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Tonight's Debate Will Be Controversial: These 24 Snacks Will Not Be

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This article was originally published the day of the first presidential debate. We're bringing it back to the homepage today because the third debate is likely to be just as divisive as the first.

The nation holds its breath in anticipation of tonight's presidential debate, the first, which is predicted to be the most-watched presidential debate in history, rivaling the numbers for what is usually the year's biggest television event: the Super Bowl. That makes this the Super Bowl of debates, in terms of viewers, yes, but also spectacle and drama and all-around ferocity.

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But as the nation holds its breath, the nation also makes snacks to munch nervously from 9 P.M. E.S.T. onwards. These snacks serve the purpose of occupying our mouths, chewing a less risky activity than speaking.

How to Make Snack Mix Without a Recipe, Savory or Sweet
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How to Make Snack Mix Without a Recipe, Savory or Sweet

If you're watching the debate in a public space, or in a private space among friends and family of different political leanings, it might be smart to put these snacks—rather than your foot—into your mouth. And since what's going down on the stage will be controversial enough, you may as well make snacks that will not spark their own conflicts. (No blue cheese or cilantro or fennel tonight.)

But when I asked the Food52 editors what foods we can all agree on, we couldn't agree on anything. Not everyone like avocados or bananas or chocolate. Not even everyone likes cookies (meet our Design & Home Editor Amanda. Caroline dared a pancake-hater to stand; two did. Kenzi declared that everyone loves pie—and was proven wrong when Lindsay-Jean said she'd pass.

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And in the end, the one "food" we could all agree on was water. So fill up a pitcher. Leave the ice on the side. (And maybe you'll want to put out some vodka and a couple of lemons or limes, too.)

These foods will please most (but not all!):

Potatoes, especially when they're fried (or taste like they've been fried). Serve them with multiple types of dip so that guests can choose!

Wonder Fries
Wonder Fries
Patricia Wells' Fake Frites
Patricia Wells' Fake Frites
Mashed Potato Cakes with Broccoli and Cheese
Mashed Potato Cakes with Broccoli and Cheese

Bread! Great for a crowd. Not so great for your gluten-free friends, sadly.

Pretzel for a Crowd
Pretzel for a Crowd
Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François' 5-Minute Artisan Bread
Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François' 5-Minute Artisan Bread
Saltie's Focaccia
Saltie's Focaccia

Lots of snack mix! Non-spicy and nut-free options will win you votes.

Wasabi Pea Snack Mix

Wasabi Pea Snack Mix by Kendra Vaculin

Sweet and Spicy Pretzel and Nut Mix

Sweet and Spicy Pretzel and Nut Mix by drbabs

Chicken fingers, sure to keep the adults and the children satisfied. Vegetarians, look elsewhere.

Chicken Tenders with Apple Cider Sweet and Sour Sauce
Chicken Tenders with Apple Cider Sweet and Sour Sauce

Nachos*. Make some with salad; make some with chicken; please the people.

Salad Nachos

Salad Nachos by Lindsay-Jean Hard

Super(bowl) Chicken and Black Bean Nachos

Super(bowl) Chicken and Black Bean Nachos by Kendra Vaculin

*Not taco bowls.

Rice is fairly neutral and takes well to many flavors and preparations.

Tomato Rice
Tomato Rice

If you hate tomatoes and prefer produce of the green variety (and lots of cheese), make it this way instead:

Green Rice
Green Rice

Ricotta softens the bite of the spicy and the sharp (but beware: some guests might be frightened by its cottage cheese-like appearance).

Ricotta Toast
Ricotta Toast

French toast sticks. Because there's no way we can agree on whether pancakes, French toast, or waffles rank highest on the sweet-breakfast-foods spectrum. (And hey, you could also make these savory—with cheese!).

French Toast Sticks
French Toast Sticks

Hummus and guacamole and salsa and onion dip. Right?

Zahav's Hummus Tehina

Zahav's Hummus Tehina by Genius Recipes

Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole

Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole by Genius Recipes

How to Make Salsa without a Recipe

How to Make Salsa without a Recipe by Marian Bull

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Grilled Green Onion Dip

Grilled Green Onion Dip by Liz | inspired by the seasons

And not everyone likes brownies, so make blondies too.

Cook's Illustrated's Blondies

Cook's Illustrated's Blondies by Genius Recipes

Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies

Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies by Genius Recipes

Let your guests vote on what kind of cereal to use as the base of these crispy cereal treats (we recommend forgoing the Electoral College system).

Cinnamon Spice Rice Krispie Treat S'mores

Cinnamon Spice Rice Krispie Treat S'mores by Kendra Vaculin

How to Make Any Cereal Treats Without a Recipe

How to Make Any Cereal Treats Without a Recipe by Amanda Shulman

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It's hard to get riled up about fudge, especially when it comes in many flavors. (I'm sure many of you will disagree.)

How to Make Creamy, Melty Fudge (The Best Last-Minute Gift)
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How to Make Creamy, Melty Fudge (The Best Last-Minute Gift)

What will you be eating during tonight's debate? Tell us in the comments! And for more answers and ideas, turn to the Hotline.