The World Cup Final is fast approaching and the teams that will compete to win have been decided in this week’s nail-biting matches.
Watching the game is about the football as much as it about the snacks you’re munching, whether you’re at the pub, in squares, parks or in your living room.
So why not take the opportunity to taste some international street food while watching France and Croatia playing for the much sought-after trophy?
We have picked our favourite dishing from the competing teams. These are easy to cook at home, or, if you’re lucky, you might find them at your local street food market!
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about French food is probably baguettes. Now popular all over the world, it is the ideal snack while watching the game. You can cut the baguette in smaller chunks and fill them with a variety of different fillings, such as cheeses, cold meats and vegetables.
Croque-Monsieur is another staple of the French culinary scene. Served in all cafes in France, it is probably one of the simplest recipes you can try at home. It is basically a grilled cheese and ham toastie but made soft by extra béchamel sauce. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, you should go for the croque-madame, a variation of the croque monsieur topped with a fried egg.
Another classic of French cuisine which lends itself as a street food dish is moules frites, namely boiled mussels with fries. It is a very simple dish but it is extremely popular in the friteries (the French chippies) of the North French coast. Add a splash of wine, cider or beer for an extra kick!
No French meal would be complete without crêpes! They are especially good with chocolate spread and whipped cream but you can also have them plain with powdered sugar. If you’re not a dessert lover, you can have a savoury version with meats and cheese.
Unfortunately, Croatian food is slightly more difficult to source in the UK than French food. Despite the lack in popularity, it is worth trying these Croatian dishes which are fairly easy to cook at home.
Originally from Turkey, Burek is probably one of the most popular street food dishes the country has to offer. It can be found across the Balkans and most of Eastern Europe and also Scandinavia. It is a savoury flaky pastry that can be stuffed with either meat or vegetables and makes for a filling but light snack, easy to eat and perfect for a bite while cheering on your team.
A soup doesn’t sound like the most exciting dish for watching the game, but we can guarantee Grah is no regular soup. Literally “bean soup”, Grah is made out of a base of beans, to which smoked meat and spices are added to create a thick consistency. The smoked meat and the paprika give this stew a rich smoky flavour that has nothing to do with the boring soups we are used to.
Octopus Salad is a nice fresh summery dish from the Dalmatian coast. While cooking the octopus might sound arduous, it is actually just a matter of letting it cook for a long time (about three hours) and assembling the salad is easy and quick. Once cooked, slice your octopus and dress it with olive oil, vinegar, garlic and parsley. You can get creative and add tomatoes, olives and capers and serve the salad in mini portions for a tasting while watching the match.
Perfect as dessert or just as a snack, fritule are Croatian doughnuts especially popular during the summer festivals, so no better occasion than the World Cup to try this fried pastry. Top it up with powdered sugar or indulgent chocolate sauce!
What snack will you add to your world cup menu?