World Cup of Food – Which Country Is The Culinary World Champions?
Travelling the world, you are afforded the opportunity to taste the national dishes of numerous countries. All of which are delicious and can only truly be appreciated when cooked on home soil – but what is the best national dish?
As the eyes of the world will be on the forthcoming Football World Cup this summer, I thought it fitting to hold our own World Cup of Food. I have selected eight of our favourite national dishes to represent their country to go head-to-head on a knockout basis for the right to be called culinary world champions.
The entries are:
Italy – Pizza
Japan – Sushi
Mexico – Tacos
England – Fish and Chips
France – Crepes
United States of America – Apple Pie
Thailand – Thai Green Curry
Spain – Paella
Italy (Pizza) vs. Japan (Sushi)
The first quarter-final of the inaugural World Cup of Food saw the pre-tournament favourites, Italy, take on the much-fancied Japan in a contest that could have gone either way. In the end, the lure of pizza won out over raw fish as pizza booked Italy’s place in the semi-finals.
Winner – Italy
Mexico (Tacos) vs. England (Fish and Chips)
England hasn’t tasted glory on the world stage for years and, when fish and chips were drawn up against the spice and flair of tacos, we thought it was going to be another early exit. However, to the surprise of many, the English dish saw off stiff competition from the Mexican to edge into the semi-finals, where fish and chips will come up against pizza.
Winner – England
France (Crepes) vs. USA (Apple Pie)
A match for the sweet-toothed amongst us as France’s crepes are pitted against the USA’s apple pie. On paper, it is a tight contest, but the French won through with a convincing victory to send the American plate home early, leaving just one semi-final place up for grabs remaining.
Winner – France
Thailand (Thai Green Curry) vs. Spain (Paella)
Perhaps the closest draw of the round saw two of the most popular dishes of the tournament clash in a contest that went all the way. It was to be a victory for paella over Thai green curry, although it could have been a much different story had the draw have been kinder to the Asian delicacy.
Winner – Spain
Italy (Pizza) vs. England (Fish and Chips)
England reached the semi-finals of our World Cup of Food, however, there was to be no act of charity on the part of the Italians who stormed into the final as pizza ran riot over fish and chips. The tournament favourites look set to claim the coveted trophy as all of the experts agree that it will take a big performance to deny pizza outright glory.
France (Crepes) vs. Spain (Paella)
At a continental restaurant, these dishes might complement each other, however, there is room for only one in the World Cup of Food. Despite strong support from this writer, the decision was given to France in what can only be described as the upset of the tournament, making for a showdown between two culinary heavyweights in the final.
World Cup of Food Final
Italy (Pizza) v. France (Crepes)
This was it, the crème de la crème of national dishes. Italy vs. France, pizza vs. crepes with it all on the line. The winner would go down in history as the single greatest national dish in history, whilst the runner-up would be resigned to four years of misery until next World Cup of Food takes place (if it takes place). Despite a strong showing to get into the final, pizza lived up to its pre-tournament billing as favourites to win the only World Cup that Italy will be a part of this summer.
Winner – Italy
Not Everyone is so lucky
It probably shouldn’t come as much surprise that pizza was voted as our favourite national dish. You, the reader, will have your own thoughts and opinions on which dish should have won, but it is important to remember that, unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky to have been able to sample each of the aforementioned dishes.
With millions of people living around the world, charities work night and day to help feed the hungry. Fundraising events and religious practices such as zakat all help to raise money to help those in need, but more can always be done.
This is a collaborative post.
More about Italian and Venetian food here: Eating Out in Lido de Venezia