The World Cup is a great event for numerous reasons, as it brings the world together to celebrate and watch the games, with each country rooting for their own team to win and partying together when they do. The tourism that it brings to the host country is undeniably huge and extremely beneficial for everyone involved. Nothing beats sitting in your local pub or bar, the atmosphere tense as everyone watches on the edge of their seats to see which team will score the winning shot, the cheers and shouts when your team scores or the shared disappointment when the opposite happens. Whilst all of these things are one benefit of the World Cup, one of the greatest things to come out of the event is the increased understanding of other countries’ cultures, as people are exposed to new music, new languages and perhaps important if you’re a food connoisseur – new food. Regardless of whether you’re watching the World Cup or just local matches from around the world, something that can easily be done now that you can watch football online, you are likely to want to learn about these new cultures that you are exposed to. If that’s the case, then here is a list of just a few of the great dishes that can be found locally in the competing countries of the World Cup.
France – the winners of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, France is famous for its usually unique cuisine and dishes. One of their most famous dishes, that you are likely to have heard of is Coq au vin, and whilst you may have heard of it before, now might be the perfect time to look up a recipe and give it a try. Easy to make and with delicious flavors, you’ll be happy that you decided to explore this part of a different culture.
Croatia – the runners up of the previous World Cup, Croatia is a country whose culture and famous dishes are slightly less famous and notable, however that does not mean that they don’t have any dishes worthy enough to try. Black risotto, a dish know locally as crni rižot, is made using cuttlefish or squid, whichever you prefer and then an assortment of other ingredients that are easily found online. If you’re a fan of seafood then this is the perfect dish for you, plus it’s fun to eat as it leaves your mouth and teeth black.
Belgium – whilst Belgium didn’t make it to the finals for the World Cup, their huge success in the competition unsurprisingly caught a lot of people’s interest. If you’re one of these people and you’re looking for a delicious dish to try, look no further. One dish you could try is Stoemp, a dish that will make you never want to eat mashed potatoes again due to its superiority to the classic dish. A creamy mix of mash potatoes and a list of delicious vegetables that will leave your mouth watering, this one is perfect with a few sausages.
Russia – the host country of the 2018 World Cup, tourists flocked to each of the host cities, experiencing an entirely different culture that they were then likely to have brought back to their family and friends back home. Taking a step away from the main courses, one of Russia’s greatest dishes is one that you can have savory or sweet – Bliny is a Russian type of pancakes or what we call crepes. They are often rolled or folded with whatever filling you chose in the middle, whether that’s honey, jam or mushrooms, and salmon.
Sweden – this is a country that is hugely popular and well-known for just how nice it is, in a multitude of different categories. The people are nice, the cities are beautiful, the streets are clean, and the food is delicious. One of their most interesting dishes is the Smörgåstårta, or sandwich cake, which is self-explanatory as it is just a sandwich that looks lie a cake. Multi-layered and filled with all your favorite sandwich ingredients, like sliced meats, smoked salmon, lettuce and mayonnaise, all of which you can pick and choose or remove. This is definitely an option to try if you’re ever in the country.