Flickr photo by Andrew MichaelsIf you're really wanting to get into the spirit of the World Cup, which begins tomorrow, invite your friends over for a World Cup viewing party and serve traditional foods from the countries that are playing.
First up: South Africa vs. Mexico, 10 a.m. EST: You probably won't get to host a party this early (unfortunately, most of us have work at this time, darn that international time difference). But if you do have the day off and can enjoy it, not only will it surely be a good game, but these two countries have some tasty traditional foods.
South African menus are full of exotic cuisines. You can start of with bunny chow (no, it's not a bunny - it's actually curry stuffed into a hollowed-out bread loaf) and then follow with a meatloaf-like dish called bobotie that goes great with yellow rice. End it with some South African wine and a milk tart, a custard pie that's a favorite at tea time.
Weren't we just chowing down on Mexican food for Cinco de Mayo? Now we have another excuse to break out the guacamole, taco bar, and margaritas. You can also try a traditional corn cake side dish, or, for dessert, make flan, which is a tasty cross between egg custard and cheesecake.
Next game is Uruguay vs. France, 2:30 p.m. EST: After winning the World Cup qualifier against Ireland in a controversial manner, France has a lot to prove now that they're here, so this will surely be an intense game. Oh, plus the food sounds absolutely divine.
Start off your Uruguayan dining with gnocchi, which is traditionally eaten in the country on the 29th of each month because this is the day before payday, when people are at their poorest. It's not the 29th, but it is the World Cup, so, good enough. One of the most popular dishes is a beef barbeque called asado. While it's traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven called a parrillero, you can also use a charcoal grill. End it with some creamy Dulce de Leche (mmm) and the local poison of choice, medio y medio, which is half white wine, half champagne.
French cuisine is probably my personal favorite. Cheese, cheese, cream, and cheese. How can you go wrong with that? Serve your guests a nice cheese platter with baguettes to start off with, followed by a chicken cordon bleu dish paired with potato gratin as a side dish. For dessert (ooo, I have to just pick one?), profiteroles are mouth-watering. These little baked pastries are filled with cream or ice cream. While you're enjoying all of this amazing food, sip on a Kir Royale, a delicious French cocktail. I actually had my very first one during a trip to Paris ... heaven!
In your opinion, which of these countries have the tastiest-sounding foods?