Our favourite party platters, jugs of cocktails, barbecue treats and summer celebration recipes for honouring the beautiful game in food form.
The World Cup means a lot of things to a lot of people, but for us it means one thing: Food. We’re looking forward to the sharing platters, pre-match barbecues, bowls of punch and flowing beer as much as we are the ceremony, party spirit and (hopefully abundant) goals.
Whichever team you’re backing, beyond the group stage it all gets excitingly unpredictable. We have ideas for last minute feasts that can be easily executed with all the finesse of a midfielder’s cross and allow for less cooking and more spectating.
Assembly is key if you’re tasked with catering for the masses. Dazzle them into momentarily peeling their eyes from the screen with our edible party flags. They can be put together in minutes and are perfect for little spectators to get stuck into.
It’s only fair to pay homage to the host nation, regardless of your allegiances. This tropical fruit plate turns the idea of pints and sausage rolls on its head. Serve with Brazilian’s national cocktail - caipirinha.
Components of a Brazilian flag:
- Pineapple slices
- Natural yogurt or soured cream
- Kiwi fruit
Go all afternoon tea on the situation, whatever time of day England is stepping out. We feel this red and white strawberry scone plate is a fitting tribute to our home cuisine. Plus, you can recycle the concept for Wimbledon…
Components of an England flag:
- Scones... Make your own scones
- Strawberry jam... Make your own strawberry jam
- Fresh strawberries
- Clotted cream
Traditionally, Italians channel their national flag with a ‘tricolore’ salad of green basil, white cheese and red tomatoes. We’ve used ham in our version, and added a grissini flagpole.
Components of an Italian flag:
- Basil leaves
- Parma ham
- Grissini or breadsticks
Doff your cap to the boys in blue - and in this instance, it’s the bluer the better when it comes recreating France's flag with cheese. Add some bread, grapes – and a chilled bottle of white wine.
Components of a French flag:
- Red grapes
- Roquefort, Fourme d’Ambert or other blue cheese
Steam a pan of mussels from Brussels with wine and garlic, then serve with the traditional ‘pommes frites’ and a continental sausage – we sourced frikandel but any reddish cured meat or salami will suffice.
Components of a Belgian flag:
- Steamed mussels... Make your own mussels, white wine & parsley
- Fries... Make your own baked fries
- Belgian sausage
Spoon two of Mexico's finest exports onto a platter and get everyone to delve in with tortilla chips. If you’re feeling especially creative, you can make a crest using shards of tortilla.
Components of a Mexican flag:
- Guacamole... Make your own chunky guacamole
- Salsa... Make your own red pepper & tomato salsa
- Soured cream
- Tortilla chips
- Fresh coriander
Soak up the spirited atmosphere of the host country by trying one of our authentic Brazilian recipes. Cheese rolls (pão de queijo), fried cream cheese parcels (pastel de palmito) and black-eyed bean fritters (acaraje) and all snacks that were made for match-side nibbling. Serve with a customary ice-cold bottle of beer. For more authentic recipes, take a look at top 10 Brazilian dishes to try at home and away.
Pão de queijo - Cheese rolls
Pastel de palmito - Fried parcels with cream cheese and palm heart filling
Acaraje-black eyed pea fritters with shrimp filling
Brigadeiro - Brazilian chocolate truffles
South Americans know how to treat a piece of meat. Fire up the grill in good time to ensure you have a full spread ready for kick-off. Grilled chicken and cumin beef will satisfy the carnivorous palate, while oregano cheese skewers, palm heart salad and a selection of delicious dips are universal treats.
Remember to barbecue safely- read our guide to pulling off a last-minute barbecue without panic.
Frango churrasco - Grilled lemon & garlic chicken
Roasted chilli prawns
Cumin & onion marinated beef
Grilled corn with garlic mayo & grated cheese
Oregano cheese skewers
Creamy Aji green sauce
Alleviate rising temperatures with jugs of non-alcoholic punch and mocktails, and cater for the party crowd with good, cold beer and chic cocktails, or combine the two in Micheladas – a Mexican beer cocktail with lime and sea salt. Create bowls of sangria with bobbing citrus slices and punch with summer fruits then sit back and raise a toast to your team.
How will you be celebrating the World Cup? We’d love to see some of your flag creations on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We have more inspiration in our summer of sport and sharing recipe collections.