Holy moly! We are now less than 24 hours away from the start of the World Cup! No time to waste with an intro! Posts to write, predictions to predict, fantasy teams to set and cheese to melt!
Group G: Switzerland, Chile, Spain and Honduras are up next in The Football Foodie World Cup.
Switzerland – Fondue
While not a convenient stadium or football game food (Germany got the WURSTS! first), Switzerland is one of the few countries where melted cheese is a revered art form, and with that we cannot disagree. It’s also an excuse to keep a small bottle of kirschwasser, a cherry brandy which is surprisingly not sweeet, as a part of your home bar.
Quick fact about the Swiss team you need to know so you don’t look like an idiot this summer:
It’s going to be a battle for second place in Group H between the Swiss and Chile. Despite being home to FIFA, the World Cup has never been rigged for the Swiss to win the Cup. (But if you get bored thinking of Swiss football — and really, who wouldn’t — imagine a bunch of Swiss down in a bunker planning on how chocolate, cheese and playing football on skis can take over the world sometime around 2022.)
Exotic Swiss food that the rest of us would probably toss:
Rivella, which is a soft drink made from cheese whey. Much like the Germans, the Swiss don’t believe in ice in their drinks. So lukewarm cheese whey soda.
Other awesome Swiss snack:
Pretzels and Toblerone bars.
Chile – Pebre
Similar but in many ways superior to pico de gallo, pebre is topping made from aji chiles, cilantro, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil and is served on everything from grilled meat to sandwiches to just plain pieces of bread. You can also add tomatoes to it, as seen in the background of the above photo, and eat it like you would salsa.
If you cannot find aji chiles in your area substitute your favorite chili, but keep in mind that Chileans are not known for hot, spicy food, so do not over do it with the jalapenos and use this recipe as your guide.
Quick fact about the Chilean team you need to know so you don’t look like an idiot this summer:
Chile was banned from the 1994 World Cup after a “phantom firework” supposedly hit Chilean goalkeeper Roberto Rojas during the 1990 qualifiers, causing the team to claim matches against Brazil were unsafe. Video evidence proved Rojas was not hit by a firework and team was forced to sit out the next qualifying rounds.
Exotic Chilean food that the rest of us would probably toss:
Chiriqui, a type of jerky usually made from horse meat. Horse meat is still eaten in parts of Europe and Asia, but has pretty much fallen completely out of favor here in the US.
Other awesome Chilean snack:
A completo, a hot dog with lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, aji chile sauce, mustard and mayonnaise. (Sometimes also served with sauerkraut.)
Spain – Pintxos (Pincho)
In the Basque region of Spain, pintxos are a very popular form of bar food. Unlike tapas which are meant to be shared, pintxos are small one bite items each person selects individually and at the end of the night, the bartender tabulates a person’s bill based on how many toothpicks are on a person’s plate.
Quick fact about the Spanish team you need to know so you don’t look like an idiot this summer:
Spain is expected to run roughshod over Group H, despite every single player on the Spanish team either being injured, recovering from injuries, recovering from surgery, or suffering from a hangnail. Ranked second only to Brazil, they go into the tournament as a heavy favorite to win the World Cup.
Exotic Spanish food that the rest of us would probably toss:
Bull penis, which is considered to — what else — help with virility.
Other awesome Spanish snack:
Stuffed piquillo peppers.
Honduras – Baleadas (Baliada) and Baleadas Con Huevo Y Aguacate
The simple but incredibly filling baledas is a staple of Honduran street food. A thick homemade tortilla, a smear of smashed beans, soft cheese and sour cream. Baleadas con huevo y aguacate are made with smashed beans, soft cheese, sour cream, scrambled eggs and avocado. (Most “crema” found outside of the US is much thicker and richer than what Americans are accustomed to when they think about sour cream.)
Baleadas from Lempira in Los Angeles.
Quick fact about the Honduran team you need to know so you don’t look like an idiot this summer:
This only Honduras’ second appearance in the World Cup, with their previous showing eighteen years ago in 1982. With a tough Group draw against Spain, Chile and Switzerland, it’s going to be very tough for them to make it to the round of 16.
Exotic Honduran food that the rest of us would probably toss:
Iguana is eaten in some parts of the country, although the government is trying to bring a stop to the practice.
Other awesome Honduran snack:
Anafre, a rich smashed beans and cheese dip served in a large stone pot with chips. Honduran food is mostly known for their rich soups and stews, neither of which are good for taking to a football match.
Voting and comments: