And now for the World Cup of eating and drinking
Get those taste buds fit and ready for a kicking
The Fifa World Cup 2018 is finally here, but chances are that you aren’t going to make it to a pub for every match. While there is nothing quite like the buzz of a bar full of shouting fans, there’s plenty of fun to be had at home. We’ve dived into the culinary cultures of the top teams to bring you the authentic snacks and drinks of the ones to watch.
What to eat and drink?
As the host nation, we’re very interested in what Russia has to offer. If you want to snack like a Russian you had better be ready for a few weird combinations. In Russia, cucumber Sprite is the soft drink of choice, easily recreated by putting a few slices of cucumber in a glass of Sprite at home (vodka optional, if you are prepared to miss the second half of the match.) They are also completely mad about the herb dill, so try potatoes with sour cream and a lot of chopped dill. A little caviar wouldn’t hurt either. Say nasdarovje.Germany
Bit of a sausage fest going on here, the king of which is the currywurst. Try making your own curry sauce and pouring it over sliced bratwurst for the ultimate zwischenmahlzeit (mini-meal) If sausages are not your thing, try a pretzel, or kartoffelpuffers (the Germans really do have the best names for things) which are little potato pancakes which can be served sweet or savoury. Drink beer, beer and more beer and say So sehen Sieger aus, shalalalala (That’s what champions look like).Brazil
When sambaing around your house watching the Brazilians play, you can match it with one of South Africa’s great loves. This is the country to braai for, as Brazil is possibly as passionate as we are about grilling meat. Get your hands on a Picanha cut rump and engage in some heated debate about who would win a grilling world cup. Drink icily cold commercially brewed beers, just like us, and say Eu sou brasileiro, com muito orgulho, com muito amor (I’m Brazilian, with a lot of pride, with a lot of love).Belgium
What to eat and drink?
Waffles! All the waffles! Drink? Really expensive craft beer, preferably imported directly from a monastery. Otherwise mead you brewed in your garage. What to say? I’m neutral!Portugal
If you are feeling ambitious try your hand at making bacalhau à brás, a combination of onions, chips, olives, parsley and cod. Less ambitious? Homemade pregos. Very lazy? Nando’s. Either way pick up a box of Portuguese custard tarts. Drink Madeiran Punch, made with Aguardente (sugar cane brandy), honey, sugar and lemon juice. If you aren’t in the mood to mix something up, pick up a bottle of Porto, a fortified wine, when you collect your Nando’s. What to say? Ole Ronaldo Ole (cheering on captain Cristiano Ronaldo).Argentina
Empanadas! Delicious little pastries filled with either meat, chicken or cheese and onion. Sort of like Argentinian samoosas. Otherwise this is another good time to through a braai, in this case called an asado. Argentina boasts some of the best new-world wines. If not that try the traditional drink of Argentina, called mate, which is a South American green tea analog. Say Vamos vamos Argentina (let’s go Argentina).France
Cheese board, piled high with camembert, brie, crusty French bread and good butter. Drink as much wine as you can manage. Say Allez les bleus (go blues).England
Eat humble pie. What to drink: your sorrows. What to say: “Two world wars and one World Cup, England, England. Two world wars and one World Cup, England all the way.”
This is the time for tapas. Small dishes of delicious olives, cured meats and anything else in a charming small bowl for sharing. Drink vermouth: the national drink of Spain, not that unloved bottle at the back of the cupboard especially for your yearly foray into martini making. In Spain the drink is sweet red vermouth, which varies region to region and tastes more like mulled wine. Say Yo soy Español, Español, Español (if you are Spanish, say it loudly).