Updated! World Cup 2014: Food And Drink Guide To Group A

11 Jun

Group AHey everyone! Cindy here (meridiansour on Twitter) and I’ll be contributing to posts about Group A (Brazil, Mexico, Cameroon and Croatia) and the big party that is the World Cup.

Here’s the first post, a little guide to eating and drinking revolving around the traditions of Group A teams to get the festivities started! Drop some messages and feel free to contact me on Twitter at @meridiansour.




Kick off the first match of the 2014 World Cup with the drink of the host country, the caiprinha. This simple beverage is made with cachaça (a liquor fermented from sugar cane), some brown sugar (the recipe says use super fine sugar, but seriously it tastes better with brown sugar) and couple squeezes of lime (at least half a lime’s worth). If you can’t find cachaça, which I can’t at my local liquor store, substitute with rum. Alternatively, if the lime crisis continues, you can mix cachaça with condensed milk to make a liete de onça.


To soak up all that alcohol, have some salgadinhos, the Brazilian cousin to tapas. Typically these are small savoury snacks and usually I can eat half a dozen before I feel like I’ve had enough for a meal. While making a bunch of smaller dishes seem time consuming, luckily most of them can be pre-made in large batches and frozen. They include empanadas which you can switch up the filling and the coxinha which is a chicken croquette shaped like a leg or teardrop.



If you have a sweet tooth, you can also enjoy brigadeiro, a classical Brazilian chocolate bonbon covered in sprinkles. They taste differently from traditional chocolates with the addition of condensed milk, which gives the chocolate a thick sticky texture.



Croatians are more hearty eaters than party snackers, and their cuisine is a combination of seafood, stew and roast meats. So for the ambitious and those who want to have a fancy dinner party for the World Cup, why not roast a whole leg of lamb and some stuffed peppers on the side? Or a pot of traditional goulash?

Whole leg of lamb


And for dessert make krafne, their version of donuts which look like berliners but lighter and fluffier.


PS. During the course of my research on Croatian food, I found out that a very uniquely Croatian dish was sea spider salad which super grossed me out because even if I’m eating insects, I stay away from spiders. Also don’t google this food if you’ve got arachnophobia like me.


A little known fact, Croatia has a robust old school wine industry producing very distinct varieties of wine (thank you Eric Asimov). Ask your local wine seller if they have anything from Croatia, they’re known for their fruity, almost citrusy whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Reisling and Zlatina (which reminds me of Zlatan). If you can get ahold of it, rakija aka Croatian moonshine is also an excellent liquor from that region made from distilled fermented fruit. It’s usually homemade though and thus containing questionable alcohol content so drink at your own risk.


It’s summer, it’s hot and it’s Mexico, which means Horchata, a super creamy yet light rice/nut milk. I know you were all thinking about the obvious (Tequila), but since Mexico screwed over their own qualifications and needed help from their continental rivals USA to do it, they don’t deserve anything alcoholic. Here is a good recipe for the rice-almond drink and for all the people allergic to nuts, luckily pastry master David Lebovitz has one with just rice but equally refreshing.


Mexican food is the best party food, so invite some friends to share while watching the game. Big platters of nachos, do-it-yourself taco bars and crisp churros rolled in cinnamon sugar dipped in warm chocolate sauce.




However, if you’re a pessimist or Mexico plays like they did during qualifying, then you probably need some comfort food, which means Menudo. This is the ultimate homey pick me up food, a rich tripe soup in a red chili base garnished with cilantro and lime. However Mexico does in the tournament though, they will be represented at the final in nachos form at my final watching party.


I know the least about Cameroonian food, mostly because I’m not a fan of foods based on maize and plantain (foods from the Musa family are the only thing I don’t eat) as a staple. However, Cameroonian food is super varied and draws its influence from pretty much every other food cultures due to the fact it’s been colonized so many times by different countries. Those living along the coast eat a lot of fried fish, usually with the smaller fish species, so a batch of fried whitebait sounds perfect, these are the kind of fish you fry and eat whole, bones and all.

Fried whitebait


Cornbread is their main carb staple, this one actually stays quite true to the Cameroonian version by cooking it in a skillet, or if you don’t have a skillet, bake it in the oven.


While every culture has their version of meat on a stick, this recipe stays true to the flavors in North Africa/Cameroon with the use of lemon zest and yogurt dipping sauce.

Grilled meat kebabs

Lastly for the adventurous, bush meat is a main component of the Cameroonian diet, while cuts of pangolin or porcupine is hard to get here, squirrel is a good alternative. Try this dish of braised squirrel if you dare, or it can even be easily substituted for with rabbit.

Ginger soda

Ginger soda

While the local drinks bil-bil (beer made from corn) and afofo (a liquor distilled from palm sap) will be super hard to get ahold of unless you’re actually in Cameroon. Instead, make this ginger soda that hawkers sell on the streets of Cameroon, which is probably quite cooling on a hot day.

– Cindy (meridiansour)

UPDATED: Because I forgot to add the Mexican food recipes! – Lozil

17 Responses to “Updated! World Cup 2014: Food And Drink Guide To Group A”

  1. Sweet June 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    What a great idea to do this! You’re a genius! I can make the food of the team I want to win each match, and get fat and happy doing it.


  2. jellyace June 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    Oh gosh, you made me hungry! Thank you, Cindy!

  3. shiggers June 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    Love it–thanks!

  4. mygypsyspirit June 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Count me in for empanadas and coxinhas! Krafne sounds delicious as well. Also nachos and kebabs… Oh hell, GIVE ME ALL THE FOOD!

    I’m super hungry right now.

  5. CinematiqueChic June 11, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    This is such a great idea. I’m far too lazy to actually cook anything but it all looks delicious.

    • headbandsandheartbreak June 11, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

      Then you can head straight for the wine and caiprinhas!

      • CinematiqueChic June 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

        I like the way you think! And although it doesn’t have anything to do with Group A, I also plan to stock up on Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream for the US’s games.

        • headbandsandheartbreak June 11, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

          Smart thinking! I’m gonna have to do the same (but I’m not drinking Bud, I refuse to accept this as my national drink!)

          • Dr. P June 11, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

            In good news, Bud is now made in Canada. You no longer have any obligation.

          • mygypsyspirit June 11, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

            Sam Adams or Alagash!

  6. B June 11, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    I love this idea! mmm…now I’m craving nachos…

  7. Katie Ann June 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    Want. All. Of. This.

    Great post!!!!

  8. Christine June 11, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    Great idea!

  9. Natalie June 11, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    Last euro cup whenever Spain played we made Spanish rice at home (the one with Spanish saffron)!! They always won when we made it 😉

  10. kfunk22 June 12, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    what fun!


  1. World Cup 2014 – Group A Catch-up Post: Mexico vs. Brazil & Croatia vs. Cameroon | Of Headbands and Heartbreak... - June 21, 2014

    […] Vazquez, Guardado; Giovani, Peralta. I am going to take back what I said about Mexico in the Food and Drink post and say that they deserve tequila after all. Just a shot or two, I mean if they managed a win it […]

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