Ted Morrison for Al Jazeera America

The World Cup of Food

Theonlythingpeopleargueaboutmorethansoccer. . . isfood.

In the spirit of the World Cup, we offer you a lively and completely subjective global conversation about the merits of the national cuisine of each of the 32 countries competing in Brazil. Can England’s Yorkshire pudding stay the course against pasta al pomodoro? Will Red Red from Ghana emerge victorious over America’s barbeque (North Carolina division)? Go ahead, get acquainted with the dishes described below.

Bet you can’t read just one.

The opening round of our knockout tournament follows the first 16 matches of the World Cup. Each day we'll reveal a match-up and its winner, moving through four rounds of competition until we're down to the final. Writers were asked to come up with a dish that exemplifies the country they are representing, with food alone as the focus. (Desolée about nixing the rosé, France. Es tut mir leid, Germany, about your beer. But this isn't the World Cup of Drinks.)

About the referee
Rosie Schaap cooks, writes, and watches soccer in Brooklyn. She has written for publications including Bon Appetit, Lucky Peach, the New York Times Magazine, and Saveur. She wrote "Drinking With Men: A Memoir," in which, among other things, she explains her devotion to Tottenham Hotspur F.C. During the World Cup, she's Oranje through and through.

About the writers
We gathered 30 writers to come up with the national dish that best represents both their native and adopted countries with teams in that other World Cup. (Yes, some of them double-dipped countries and cuisines. Wouldn't you?) Our authors include Americans who have embedded in other continents and travelers from other countries who have embedded in the U.S. We can count a few foreign correspondents, an eminent food historian, a former DJ, novelists and, of course, a poet. You always need a poet. They all have one thing in common: a love for the cultures and cuisines they represent.
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