June 18, 2010

Week One Review

A few upsets, a full kitchen and a collection of new global recipes later, we've survived the first week of the 2010 World Cup Food Challenge. We'd like to congratulate everyone taking the Challenge on a great first week and pat ourselves on the back for surviving. In just 7 days we've prepared menus that highlight the national cuisines of over 30 countries! We are only missing Australia and Italy, which, although we did not address them specifically, we touched on through the dishes of their culinary neighbors.

Missed out on all the action? We're recapping the week in World Cup AND World Cup right here with some of the highlights. Make sure to be in on the action next week by following @worldcupfood on Twitter and joining our Facebook page!

Day 1 opens with a bang as France and Uruguay come to a goalless draw after an intense game and South Africa puts up a fight against Mexico...

... and we create what we believe to be the world's first South African margarita and taco.

The opening day party at Paparrucho's is 100% Mexico - Cuervo runs rampant, not a word of English is spoken and free breakfast tacos abound!

Argentina's classic steak accompaniment, Chimichurri, lends such perfect flavor to the Nigerian barbeque Suya, that we think even the Nigerian team would agree to eat it despite their nasty loss to Argentina.

Balkan meatballs taste perfectly at home on a bed of Ghanian Jollof rice.

Left out of the food tournament until today, but never one's to be pushed aside, long-term World Cup runner-ups Germany take their seat as the great white hope of Europe as they give a proper thrashing to the team from down under. Australians responded with a keen, "let's see 'em play ruby, eh, mate?" To that, the Germans punished us all by making this horrible rap video in German about their 4 goals against Australia. Apparently this group is making a "motivational rap" for each of the German games.

Stamppot of Burning Love not only fuses Danish and Dutch cuisine into a single bowl of rich awesomeness, but may also be the best name for any dish EVER. It's also likely the best thing since sliced Gouda to come out of either of these countries (yes, I know the 'best restaurant in the world' is in Denmark but its hardly representative of popular home cooking).

Meanwhile, our side of Cameroonian Couscous took to a side of wasabi far better than the team took to the field with Japan.

Creating our World Cup Radio station on Pandora has introduced us to some cool new artists, a few songs that have eternally wounded our ears, and has mainly just served to produce the most bizarre assembly of music ever played within a single hour.

North Korea surprised the world with a solid fight against favorites, Brazil, but ultimately, North Korea's Pyongyang style kimchi fell to the side of robust Brazilian favorite, Feijoada. Still, their single goal against powerhouse Brazil is sure to be one of this year's most memorable Cup moments.

An uneventful game between the Kiwis and Slovakia didn't stop us from creating an eventful dessert in the whimsically named, Dances with Bublanina.

Nearly a week into the Tournament and mostly draws to show for it, Spain manages to make people across the world tear their eyes out with rusty spoons as they suffer through the most unexpected loss to Switzerland. Possibly no longer the favorites, they're still our team and we're counting on Spain to come back. We drown our sorrows in a pot of cheese as Spanish fondue and wash it down with a Chilean Carmenere. Disregarding the loss, we persisted in posting a guide to Spanish regional cuisine. How the Swiss managed to score against Casillas will continue to baffle us.

As expected, Honduras takes back stage to the strong Chilean team, though the 0:1 score is better than some may have hoped for. Their version of Tres Leches Cake, however, proves to be one of the real winners of the week. 

Through blogging efforts throughout the week, with some help from Twitter, we discovered a few friends taking the World Cup Food Challenge alongside us in places from Arizona to England. We also noted that the American FoodNetwork does not appear to have noticed the World Cup is actually going on right now.

Despite the 4:1 thrashing that played out on the field, Argentinean Malbec turned out to be the perfect pairing with the spicy Korean short rib recipe we discovered at cleverly named MyEpikorean.com, our new go-to source for all things Korean cooking.

A week into the Tournament, anyone not upset over Spain's loss got their kick in the pants when Serbia, winning their first game against this rival since 1962, took down Germany 1:0. After losing to Ghana, no one expected Serbia to come back against Germany. Over at World Cup Food Challenge, we were expecting Serbian cevap to come back strong as we determined what to do with the leftover meatballs. Those that gasped at Serbia's dominance on the field would still appreciate the Balkan flavors intertwined with German Spatzle.

Leaving the knock-out rounds for Group C up in the air as we round out week one, England and Algeria came to a draw. In that case, English fans may not appreciate our Algerian take on their classic Ploughman's lunch.

After leading the game by 2 goals throughout the first half, Slovenia tied it with USA but in our kitchens, exclusive of faulty refereeing, excluded Slovenia from the most American of all desserts: bacon brownie cupcakes. You won't have to wait until the 85th minute for the USA to score with this dessert!

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