Party Girl: World Cup Global Grub Match

While the USA isn't historically known as a hotbed of futbol fandom, it's hard not to get caught up in this week's World Cup excitement. So get your face paints ready and your vuvuzelas tuned up: It's time for soccer's biggest event!

No? Still not feeling it? OK, what if we talk about World Cup in terms more accessible to those whose lives don't necessarily revolve around a black-and-white ball: namely, FOOD!

With 32 countries competing for FIFA's top prize, it's global unity on a scale rarely seen outside of the Olympic Games. And whenever that many nations come together, the results are bound to be tasty.

So take a cue from some of the tournament's most-anticipated competitions, and host a global grudge match in your own kitchen. You just need a few friends to serve as referees, and some imported beers to wash it all down. Face paints and vuvzelas optional.

Spain vs. Chile
Paella vs. Empanadas
Though a gorgeous pan of seafood and rice is hard to beat, the unitasking specialty pan required for authentic paella is somewhat impractical for small-space living.
The edge: Chilean Empanadas

Germany vs. Australia
Bretzels vs. Vegemite
Soft and chewy boiled-then-baked twists of fragrant, yeasty dough; or salty, tar-black yeast extract smeared on toast? Did I seriously just phrase that as a question?
The edge: German Bretzels

South Africa vs. Mexico
Bobotie vs. Guacamole
S.A.'s unusual offering of meatloaf-meets-stewed-fruit-meets-custard is actually quite satisfying as a salty/sweet main dish, but can it really stand up to Mexico's famously delicious dip?
The edge: Mexican Guacamole

Portugal vs. Brazil
Pasteis de Nata vs. Brigadeiro
It seemed only fair to pit sweets against sweets, so here we have Portugal's custardy egg tart up against Brazil's chocolately truffle. When a recipe only has 3 ingredients -- and one of them is butter -- the choice is easy.
The edge: Brazilian Brigadeiro

In this extremely scientific survey of global cuisine, all items were carefully chosen from Wikipedia's "national dishes" page. If you feel strongly that, for instance, Lamingtons should have edged out Vegemite, by all means let Wikipedia know! Meanwhile, see what other ideas Party Girl has cooked up.
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