Thirty-two countries are coming together in Brazil for the World Cup this month -- and they all have different customs. But the one universal language that everyone speaks isn't soccer -- it's food.
In order to get to know the cultures of some of the other teams competing at the World Cup, we’ve compiled a list of the most exotic foods from 12 of the competing countries.
The name of this Algerian specialty is more intimidating than the dish itself. Merguez is sausage, usually lamb-based in a lamb intestine casing, that’s spiced with cumin, chili pepper and harissa, which gives it its characteristic red color.
Filled phyllo dough packets make up this traditional dish from Bosnia and Herzegovina that’s eaten at every meal of the day. They’re often filled with cheese, minced meat, potatoes or vegetables and garnished with sesame seeds.
Lots of countries have different names for a skewer, and in Cameroon, that name is “brochette.” Known locally as “soya,” Cameroonian skewers usually feature chicken, beef or goat meat.
Côte d’Ivoire is known for its popular street snack of fried plantains spiced with onions and chili.
This popular Croatian pastry is basically a little doughnut, especially common around Christmas, and usually flavored with brandy and citrus zest.
Ecuadorians love to roast a whole pig.
Considered a staple in Ghana, fufu is a bread made with cassava flour. The cassava is boiled and then pounded into a dough-like consistency, and locals eat it by taking a small ball of it and dipping it into an accompanying soup or sauce for flavor.
This signature Korean dish translates to “mixed rice,” and is a bowl of rice topped with various garnishes like egg, meat, bean sprouts, carrots, spinach, kimchi and other pickled vegetables. The bowl is flavored with sesame seeds, soy sauce and gochujang, or a chili pepper paste.
Originating in The Netherlands, stroopwafel is made with two thin layers of baked, crunchy waffles and filled with caramel. Dutch locals eat this popular snack by resting it on the top of their coffee cups and letting the steam soften the waffle and melt the caramel inside.
Pastel de nata
Sweetened egg custard is baked inside buttery puff pastry dough in this popular Portuguese baked good.
Uruguayans love this fermented sausage sandwich made with chorizo in a crusty bread similar to baguette and sometimes topped with chimichurri, or an herb-based green sauce.
Like Colombia’s version of a biscuit, arepas are a flatbread made from cornmeal and served with various accompaniments like cheese, avocado and jam, or they’re even split in half like an English muffin to make sandwiches out of meat, fish, cheese or eggs.
- Food & Cooking