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Recipe Ideas for Sports Themed Parties

We're going to keep adding more and more recipe ideas and menu suggestions for your sporting parties to this page - it'll never be finished!
To start with, we're categorising the recipes by nation, so that whether you're watching the Olympics, Arsenal vs Barcelona in the Champions League, the Australian Grand Prix or throwing a Super Bowl party for your friends, there should be some suitably themed recipe ideas for you.

To help you find your way around, the recipes are listed by nation alphabetically, or you can follow these quick links:

There's also a special section just for barbecue recipes.

To help you plan your menu, we have used the following symbols, shown after the name of each dish where appropriate:

  • V = Vegetarian
  • H = Hot & Spicy
  • S = Starter or snack
  • M = Main Course
  • A = Side Dish or Accompaniement
  • D = Dessert Recipes

If you have any comments on the recipes below, or want to add some ideas of your own, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

To read about how we use cookies on our sites, please click here.

Recipe Ideas by Country

Albanian Recipes

Albanian cuisine is broadly speaking Mediterranean, influenced by Italian and Turkish cooking among others. Meat and fish dishes in particular are flavoured with herbs such as oregano, mint, basil, garlic and rosemary. Vegetables are used in almost every dish, especially peppers, aubergine (egg plant) tomatoes, onions and leeks. Stews are popular, as are oven-baked casseroles and pies. Salads often accompany the main course, and are often simple affairs of tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and olives dressed with salt, olive oil, vinegar and/or lemon juice. Dairy products are an integral part of the cuisine, especially yogurt, which is used in many sweet and savoury meal recipes and drinks too. Seafood is also popular in the coastal regions.

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Algerian Recipes

The food of Algeria is full of flavour and well-spiced. There is a love of sweet pastries, probably originally introduced by the Turks. Spiced, roast lamb with couscous, served with a variety of fresh vegetables could be considered the national dish.
The use of spice may not be as intense as in neighbouring Morocco, but there are many similar influences, and to some extent you could get away with borrowing dishes from any of the other Maghreb countries if you so wished.

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Angolan Recipes

The most commonly eaten foodstuff in Angola is "Funge" - a starchy mass made with corn meal. Apparently it's a little like polenta but sticky, and lacking in much flavour. Beans and rice are a popular meal for most everyday situations. Beans are flavoured with a wide variety of additional ingredients - tomatoes, chillies, onions, garlic, etc.

Chicken and meat (most commonly goat) are eaten, but only on special occasions for the majority of Angolans, due to the cost. Angloa has a long stretch of Atlantic coastline, so fish and other seafood are available.

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Argentinian Recipes

If you're a vegetarian, then much of the Argentine cuisine is not for you. Beef has been universally popular in Argentina since its introduction by the Spanish over 500 years ago, and continues to be one of the most frequently served foodstuffs, especially grilled or barbecued.

There is a strong European/mediterranean influence on much of the Argentinian cooking. As well as beef, chicken, lamb, pork and offal are all popular, and the use of fresh locally grown produce is still preferred. Argentine cooking is, on the whole, less spicey than that of many other South American countries, with sweet peppers, tomatoes, herbs and onions being widely used as flavourings rather than chillies. The European influence is evidenced in the popularity of foods such as Italian Pasta, French style bread and seasonings such as parsley, fresh oregano, paprika, thyme and bay leaves.

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Australian Recipes

Australian cooking is a good reflection of Austrlia as a whole - it's fun, it's fresh, it's unpretentious. It's full of fresh outdoors ingredients and great natural flavours. And it draws from cultural influences that reflect the origins of many of Australia's inhabitants - Europe and South East Asia. As a result, Aussies were cooking what has become "trendy fusion food" years before it became fashionable in Europe.

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Austrian Recipes

Now, this shouldn't be difficult. Wiener Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel, right? Absolutely, and nothing wrong with that, both classic authentic Austrian dishes. But there is more to Austrian cooking than just those two, and hopefully we can tempt you into trying something different. Austrians are quite big meat eaters in general, with pork, chicken and beef being the most popular choices (although of course Wiener Schnitzel is traditionally made with veal). But because of the large areas of woodland and forest on the Alpine mountainsides, there is a long hunting tradition in Austria, and when in season game - particularly venison, pheasant, partridge and wild boar - is very popular, as are many different local varieties of sausage.

As well as traditional "Austrian" recipes, dishes and influences from neighbouring nations are widely enjoyed, particularly those from Hungary, Italy and Slovenia.

Austrians have a well-developed sweet tooth, and are very fond of their cakes and Torten. her ideas next time you are throwing an Austrian football party:

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Azerbaijani Recipes

A classic Azerbaijani dinner party typically lasts for several hours and always begins with tea. After tea, salads and snacks are served, followed by soup, which often contains meat, fish, or chicken. The main course is served next and is also prepared with meat, poultry, and fish.

Pilaf - or Plov - is regarded by many as Azerbaijan's national dish, and sometimes referred to as "the king of all dishes". It is always served at the center of the table at a dinner party or celebration meal. Typically, if the previous course was fish, the pilaf would contain meat, or vice versa.

The main meat in Azerbaijani cuisine is lamb, but veal and chicken are used as well. Kebabs - usually consisting of lamb cooked on skewers over a barbecue - are also extremely popular. Kebabs made with chicken, fish, game, and vegetables are very common in Azerbaijan as well. Narsharab, a sweet and sour sauce made from pomegranate, is often served with kebabs.

At the end of the meal, tea is served again with the nation’s famous sweet pastries such as Pakhlava.

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Bahraini Recipes

The food of Bahrain - like many of its neighbours - reflects the fact that the Gulf has been a major centre for trade for many centuries. As a result, items such s strong sweet "Turkish" style coffee and sweet pastries are enjoyed alongside spicier dishes whose origins almost certainly lie in the Indian sub-continent. All are delicious, tasty and full of flavour, although some of the dishes here are more "regional" than purely Bahraini, in the sense that almost identical recipes are enjoyed in Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE and even Iran.

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Belgian Recipes

Belgian food - rather like its football team until recently - has a reputation for being solid but bland. The country is perhaps best known for its beer, chocolate and pâté, and its cooking style has been heavily influenced by its nearest neighbours France, Germany and the Netherlands. A very popular dish - regarded by many as the national dish - is "moules-frites", mussels and chips/fries.

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Recipes from Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina's cuisine shows influences from East and West, in the sense that Islam and the Ottoman empire brought Middle Eastern and Turkish influences, but this is balanced by more "central European" influences which date from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a Mediterranean influence as well. It's also fair to say - without any disrespect - that the cuisine of Bosnia-Herzegovina is not too dissimilar to that of its near neighbours and other former Yugoslavian states, such as Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia, so we will include "regional" recipes here where appropriate. Popular ingredients in Bosnian cooking include include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, courgettes (zucchini), dried and fresh beans, and dairy products. Paprika is a popular spice, and meat dishes often include beef or lamb.

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Recipes from Botswana

The everyday diet in Botswana consists largely of cornmeal porridge, which is served in one form or another for at least two for the three daily meals. For a more substantial meal it is served with a stew of meat and cabbage or spinach. On special occasions giant pots of this stew bubble away for hours, until the meat - often chicken, goat, mutton or beef - almost disintegrates.

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Brazilian Recipes

Brazilian cooking has been influenced by many other nations and cultures. In addition to the cooking of the indigenous peoples, Brazilian cuisine has been heavily influenced by the Portuguese, who first colonised the area 500 years ago, and by the culture of the West African slaves that they broguht with them.

Additionally, the style of cooking and the ingredients used differs by region in this vast country, although rice and beans as staples are consumed almost everywhere. In the north, close to the Amazon, fish is an important source of protein, and there is an abundance of fresh local root vegetables and fruit. By contrast, the central and western areas, much of which is open grassland, produce large quantities of beef, corn and pork.

Like their close neighbours and arch-rivals the Argeninians, Brazilians love to barbecue, and often a barbecue becomes an all day event, with mountains of beef being slowly barbecued throughout the afternoon, being gradually eaten slice by slice, washed down with cold beer. The beef is often simply salted and cooked - very little marination. The Brazilians claim to have been the first to introduce beef to South America, even before it arrived in Argentina. Whether that's true or not, beef is certainly always on the menu!

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Bulgarian Recipes

Bulgarians tend to eat a lot of salads and yoghurts; in fact some people believe that yoghurt was first made in what is now Bulgaria over 5,000 years ago.
Also popular in Bulgaria are various pastry dishes and soups (both hot and cold).

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Recipes from Burkina Faso

The food of Burkina Faso is very similar to its near neighbours Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria and Mali, and as a result some recipes are listed under more than one country. Everyday meals often consist of corn, rice or millet porridge with various sauces or stews. Rice and couscous are also eaten, and popular ingredients include yams, peanuts, tomatoes, spinach and okra. "Regional" dishes which are particularly popular in Burkina Faso include Chicken Yassa casserole and Kedjenou, which is chicken stewed with rice and vegetables. Fresh fish from the Volta river provide one of the main sources of protein; eggs are also frequently eaten. Side dishes include fries (chips) made with sweet potatoes, or yams cooked in a tomato sauce.

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Cameroon Recipes

The cuisine of Cameroon is one of the most varied in Africa. Staple foods in Cameroon include cassava, yam, rice, plantain, potato, maize, beans, and millet, but some are more popular in certain regions than others.

A typical main meal consists of rice, mashed potato, cassava or couscous served with a stew or soup. Vegetables such as spinach, onion, tomatoes, peppers and squashes are common, and dishes are flavoured with peanuts, chillies and ginger. There is a large variety of different fruits grown in Cameroon, including bananas, citrus fruits, pineapple, mangoes and grapes.

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Canadian Recipes

Canadian cooking is a mix of different styles, reflecting the country's joint Anglo-French heritage and proximity to USA.

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Cape Verdean Recipes

The Cape Verde cuisine is, as you might expect, mostly based on fish and sea food - hardly surprising for an island nation. Staple foods are mainly corn and rice. Agriculture on the islands isn't that highly developed apparently, so many foodsuffs have to be imported. Vegetables that are widely available include potatoes, onions, tomatoes, manioc, cabbage, kale, and dried beans. Fruits such as bananas, papayas, mangoes and avocados are enjoyed.

A popular dish served in Cape Verde is Cachupa, a slow cooked stew of hominy, beans, and fish or meat. A common appetizer is the pastel, which is a pastry shell filled with fish or meat that is then fried. In fact these two recipes probably compete for the title of Cape Verde's national dish.

*This recipe is actually from Senegal, which is probably the nearest country on mainland Africa to the Cape Verde islands. So it's a Senegalese interpretation of what a Cape Verdean salad would be like!
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Chilean Recipes

Like many Latin American countries, Chile's cuisine has been influenced not only by the early Spanish settlers, but also by the many immigrants from other European countries over the years. Combine this fact with an incredibly diverse terrain (deserts, rain forests, mountains, beaches, glaciers...) and a huge coastline, and you begin to understand why it is hard to define one style of cooking as "the Chilean cuisine".

Seafood is extremely popular; what beef is in Argentina, seafood is in Chile! As well as a host of different freshwater and sea fish, plus the usual crab, lobster, clams, mussels etc, Chileans seems quite happy to eat almost anything else that comes from the sea too! There are a whole host of intirguing and unique seafood ingredients that are popular in the restaurants of Santiago that simply aren't available for the rest of us to enjoy, but if you ever visit the country, be brave and try at least one item on the menu that you haven't tried before!

* These empanadas are listed as Argentinian in our database, but are cooked in Chile with an almost identical recipe.
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Chinese Recipes

Obviously, it's not going to be difficult to take the easy way out here! I imagine that every major town around the world has at least one Chinese takeaway, and ordering food in for your Chinese sporting party certainly saves you time and effort, as well as sticking very well to the overall theme.

However, if you fancy having a go at cooking some Chinese food yourself, just try some of these recipes. Chinese food is often surprisingly quick and easy to cook, and once you've invested in one or two jars and bottles of sauces and spices to get started with, it needn't be expensive.

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Colombian Recipes

Colombia is a nation of diversity, geographically speaking. It has two coastlines (Pacific and Carribean), open plains, the Andes mountains and Amazonian rain forest. As a result, regional cooking styles have developed to make the most of the vast range of locally available produce (Colombia is one of the world's most bio-diverse nations). The mix of cooking styles in Colombia is further complicated by the ethnic diversity of the population, which is made up of the descendants of the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, African people originally brought to the country as slaves, and more recent immigrants from Europe and the Middle East. So it's hard to narrow "Colombian cooking" down to just one style or type of dish.

Popular ingredients include cereals such as rice and maize, potatoes, cassava, beans, avocado, eggs, meats such as beef, chicken, pork and goat, fish and seafood. Tropical fruits are found in abundance and picked both for eating and for making into juice. The list includes mango, banana, papaya, guava, pineapple, and passionfruit, plus many other types that are perhaps less well-known, such as guanábana, curuba, mora and lulo. Seafood and fish dishes are particularly popular in the coastal regions, and Empandas are populare everywhere, as they are elsewhere in South America.

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Costa Rican Recipes

Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of Native American, Spanish, African and Caribbean influences. Rice and beans (or rice and peas) is pretty much ubiquitous as a staple, and fresh fruit and vegetables are in plentiful supply, especially tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, potatoes, onions and members of the squash family (e.g. courgettes/zucchini). Costa Rican food tends not to be quite as spicy as some other Latin American countries, although there are plenty of dishes available for chilli lovers too.

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Recipes From Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

The food of the Ivory Coast, or Côte d'Ivoire, has slow-simmered stews and a variety of starches and grains. Chicken and fish are popular. Tomatoes, aubergine (eggplant) and onions are important vegetables. Cassava root, plantains, and rice form the bulk of starchy calories. A popular dish is mafé, or sauce d'arachide, which is meat in peanut sauce. Side dishes include fried or mashed plantains and attieke - grated and cooked cassava. Small, local restaurants called maquis serve dishes like kedjenou, chicken stewed with vegetables.

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Croatian Recipes

Although it's something of a generalisation, the cooking style of the inland areas of Croatia tends to be more "traditional" or "slavic", with influences from Hungary and Austria, while the coastal areas are more influenced by "meditarranean" styles, such as Italian and Greek.

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Czech Recipes

Czech food is traditinally quite meat-oriented, with pork in particular a very popular main course. Beef and chicken are also popular, and duck and goose eaten occasionally. Aside from the traditional carp at Christmas, fish is not so popular, although when available trout is served occasionally (see below). There are many savoury Czech snacks which go well with beer - a Czech national obsession! These are the traditional Czech pub fare, and do go particularly well with a good pilsener beer!

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Danish Recipes

What the Danes do well, they do very well (probably the best in the world!), and they're not afraid to tell the world about it!
Butter, beer and pork products (pork and bacon especially) feature heavily in their everyday cuisine, and in their list of major exports. It's also said that nobody in Denmark lives more than 30 miles from the sea, so seafood is also extremely popular.

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Recipes from Ecuador

Ecuadorian cuisine is diverse, and to some extent varies by region, as the locally available produce is markedly different between the Amazonian basin, the high Andes and the coastal zone. Most people follow the traditional three course meal of soup, a course that includes rice and a protein, and then dessert and coffee to finish, particularly if they are entertaining. In the mountainous areas pork (especially roast pork served with potatoes), chicken, and guinea pig are popular and are served with rice or potatoes. Near the coast, seafood is of course very popular, with fish, prawns and ceviche being particularly popular. Plantains are also used frequently, and peanut- and coconut-based dishes are particularly popular in the coastal areas. In the Amazonian basin, fruits such as bananas, mangoes and passion fruit are found in abundance and form an important part of the diet, as does cassava. Like elsewhere in South America, Empanadas are universally popular.

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Egyptian Recipes

The food of Egypt is full of flavour and well-spiced, without being particularly hot in the chilli sense.
They eat a lot of beans and pulses, eggs and omelettes, and poultry (pigeon is particularly popular, as are goose, chicken and quail). Seafood is also popular near the red sea, and breads are served with every meal.

  • Djej M'Ahmar M (Roast chicken, stuffed with couscous and served with a red sauce)
  • Ful Nabed A (Egyptian-style Butter Beans)
  • Melokhia A (Egyptian-style Spinach)
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English Recipes

Plenty of warm, filling recipes to warm you up after those cold January FA Cup 3rd round matches:

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Recipes from Equatorial Guinea

The main foods are cassava root, bananas, rice, and yams. Peanuts, avocados, pumpkins and other squashes are popular. The mainly vegetarian diet is supplemented with fish, chicken and duck, particulalry on special occasions.

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French Recipes

France is famous throughout the world for the quality of its food and wine. Any celebration or social gathering will include food, and there is therefore no shortage of interesting regional recipes to try out if you're throwing a French sporting party, from simple snacks to rich, warming casseroles and indulgent cakes and desserts. While the "top end" of French cuisine is justifiably famous, you don't need a Michelin star to produce a really tasty French meal.

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Recipes from Gabon

The cuisine of Gabon is one of the most varied in Africa. Fresh fruit and vegetables are in plentiful supply, as are both fresh and saltwater fish. Dishes using letils and other pulses are very popular. Cucumbers, manioc leaves and tubers, and rice are also frequently used.

A typical main meal consists of rice, fufu or manioc served with a stew or soup. Vegetables such as spinach, onion, tomatoes, peppers and squashes are common, and dishes are flavoured with peanuts, chillies and garlic. Thanks to its tropical climate, a large variety of different fruits grow in Gabon, including bananas, papayas, guavas, coconuts, citrus fruits and pineapples.

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German Recipes

Germans are perhaps best known for their meat dishes, especially pork based recipes. As well as big pork roasts, different regional types of sausages - such as the Nürnberger Bratwurst - are very popular. It is customary in most parts of Germany to eat these sausages with mustard and chips. OK, nothing unusual in that. But the Germans like chips with mayonnaise. Now that sounds a bit odd to us Brits, but having chips with salt and vinegar on sounds odd to the Germans, so give it a go - you might enjoy it! Getting a selection of German sausages, a jar of German mustard, a huge bowlful of chips, and some German beer is as good a place as any to start for a German themed party.

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Ghanaian Recipes

Many Ghanaian recipes include - and indeed rely heavily on - ingredients that are not always easy to find elasewhere, such as red palm oil.
Everyday food for most Ghanaians consists of a staple called fufu, made from ground cassava, served with a soup or watery stew made with whatever is in season, often yams, peanuts and/or plaintains, and almost always chillies. Often fish is added. Rice and millet are also widely used and eaten.
Chicken and goat are reared by many families and eaten on special occasions.

There are many similarities between the cuisine of Ghana and that of its near neighbours. Hkatenkwan, a chicken stew made with peanut (groundnut) butter, is for example similar to Ivorian Mafé (Meat in Peanut Sauce). Fufu is popular throughout western Africa. Jollof is an "all in one" dish with chicken, rice and vegetables in a tomato-based sauce, very simlilar to Kedjenou from the Ivory Coast. Either could be used if you are planning a Ghanaian party, so we won't reproduce them here.

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Greek Recipes

Greek food is made for entertaining. So many great dishes, it just cries out for a huge buffet-style party!

Greek food has a very long history, unsurprisingly, and is based on locally available produce; olive oil is key, and meat and fish are important, as are vegetables including tomato, aubergine (eggplant), potato, green beans, green peppers, and onions. Honey is very popular in Greece, and is often honey from the nectar of citrus trees. Greek cuisine uses lots of herbs, particularly oregano, mint, garlic, onion, dill and bay leaves, but also basil, thyme and fennel seed. Many Greek recipes use "sweet" spices - such as cloves or cinnamon - in combination with meat.

Due in part to the rugged terrain, goats and sheep thrive - and are a popular source of milk and meat - more so than cattle.

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Honduran Recipes

The food of Honduras is a mix of influences from the native peoples, the Caribbean, Spain and Africa. Coconuts nand many tropical fruits are found in abundance, and with such an extensive coastline, Hondurans of course enjoy a lot of fish and seafood. Corn tortillas and tamales seem to be eaten with every meal, often stuffed with a variety of fillings. Baleadas are a typically Honduran variation on this theme; "simple" baleadas are filled with mashed fried beans, sour cream and grated cheese, to which all manner of additional fillings are added, including prawns, left-over fried or roast chicken or beef, a little cooked chorizo sausage, scrambled egg, avocado, chopped tomato, diced onion, etc, etc. Quesadillas make a good alternative, or do some of each. With so much seafood available, ceviche is popular here, as it is in many other South and Central American countries.

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Hungarian Recipes

While goulash (gulyas) may be Hungary's most famous dish internationally, what many people think of as goulash probably owes more to other Hungarian dishes. Authentic gulyas is more of a soup than a stew, whereas the stew that most people refer to as goulash is actually closer to the Hungarian national dish "Pörkölt".

But there is much more to Hungarian cuisine than just goulash. The Turkish influence - stemming from their invasion of Hungary in the sixteenth century - brought spices, the most widely used of which is paprika. Hungarians' love of pastry dishes and filo pastry in particular can also be traced back to this Turkish influence.

Hungarians as a rule eat a lot of meat, especially pork, beef and various kinds of sausage.

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Icelandic Recipes

Traditional Icelandic food is based around the most readily available produce. As a result, the main sources of protein are fish and seafood. Sheep have been farmed for centuries, but used largely for their wool and milk - consequently although lamb and mutton are popular, a live sheep was of more value than a dead one, and so the meat was not eaten as often as one might imagine (although of course this is changing nowadays). Wildfowl and ptarmigan live on the island and are popular, the latter especially so at Christmas, but declining numbers have led to a ban on hunting them. Puffin and shark meat are also eaten. Because of the long winters and therefore relatively short farming season, foods had to be preserved for use when out of season, and so smoked and dried meats, sausages, and other foodstuffs pickled or preserved in brine, have always been important parts of Icelandic cuisine. Dried fish is often eaten as a snack.

Vegetables are growing in popularity now, but were not always an important feature of Icelandic meals, which were dominated by meat and animal products in times gone by.
Dense, dark rye bread is a traditional form, and still popular today.

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Indian Recipes

Now, you could of course just order an Indian takeaway, which will work fine and save you a lot of effort. But there is something very satisfying about making your own curry from scratch, and as your guests arrive and are greeted by those warm spicy aromas, you are halfway to creating a great party atmosphere already! One of the myths about Indian cooking is that it requires hundreds of different and expensive spices, and takes hours and hours to prepare. Not the case at all. OK, if you've never cooked a curry before, you are going to need to spend a little money on assembling a basic collection of the frequently used spices and/or curry pastes, but you won't need a second mortgage to do so. And many Indian dishes - ok, not all, but many - can be prepared and cooked quite quickly.

Because of the many different regional, cultural and religious groupings within India, most "main food groups" will be eaten by somebody somewhere! While many are vegetarians, there are Indian cuisines that include beef (while others don't), pork, lamb. seafood and so on. Rice - and of course basmati is the rice of choice - and a variety of breads are popular everywhere, as are chutneys and pickles to accompany main dishes.

So here are a few of my personal favourite Indian recipes:

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Iranian Recipes

Iranian cuisine is quite varied, which perhaps is unsurprising given the large size (geographically) of the country and its thousands of years of history and trade with other nations and cultures. Typically, Persian main dishes are a combination of rice with meat (usually lamb, chicken, or fish) and some vegetables, nuts, and herbs. Flavorings such as saffron, dried/preserved lemons and limes, cinnamon, and other spices are frequently used. Rice, flat breads and yogurts and cheeses feature in most meals in Iran.

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Italian Recipes

Italians tend to eat their evening meals late, but many enjoy aperitivo in the bars on the way home from work in the early evening. This is not dissimilar to the Spanish tapas concept, but in Italy acts as a kind of "happy hour". When a bar is offering aperitivo, a customer orders a drink and can then help themselves to small portions of many different dishes that are available in the venue in a "buffet" style. As long as you are ordeing drinks, and the "happy hour" is still operating, you can continue to help yourself to the food. To most Italians, this is an opportunity to relax over a drink and a small snack on the way home from work. To us, with our football party heads on, there's an idea for a party here. Invite some friends round for the game, set up the buffet featuring some pizzas and some of the recipes below, let people help themselves to drinks and food before the game, then again at half time, and then again after the final whistle.

It is perhaps misleading to think of "Italian food", as many dishes popular in the area around Milan are more closely related to the cuisines of alpine neighbours such as Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia, than they are to southern Italian cooking.

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Japanese Recipes

Japanese food has evolved over centuries of traditions, and more recently has also blended in a few influences from China, Korea and the West. Being an island culture, seafood of many types is very popular in Japan, and meat dishes have only started to become popular relatively recently. Noodles and rice are the main staples. Japanese rice is of the short grain, sticky type. There are many types of Japanese noodles, the main ones being Soba, which are thin noodles made of buckwheat, and Udon, which are thicker wheat noodles. A traditional Japanese meal consists of a bowl of soup, a bowl of rice, some pickles and 2-3 "side dishes" - which could be fish, meat, vegetables or tofu, and may be raw, grilled, boiled, steamed or deep-fried - all served together.

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Korean Recipes - North & South

Central to Korean cuisine are rice, noodles, tofu, vegetables, and meats. Traditionally, Korean meals are served with many side dishes (banchan) and steamed short-grain rice. Kimchi, a fermented, spicy vegetable dish is omnipresent as an accompaniement to every meal. Korean cooking is flavoured with spices including sesame oil, soy sauce, chillies, garlic, ginger, and doenjang (fermented soybean paste).

While the main staples eaten are rice and noodles, pulses - especially soybeans, mung beans and azuki beans - remain extremely popular, and are used in many different ways. The main sources of protein are chicken and pork (but beef - which is highly valued - and dog meat are also eaten). As the Korean peninsula is almost surrounded by water, fish and seafood are very popular, and can be either grilled or eaten in soups and stews. Koreans eat a very wide selection of different vegetables, many of which are not well known in the west; popular vegetables include include potato, sweet potato, cabbage, spinach, courgettes, mushrooms, cucumber, garlic, chillies, various types of seaweed, and lotus root.

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Libyan Recipes

Libyan cuisine is often very simple, and certainly not as spicy as that of nearby Morocco. Key ingredients in Libyan cooking are olives and olive oil, dates, couscous, breads, dates and milk. Eggs and fresh local vegetables are used in abundance, and the dish Chakchouka or shakshouka is as popular here as it is in neighbouring Algeria. When meat is eaten, lamb, mutton and chicken are the most available and affordable options. Rich soups and stews - including tagines (see our Morocco and Algeria pages) - can form the main course of a Libyan party meal. Couscous is popular here, as it is throughout North Africa. However, Libyans eat more rice than their neighbours, so we've included an idea for a Libyan rice recipe below.

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Malaysian Recipes

Malaysian cooking is a bit of a favourite of ours. It somehow seems to blend all the best bits of Chinese, Indian and Thai cuisine into something wonderfually unique and yet strangely familiar. Don't be fooled by what is laughingly called a "Malay curry" in many English curry houses, which is basically just their standard curry with a few tinned pineapple chunks added. Malaysian food is so much better than that. It's spicy, it's interesting, it's full of flavour...

...just try some of these for your next Malaysian sporting party:

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Malian Recipes

The food of Mali is very similar to its near neighbours Ivory Coast and Senegal. Everyday meals often consist of corn, rice or millet porridge with various sauces or stews. Rice and couscous are also eaten, and popular ingredients include yams, peanuts, tomatoues, spinach and okra. A popular dish throughout the region is mafé, or Tigadèguèna, which is meat in peanut sauce. Side dishes include fried or mashed plantains and foutou igname - mashed yams.

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Mexican Recipes

Mexican food isn't all exactly like the recipes we expect in a "Mexican" restaurant, which is richer and has a lot more meat in than you would expect on the average Mexican's dining table. Mexican restaurant food is more like "special occasion" Mexican cuisine, but that's fine - a sporting party IS a special occasion!

That said, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of all of these recipes. Some I know for sure have been simplified, and the volume of chillies reduced significantly in at least one case! But authentic or not, give them a go, because they're all delicious!

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Recipes From Monaco

The food of Monaco is clearly influenced by its near neighbours France and Italy. Therefore many French and Italian recipes would be suitable for your Monaco party. However, we have managed to track down a few Monegasque specialities to try:

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Montenegrin Recipes

See "Serbia & Montenegro"

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Moroccan Recipes

Chicken is the most widely eaten meat in Morocco. The most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco is beef; lamb is preferred but is relatively expensive. Couscous is the most famous Moroccan dish along with tajine/tagine. Pastilla is a famous Moroccan meat pie, traditionally made with pigeon, but chicken is a suitable alternative.
The use of spices is very widespread and often intenense, probably more so than in some of the neighbouring countries. However, to some extent you could get away with borrowing dishes from any of the other Maghreb countries if you so wished.

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Netherlands - Dutch Recipes

Dutch cooking today, unlike the cuisines of some neighbouring countries, has been influenced by their explorations over the past few centuries (think Dutch East India Company). So there are many Malaysian and Indonesian restaurants, especially in the major cities, and spicy food is more popular than you might at first expect for a northern European country. Additionally, there is quite a large Moroccan population living in Holland's major cities, and their style of cooking is also extremely popular. Combine these two diverse influences with a traditional northern European "meat and two vedge" style of cooking, plus some internationally famous cheeses, and you will begin to see that the Netherlands has a surprisngly broad range of dishes to offer, which is good news for those wishing to throw a Dutch football party.

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New Zealand Recipes

New Zealand cuisine is an interesting blend of traditional Maori cooking, English and other European recipes, and more recently South-East Asian cuisine, all "tweaked" and adapted based on the available local produce. Fortunately, the available local produce is both plentiful and of a good quality! New Zealand is rightly famous for its lamb, but being an island nation seafood is also plentiful. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins as well as many other vegetables are widely available. In the summer months barbecue is a popular and sociable way of cooking.

Australains and New Zealanders argue over the "onwership" of a few recipes, most notably pavlova (the New Zealanders probably win this argument) and Lamingtons, which is probably Australian but we'll include here so you have the option to try it anyway.

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Nigerian Recipes

The many different geographical factors and culutural groups in Nigeria lead to a varied cuisine. Fruits - such as melon, mango, pineapple, banana and citrus fruits are widely available and popular with all. There are vegetarian groups within the population. Others eat fish, and with other groups meat dishes - especially kebabs cooked over an open fire - are popular.
Staple sources of carbohydrate include rice, cous cous and yams. Food flavourings reflect the fact that European traders have visited Nigeria since the 1400s, bringing with them spices from the far east such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Stock cubes seem to be widely used in cooking now, and peanuts are a commonly used flavouring.

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Northern Ireland Recipes

Northern Ireland's cuisine reflects the country's close historical ties with both Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. Many traditional dishes are based around potatoes and bread, the staples historically. Traditionally the "Ulster Fry" was eaten for breakfast every day, but less so nowadays. For those not "in the know", an "Ulster Fry" is a fried breakfast, including bacon, sausages, eggs, a tomato and maybe some mushrooms, not to mention plenty of tea and toast. The difference between this and what some would consider a traditional Englsih fried breakfast is the bread served with it; in Northern Ireland, a fried breakfast is served with either (or both!) soda bread or potato bread farls.

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Panamanian Recipes

It’s hard to be specific about Panamanian cuisine, because like the Panamanian people, it is very diverse. Having said that, as a relatively small nation they don't have hundreds of "signature dishes", and many of the most popular meals are also just as popular in neighbouring Costa Rica, for example.

Along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts seafood is of course hugely popular, supplemented with coconut, root vegetables, and tropical fruits. On the Caribbean coast in particular, traditional cooking methods - e.g. barbecue or cooking over an open fire - remain popular. As a general rule, Panamanians don't have their food a spicy as the Mexicans, for example, and tend not to eat a lot of green vegetables. Many dishes from other Latin American countries are popular in Panama, such as Chilean Ceviche, Colombian stuffed potato balls served with spicy sauce (although in Panama the balls/dumplings are made using yams, sweet potatoes or mashed yucca, and are called carimañola), and arroz con pollo (chicken and rice, popular throughout central America.

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Peruvian Recipes

Like many Latin American countries, Peru's cuisine has been influenced not only by the early Spanish settlers, but also by many immigrants from other European countries over the years. Combine this with the local indigenous people's cooking styles, plus smaller but still significant groups of immigrants from West Africa and Asia (particularly China), and something of a unique blend emerges. Peruvians and Chileans argue about the "ownership" of a number of recipes, including most notably Ceviche and Pisco Sour, to the extent that many people would assume that the two countries have similar culinary styles. While there are some similarities however, Peruvian cooking tends to include a lot more chillies than that of their Chilean neighbours.

Other recipes from neighbouring South American countries have found their way into everyday Peruvian cooking, so it would be prfectly acceptable to serve these at your Peruvian party, especially Empanadas (individual meat pasties) and Papas Rellenas (potato balls stuffed with minced meat).

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Polish Recipes

Traditional Polish cuisine evolved primarily around the ingredients that were most readily available. Vegetables that survived the cold winters (or could be stored or preserved), freshwater fish and pork are therefore very much part of the everyday diet. Indeed the art of preserving food to ensure readily available supplies through harsh times led to the development of such Polish staples as pickled cabbage and the many forms of pork salami-style sausage (kielbasa).
Different sorts of bread form a very important part of the Polish diet, and many dishes include sour cream as a key ingredient. Popular, widely available vegetables include potatoes, beetroot, cabbage and mushrooms. But the Poles also love their cakes and pastries, especially on special occasions, so as well as warming soups and stews, there are plenty of sweet snacks to dish up when you are throwing a Polish themed party:

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Portuguese Recipes

Portuguese food can be wonderfully simple - you could actually get away with simply grilling or barbecueing some fish and seafood, and that would be absolutely fine! In fact some people claim that the Portuguese eat more fish per capita than anywhere else in Europe. Grilled sardines, tuna, and squid kebabs are cooked outside many restaurants in Portugal, filling the streets with their wonderful aroma. Other seafood - especially prawns and lobsters - are hugely popular too; in some areas there are stalls selling hot seafood and cold beer right on the beach - does life get better than that?!

Salads and soups are popular, epecially as starters. It is very traditional in Portugal to start a meal with soup, often one of many regional variations of vegetable soup, some of which have a little chouriço sausage added for flavour. Salads are simple, making use of fresh local produce - lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and olives, and maybe a little cheese or a few prawns. Foods are flavoured with garlic, black pepper, piri piri and cinnamon.

Meat is also widely enjoyed, especially pork, beef, spit-roast chicken (often piri piri style) and chouriço sausage. And the Portuguese love sweet pastries as an accompaniement to strong coffee.

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Recipes from the Republic of Ireland

Many first-time visitors to Ireland are surprised by the quality and variety of food available. Seafood in particular is great and widely available, and although many traditional recipes may rely heavily on potatoes, there is SO much more to Irish cuisine, and much of the pub food available is both affordable and delicious.

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Romanian Recipes

Romanian cooking shows influences and similarities with that of the countries around it, most notably Turkey, Austro-Hungary, Greece and the former Yugoslavian states. Soups, particularly the traditional Romanian sour soups or Ciorba are popular, as are meatballs - the two meet in what many consider to be Romania's national dish, Romanian Sour Meatball Soup - Ciorba de Perisoare.

Pork is apparently the main meat eaten, although beef, chicken, lamb and fish are also popular. Stews and goulashes are popular, as are kebabs, illustrating the influences of surrounding nations on Romanian cooking.

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Russian Recipes

Russian cuisine derives its varied character from the many peoples who live within and adjacent to its borders. Many traditional dishes are derived from peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh climate, using locally available fish, poultry, game, mushrooms, berries, honey, rye, wheat, barley, and millet. Flavourful soups and stews are popular, using whatever fish, vegetables and meat are in season. This native Russian cuisine remained the staple for the vast majority of Russians well into the 20th century.
However, over the last 5 centuries influences from neighbouring states have crept into Russian cooking, with those who could afford to do so importing produce such as smoked meats and fish, chocolate, ice cream, wines, and liquor, which all gradually found their way into Russian cooking. Austria and France - although not near neighbours - had particularly strong cultural influences in Russia at certain times, and this remains to this day in certain dishes. In fact, many of the foods that are considered in the West to be traditionally Russian actually come from the Franco-Russian cuisine of the 18th and 19th centuries, including for example dishes as Veal Orloff, Beef Stroganoff, and Chicken Kiev.

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Recipes from Saudi Arabia

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Recipes from Scotland

There is a lot more to Scottish cuisine than haggis! Seriously. The stereotypical image of "deep fried everything" is so far wide of the mark. Scotland produces excellent meat and seafood, as well as excellent fruit (raspberries in particular), so put away your preconceptions, get hold of some fresh Scottish produce, and enjoy a taste of Scotland!

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Recipes from Senegal

Because of Senegal's extensive Atlantic Ocean coast, fish and seafood are an important part of the diet. Chicken, lamb, peas, beans and lentils, eggs, and beef are also used extensively in Senegalese cooking. Peanuts are an important crop, and couscous, rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, black-eyed peas and various other vegetables are also used in many recipes. Meats and vegetables are typically stewed or marinated in herbs and spices, and then served over rice or couscous, or simply eaten with bread.

Many recipes that are popular in Senegal are used throughout West Africa, such as Chicken Yassa casserole (which we nominally listed as Nigerian) and Mafé (which we filed under Ivory Coast).

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Recipes from Serbia & Montenegro

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Singaporean Recipes

Food in Singapore pretty much reflects the country's culture; it's a great melting pot of different cuisines! There's a big Malaysian influence of course, and Chinese and Southern Indian foods are hugely popular too, but as Singapore is such a cosmopolitan city, influences from all over the world can be seen. Singaporean food is pretty much the original Asian fusion food! Noodles are hugely popular, and noodle dishes are always available and varied, but rice is also very popular.

If you are ordering in, you can therefore get away with ordering Chinese, Indian, Malaysian or whatever. Or why not try some of the following recipes yourself:

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Slovakian Recipes

Slovak cuisine relies heavily on items such as pork, poultry, cabbage, wheat and potato flour, cheese, potatoes, onions and garlic. Beans, corn on the cob, lentils, parsley, carrots and other vegetables are often used to create soups and stews. Big meat eaters, the Slovakian people are particularly fond of pork, beef and chicken. Rye bread is very popular, and many Slovaks eat bread for breakfast with cheeses, eggs and cold meats, and/or for lunch with soup, and very frequently as part of their evening meal as well.

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Slovenian Recipes

Over the centuries the people of Slovenia lived under the rule of the Holy Roman empire, the Austrian empire, and the Austro-Hungarian empire. Each of these powers, along with neighbouring Italy and the Baltic region, has contributed significantly to Slovene cuisine:

  • From Germany comes a love of pork, sauerkraut, and potatoes
  • Austria contributed klobasa (a type of sausage) and pastry items, such as zavitek (strudels) to Slovene cooking
  • Hungarian influences included golaz (goulash), paprikas
  • (chicken or beef stew), and palacinke, thin pancakes filled with nuts or jam and topped with chocolate
  • Italian pastas, potato dumplings, and risotto are a popular part of the Slovene diet as well
Mushrooms, fresh squid from the Adriatic coastline, and pasta are popular ingredients which set Slovenian cooking apart from that of its neighbouring former Yugoslavian nations.

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South African Recipes

Barbecued meat is a big part of South African cuisine, but there's a lot more to South African cuisine than just barbecue. Curry-lovers will be delighted to know that curries are very popular in South Africa, especially in the Durban area, so we have an excuse for a good curry or two!

Influences on South African cooking come from Europe, the Indian sub-continent, and of course the indigenous South African peoples. We'll try to include some examples of each, but leave out such African delicacies as Ulusu Lwenkomo (stewed ox tripe), stewed rat and Mopane Worms. No, seriously, if you want to try these recipes, they do exist so feel free to search for them online. This site is all about throwing a party, and we're not sure how well some of those recipes would go down with your party guests, but it's obviously entirely up to you!

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Spanish Recipes

Throughout Spain, Tapas are a popular way to eat. For those not familiar with them, tapas are more a way of eating than necessarily a specific recipe or recipes. The idea is to order small portions of many different dishes as you order your drinks over the course of the evening - each time you order a round of drinks, order another tapas or two. To our way of thinking, if they can be prepared in advance, is there a better way to combine food, drink and some great sport on the TV?! We think not! There are so many recipes and ideas for tapas - or Pintxos as they are known in the Basque region - that we may end up having a whole page dedicated to them. For now, we'll add a few here as a start, along with some main courses from different Spanish regions.

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Sudanese Recipes

Lamb and chicken are the meats that are most often eaten. A wide variety of vegetables are grown, of which okra is one of the most popular. Rice and breads are served with most meals. Fresh fruit, cut into slices, is frequently served as a dessert - creme caramel is very popular, as are some cakes and pastries.

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Swedish Recipes

Sweden's cuisine has been shaped by its geographical location. The long cold winters mean that fresh fruit and vegetables have not always been readily available, and that fish and meats have needed to be preserved. Dairy products, breads, berries and stone fruits, beef, pork, seafood and fish are central to Swedish cuisine. Potatoes are often served as a side dish, often boiled. Many meat dishes are served with lingonberry jam. Fruit soups are typical of Swedish cuisine. Sweden has a strong pastry tradition resulting in a wide variety of yeast buns, cookies, biscuits and cakes; these are often enjoyed with a strong cup of coffee.

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Swiss Recipes

Perched up in the Alps and sandwiched between Germanic, French and Italian influences, the traditional Swiss diet tends to be quite heavy on pork and dairy produce, especially cheese, so quite high in fat and calories - perfect for climbing up and down mountains all day, but less well suited to some forms of modern life. The obvious choice for a Swiss sporting party is to do fondue. The word fondue is derived from the French for "melted". You can do cheese, broth and/or chocolate, and believe it or not, there are different types of fondue pot for each type - see the Switzerland Page for more information.

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Tunisian Recipes

Tunisian cuisine is tasty and spicy, certainly spicier than that of nearby Libya, so probably closer to that of Morocco. Key ingredients in Tunisian cooking are tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives, citrus fruits, dates and spices such as garlic, caraway, cumin, coriander, chillies, ginger and black pepper, and herbs such as coriander, parsley, mint and bay leaves. Couscous is regarded as the national dish and eaten frequently; so central is couscous to Tunisian cuisine that a dish would be described as "couscous with chicken" or "couscous with fish", rather than the other way around.

Eggs and fresh local vegetables are used in abundance, and the dish Chakchouka or shakshouka is as popular here as it is in neighbouring Algeria and Libya. When meat is eaten, lamb, mutton and chicken are the most available and affordable options, and thanks to their extensive Mediterranean coastline Tunisians enjoy an abundance of seafood, especially tuna, sardines, squid, anchovies and red snapper.

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Turkish Recipes

Turkish cuisine is to some extent a fusion of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan influences, and has been a major influence over the centuries on the cooking of the nations surrounding and/or trading with Turkey. Frequently used ingredients in Turkish specialities include: lamb, beef, chicken, fish, aubergine (eggplant), green peppers, onions, garlic, lentils, beans, and tomatoes. Fruit frequently accompanies meat as a side dish. Plums, apricots, dates, apples, grapes, and figs are the most frequently used fruits (either fresh or dried) in Turkish cuisine.

Yoghurt is a key ingredient in Turkish cooking, and has been used for centuries. Meat is now more popular and widely available than in the past, although as Turkey is a largely Muslim country pork is not eaten. Alternatively, in coastal towns fish - especially sardines and anchovies - are widely available. Turkey produces many varieties of cheese, mostly from sheep's milk.

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Recipes from the UAE (United Arab Emirates)

Traditionallly rice, fish, and meat have been the most popular foods of the Emirates. However, the people of the United Arab Emirates have adopted many dishes from other countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Oman. Seafood has of course been central to the Emirati diet for centuries, because of the extensive Gulf coastline. For meat dishes, lamb and mutton are the preferred meats, then goat and beef. Although pork can be found in the UAE, the predominantly muslim population do not eat it, and so no local recipes include pork or pig products. Rich stews, flavoured with saffron, cardamom, turmeric, and thyme are popular in Emirati cookery.

When your guests arrive at your Emirati party, it would be traditional to welcome them with dates and Arabic coffee (gahwah). At the end of the meal, it is customary to serve red tea infused with mint, which aids the digestion.

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Ukrainian Recipes

There are many similarities between the cuisine of the Ukraine and that of neighbouring Poland. As in Poland, different sorts of bread form a very important part of the Ukrainian diet, and many dishes include sour cream as a key ingredient. Popular, widely available vegetables include potatoes, beetroot, cabbage and mushrooms.

A popular Polish delicacy are pierogies, which are a little like miniature pasties. They can be stuffed with meat, or sweet fillings, but the most popular and traditional is cheese and potato. It turns out that they are equally popular in Ukraine too, where they are known as Perohy.Similarly, the Ukrainian dish holubtsi, which consists of cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and minced meat, and then cooked in a tomato-based sauce, is very similar to the Polish dish Golabki, and Bigos - a traditional huntsman's stew - is considered by both nations to be their national dish. Others would argue that Borsch (or Borshch or Borscht) is the real national dish of Ukraine.

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Uruguayan Recipes

Uruguayan food is very similar to that of its larger neighbours Argentina and Brazil. Uruguayans love a traditional barbecue - asado - which is usually cooked over a wood fire for an authentic flavour. As in Argentina, beef is universally popular, as are Spanish style sausages such as chorizo and Empanadas.

They also love large meat-based sandwiches (like a club sandwich made with steak) called Chivito al pan, which are extremely popular with locals and tourists alike, and are ideal to serve at a Uruguayan sporting party.

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Recipes from the United States of America

With so many cultures melding together, the cuisine of the United States is hugely varied. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

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Welsh Recipes

Wales is famous for its lamb production, and local cheeses, including Caerphilly and various sheeps and goats cheeses, have an excellent reputation and are ejoyed in dishes such as Welsh Rarebit.

Traditional Welsh dishes such as laverbread (which isn't a type of bread at all), cawl (a traditional one-pot soup or stew) and Welsh cakes are all well worth trying!

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Zambian Recipes

Central to Zambia's native cuisine is nshima (or nsima), a sort of porridge made from ground maize. A thin version, perhaps with sugar, is often eaten for breakfast, and then thicker versions – the consistency of mashed potatoes – would be eaten for lunch and dinner, usually accompanied by "relish" - a soup or stew made of meat or fish and tomatoes. Peanuts (groundnuts), rice and sweet potatoes are all popular ingredients in Zambian cuisine, and in fact ground peanuts (ground groundnuts?!) or peanut powder is a very popular flavouring for soups and stews. Other popular vegetables include pumpkin leaves and sweet potato leaves, which aren't widely available in the West, but we can substitute spinach, chard or kale, so don't be put off trying the recipes just because of that.

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Barbecue Recipes from around the World

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