Foodie or Footy Fan? Get a Taste of the World Cup

Posted by Rob Smyth | 14/06/2018 | Category: Food

The World Cup is almost here and there are some surprising teams which have made the grade this time around, as well as some unexpected absences. There are few occasions which bring together people from so many different nations. It’s also a great opportunity to find out a little about the culture of the competing countries and enjoy some foods from around the world as you watch the matches. Be a little adventurous during World Cup month and it could lead to some exciting regular additions to your weekly menus.

Central England Co-operative has a great range of deals and recipes to inspire you over the next month, and whilst you might not expect to find the most popular dishes from Peru, Costa Rica or Iran on the menu in England, there are many dishes, no doubt enjoyed by the players when they are at home, which can easily be made with ingredients found at your local Central England Co-operative which will add some world flavours to your dining table.

As the tournament is taking place in Russia, why not do as the Russians do and celebrate the opening match with vodka? You can find Absolut (70cl for £16) and Smirnoff (70cl for £14) in store now.

In Egypt, kebabs or koftas are popular foods across the nation. During the tournament you can mix and match three for £10 or two for £7 on a selection of meats including Co-op Smoky BBQ Beef Kebabs (360g for £4) and Co-op Sweet Chilli & Honey Chicken Kebabs (341g for £3.99). Alternatively make your own by mixing together some lamb mince seasoned with cumin, coriander, garlic and mint, shape onto a skewer and either barbecue or griddle them.

The cuisine of Morocco has some similar flavours as that of Egypt, so it’s worth investing in a few herbs and spices you may not have tried before. Take a look at this recipe for inspiration which uses chicken thighs – the darker meat of the chicken which makes a tasty, great-value dish.

Like the English, the Portuguese are fans of fish, often prepared in the simplest of ways and accompanied by fresh ingredients. This recipe fits the bill and is simple to prepare. Alternatively pick up some Nando's Peri-Peri Medium Sauce (125g) for £2 and serve with chicken.

Many of us have visited Portugal’s neighbour, Spain, and enjoyed their delicious food. Try some tapas and pop some tasty tortilla, ham and chorizo into your basket in time for their first match on 15 June and remember to pick up some cans of San Miguel (£4.75 for 4 x 440ml).

If you’re not exactly a chef in the kitchen, you can get a taste of France for the match on 16 June with this Cheats Coq au Vin recipe. Prepare it before kick-off, pop it in the oven at half time and lunch is served!

Australia is synonymous with the barbecue. To make the most of yours at the weekend when Australia play their first match, take a look at our video for barbecue seared rump steak, watermelon and chilli corn.

Denmark is known for its pork, which makes up almost half of its agricultural exports each year. To do something a little more exciting with some basic pork chops, try this recipe, which you can prepare well before the match and cook during half time:

Beer and sausages are favourites in Germany as well as in England. Check out the variety available in store now, from the basic pork banger to spicy chipolatas and pick up some cans of Carling (£9 for 10 x 440ml) to wash it all down. However, if on the 16 June you’ll be cheering on Mexico as they play the Germans, fajitas are easy to make and fun for all the family to assemble. You can pick up a fajita kit in store (Old El Paso Fajita Kit - £2) or try our recipe and make them yourself.

Brazil vs Switzerland will kick off on Sunday, and the cuisines of the two countries couldn’t be more different. Fondue and potato rosti are two of the most popular choices for the Swiss, whereas Brazilians love barbecued meats. Brazil is also one of the prime pineapple growing regions of the world, so why not try this recipe for a fruity barbecued side dish?

You can create your own smörgåsbord, or buffet, for the Sweden v South Korea match and include meatballs, mini sausages and salmon for that Scandinavian feel.

A steaming dish of moules frites (mussels served with skinny fries) is a staple dish of the dining table in Belgium. It also tastes great with one of the many Belgian beers available. To look like a pro, tackle your moules by using an open pair of mussel shells as tongs to eat the rest.

For a flavour of Tunisia, you have to include some couscous. It’s really quick to make and can be a welcome change from rice or potatoes as an accompaniment. If you’re catering for a party of fans, try a tray of these stuffed peppers:

Columbians love their rice dishes with chicken. Each region of the country has its own version. So you can get on with watching the matches, try our one-pot summery chicken recipe:

Jollof rice is popular in Senegal and is like an African version of paella. If you want to put together something similar, try this recipe: The month ahead will be an exciting time, whether you’re a foodie, or a fan of the footy. So next time you’re shopping, be adventurous and enjoy some beautiful food with the beautiful game.

Keep an eye out for some great deals during the World Cup by visiting

About The Author: Rob Smyth

Public relations

Promoting the great work of Central England Co-operative across all forms of media.