It feels like fall outside today, which can only mean one things: it’s booyah season.
Some of you are probably thinking, “WTF is booyah?” Long time St. Paul residents are probably most familiar with it locally. Generally, it’s a stew cooked prepared at community events as a fundraiser for churches, rec. centers and other affinity clubs. For an example of the scale of booyah recipies, take a look at this run-down from the Holy Cross Parish booyah in Green Bay, WI:
450 lbs of potatoes. 200 lbs of carrots. 840 lbs of chicken. 250 lbs of onions. 180 bunches of celery. 150 lbs of cabbage. Six cases of corn and peas.
And here is a 25 gallon recipe from UWGB.
My dad, Ed, happens to be a bit of a booyah connoisseur. To aid the uninitiated, he has compiled ratings of seven booyahs he attended over the past booyah season. The results below are sorted by last year’s (2008-2009) booyah dates:
***** St. Jerome’s, Maplewood. 9-21. Outstanding. Seems consistent with
recipe I remember from the 1940¹s and 50¹s. 500 gallons.
$3 a scoop.
**** B-Dale Club, Roseville. 9-28. Very good. Flavor identical to above.
Meat a bit stringy. Some roots, e.g. potatoes, not cut to bite-size.
$3.50 a scoop.
*** American Legion Club, Roseville. 3-1-09. Good, meat evident. Needs
snap of more seasoning. 55 gallons. It is possible that this entry got an
extra (*) because it is such a surprise and a pleasure to find booya in late
winter or is it early spring?
$3.50 a scoop.
** Roseville Fire Dept., Roseville. 10-5. Good. A bit watery compared to 1 and 2. Leaves an unpleasant, hot after taste. Too much pepper or hot sauce?
$4 a scoop.
** St. Agnes Parish, St. Paul. 10-19. Good. Thin. Meat in short supply.
$4.50 a scoop. Loses a star (*) because of price.
*** Polish American Club, St. Paul. 10-25. Good $4.00 a scoop
*** St. Mary’s, St./ Paul. 10-26. Very good. Nice hunks of beef. Price:
$3.00 a scoop.
Pro-tip for new booyah attendees: experienced booyah diners often bring Tupperware with them so they can take home their favorite booyahs, freeze them, and enjoy them year-round.
Do you have a favorite local booyah? Know of any not mentioned above worth checking out? Drop a comment.