The football ball rolls again and with it comes the excitement of millions to see their team follow the dream of winning the World Cup!
This year, for all of us who can’t go to Qatar to support our national team, our home becomes the stadium and the television is the field. And, as we all know, there is nothing better than some delicious snacks to encourage the team from start to end along with our family and friends.
And for this edition, 6 Latin American countries have qualified! Brazil, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Ecuador, Argentina and Mexico. So we reached out to culinary representatives from each of these nations to ask them the following question:
What is your favorite snack to watch your country’s World Cup matches and why?
The answers were different for everyone: some preferred savory treats , others something sweet. But they all have something in common: the Latin flavor!
Let’s get started, shall we?
First off, we have the amazing Aline Shaw (@aline_shaw) representing the Brazilian flavors for this World Cup. Aline is a Brazilian-Californian cook and the owner of an amazing blog called Brazilian Kitchen Abroad where she shares the delicious Brazilian culinary culture for people to try in their everyday cooking. When we asked about her favorite World Cup’s match-watching snacks, she told us:
“I will say that the best food to eat watching a World Cup match is definitely a Brazilian barbecue (and plenty of beers!). I know the question asked is about snacks, but in Brazil we do consider barbecue as a snack, it’s called “petiscos”, meaning finger food. My most memorable World Cups growing up were all churrascos with picanha, chicken hearts and wings! Churrasco definitely resonates with all Brazilians when it comes to Copa do Mundo!”
Next, we have Errez (@errez_cocina) sharing his knowledge about the tasty Uruguayan snacks to eat during a football match. Errez is now living in Belgium, and he keeps an Instagram account where he posts amazing Uruguayan recipes (and expects other cooks to exchange recipes with him as well!). Errez likes to mix it up, including dishes from other countries as well:
“My favorite snack to watch Uruguay’s matches in the World Cup is a homemade “picada” made of: Mini caprese and fish empanadas, chickpea hummus with breadsticks, guacamole with nachos, hearts of palm with ham and golf sauce, pesto bread and potato fries with mushrooms.” – Errez tells us – “It’s important that everything is homemade because all the products can be made with friends before the match to have fun and kill anxieties. To drink white wine and for dessert pears in red wine with vanilla ice cream.”
It doesn’t get more specifically delicious than that!
Moving on, we asked an Argentinian professional pastry chef about her favorites for the World Cup. Candela Cortés (@candelapasteleria) is the owner of a business called Candela Cortes Pastelería that started at her kitchen in La Plata (capital city of the Buenos Aires Province) and now she has thousands of followers and clients from all around who enjoy her incredible cakes and make the recipes she shares. Her favorite one to represent Argentina in the snacks World Cup is the famous Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche!
“When I watch Argentina’s matches I like to eat sweet and savory snacks. I combine both, I love cheese bread and coconut cake. I think they are ideal to accompany with “mate”! In my house, my family and I are cheese bread fans, they are a must in every football game, both for the Argentina’s matches and the local team’s matches. And the coconut cake is, of course, a classic that never disappoints.”
Here is her version of Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche!
We know that Mexicans are the leaders of delicious finger food, and we could not miss the words of a Mexican cook! Ericka Sanchez (@nibblesnfeasts) is a cookbook author, recipe developer and food photographer that shares her knowledge of the Mexican flavors with her Instagram community, and she even made appearances at Taste of Home and Oprah! Her recipes are incredible, so of course we had to ask her about her favorite World Cup’s matches snacks:
“My favorite snack for Mexico’s matches is spicy garbanzo beans. They are really easy to make and they are ready in only 20 minutes. They have a spicy-citrusy kick and pair nicely with a frosty beer!”
Ticos and ticas have an excellent palate when it comes to snacks to watch football games, and their flavors are so fresh, tropical and full of spices! To represent Costa Rica, we reached out to Christa Jimenez (@puravidamoms) who shares with all of us her amazing family adventures and owns a blog called Pura Vida Moms, where she posts delicious Latin-inspired recipes for everyday life! Christa is now living in Denver, so she has no other option but to see the Costa Rica matches at home. When we asked her about her favorite World Cup matches’ snacks, she told us:
“My favorite snack to watch a Costa Rican football match is chifrijo. This dish can be a snack or a main course depending on the duration of the match… you don’t get hungry with chifrijo! Combining chicharrón, beans and a delicious chimichurri, chifrijo is a dish that can be made in advance so you don’t miss a minute of the match!”
Last but not least, we reached out to Cristina Greenway (@myecuadoriankitchen), an Ecuadorian-Spanish cook. She is currently living in Los Angeles on a mission to learn all of her family recipes from her mom and her grandma, who are both a big inspiration for her. She is sharing all of her knowledge in her blog called My Ecuadorian Kitchen so we can all enjoy flavorful Ecuadorian meals! When we asked her what is her favorite snack to watch Ecuador’s World Cup matches and why, she said:
“There’s nothing better to start off your World Cup viewing party than with Ecuadorian Empanadas de Viento. For every party that my family has hosted, empanadas have always been the most requested appetizer!”
As for why, she told us a little bit about her family history: “My grandparents and their five children immigrated from Ecuador to Mid-city Los Angeles in the late 1960’s. My grandparents are very proud to be Ecuadorian and have kept their culture and traditional recipes very present in their home during the 50+ years they lived in Southern California. Among our family and friends, my abuelita (grandma) is known for her amazing cooking skills and Empanadas de Viento are everyone’s favorite. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love them!”
What are Empanadas de Viento? “The dough is sweet and filled with Monterey Jack cheese, diced in green onion and raisins. The empanadas are best served hot right after they’re deep fried in vegetable oil.” – Cristina tells us – “It’s the perfect combination of crunchy and soft textures. Along with the oozing melting cheese, it creates the perfect Ecuadorian snack. Empanadas de Viento are a MUST at your World Cup party, I guarantee your guests will be fighting for them!”
There are many delicious snack options that these amazing people have taught us, so now you know: if the match you are watching has one of these Latin American countries as one of the protagonists, prepare any of these Latinx delicacies and enjoy!