandwiches, as well as people cooking the dish themselves. The crazy thing: this dish doesn’t trace back to Ireland. Instead, poor Irish immigrants came up with this pairing when they came to the United States. Traditionally, the Irish would eat boiled bacon on St. Patrick’s Day, but it was too expensive for the poor settlers. Beef brisket was the cheapest meat available, and they decided to brine the meat instead of boiling it. The beef was paired with one of the cheapest vegetables they could find, cabbage, and a new tradition was created.


Guinness Beer

This beer is a product of Ireland, but the inspiration for it came from Great Britain. Visionary Arthur Guinness started the brewing company in 1759. He negotiated an outrageous 9,000-year lease contract for an unused brewery in Dublin. That location, St. James Brewery, is still active and is a must see tourist attraction for beer lovers and history buffs alike. Guinness made it to England 10 years after it’s inception, and over 70 years to make it to the United States. Today in the U.S. the beer is enjoyed year round, but has become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day. Be sure to grab a pint on the 17th!



This Irish dish traditionally consists of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. Here in the United States, it is a traditional St. Patrick’s dish, however in Ireland it is a Halloween tradition. The Irish would use charms hidden in the dish for the purposes of marriage prediction. Other times colcannon was served with a ring and a thimble concealed within. Prizes of small coins like threepenny and sixpenny bits were hidden in the dish.