Promotions at ballparks for grapes from California continue across the country with celebrity chef and Food Network star, Tyler Florence. The promotions are part of a project to increase sales of fresh California grapes at sporting events, giving fans a healthful option. This season has included "Grapes from California" days at baseball stadiums in Los Angeles, Baltimore, San Francisco and St. Louis, and will wrap up in Toronto on September 24.
At each ballpark, the event includes sales of fresh California grapes, "Grapes from California" banners behind home plate, and Florence throwing out the first pitch. Florence is also filmed by television networks such as NBC, Fox, CBS, and CW at the stadiums talking about why he loves grapes from California and performing cooking demonstrations. For example in St. Louis, Florence appeared on 8 different news spots throughout the day garnering attention for California grapes and baseball.
"The coverage for grapes from California and baseball extends beyond television," says Jim Howard, commission vice president. "Fans are excited about Tyler and 'Grapes from California Day' so we're seeing activity on blogs, twitter, and in online articles, as well." Coverage after the St. Louis and San Francisco games included 15 online articles about Florence and grapes from California, and 43 tweets and retweets. Many of the articles featured Florence's recipe for ballpark dogs with a tangy grape relish.
In addition to the media coverage, "Even those who aren't necessarily 'foodies' or who don't know Tyler Florence are putting grapes and baseball together," says Howard. More than 100 group pictures were taken of fans and the grape costumes on August 14 at the San Francisco Giants stadium.
Ballpark dogs and tangy grape relish recipe
Tangy Grape Relish
1/2 cup each: diced red and green California seedless grapes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 clove garlic
8 turkey franks
Whole wheat hot dog buns
Tangy Grape Relish: Stir together first 6 ingredients (through garlic); set aside.
Ballpark Dogs: Grill sausages over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally, or until nicely charred and heated through. Place buns on grill, cut side down, and cook for a minute or so to toast. Place sausage in buns and drizzle with honey mustard. Using a slotted spoon, top with grape relish.