For a significant number of Americans, February 14, 2014, was more than just Valentine's Day. The day's primary significance was not the annual celebration of our national Hallmark-sanctioned loveliest, but the release of the full second season of House of Cards. What's House of Cards? Okay, just stop reading now and hit yourself with a brick for not watching one of the best shows on television. Everyone else, get in the spirit with these five theme food and drinks. [Warning: some minor spoilers.]
5. Water. "Clean water," of course, since the "Clean Water Initiative" is Claire Underwood's baby (metaphorical and symbolic since she gave up having kids -- get it, get it? Okay, I'll stop.) And while water is a rather boring party libation, you'll thank me later, given the salty foods and other less salubrious beverages that follow on this list.
4. Steak. More specifically, a steak of "soy-fed Nagasaki beef," which goes for "200 bucks a pound," or so claims Raymond Tusk in season 2, episode 8. At that price, I'm not throwing my steak in the pool to be fetched by a dog like Frank did, but then again, seasoned cow flesh has always been my Achilles heel.
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3. Apple Pie. Given that Netflix's House of Cards is an intentionally heavily Americanized version of the original British series, the symbolic use of apple pie is particularly appropriate. The President's strained relationship with the First Lady is aptly revealed in their excessively tense exchange at Frank and Claire's house over his refusal to partake of pie.
2. Bourbon. When the going gets tough in Washington, the big boys hammer the hard stuff. The libation of choice is a brown spirit, most often identified as bourbon, a natural choice for good ole boy Frank. Just don't drink a whole bottle with your friends and break into your alma mater.
1. Ribs. Hardly shocking, as season 1 was peppered with mouth-watering scenes in which Congressman Frank Underwood was chowing down on the house special pork ribs at Freddy's BBQ Joint. In season two, the relationship between Frank and Freddy intensifies (with Frank at one point even commandeering Freddy to serve ribs to the President) and the barbecue grows even more alluring.