13 July, 2018
Croatians and Frenchmen are set to cheer for their teams in the final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow on Sunday. For others, there is a choice between pelmeni or khachapuri.
In the past month, football fans from all over the world have come to Russia to cheer on their countries' teams. Many have a chance to taste Russian food for the first time.
There is borscht soup made with beets and red cabbage. Pelmeni are Russian dumplings packed with lamb, pork or beef. Smoked salmon or salted herring are sometimes served with pancakes. And Russian salad is known internationally as potato salad. However, Russians claim their salad is fresher and crispier.
David Gregory is a football fan from England.
"We have been eating some traditional Russian food. Smoked meat and bean soup, lovely, and I have had the mutton stew."
His friend Simon Jones tried other dishes. "I had the chicken wings and the smoked bean, casserole as well. Great food, great culture."
Some Brazilian fans tried dishes that went beyond traditional Russian food. Marcello Magalhaes from Sao Paulo says his group tried a cheese filled bread called khachapuri, a dish from Georgia. It was served in the shape of a boat.
He said, "It was a pasta which had an egg yolk and a light cheese. It was really tasty so I ordered another and another and another."
Beer has been a popular drink among fans as well. One bar manager decided to give his customers a special treat. He served them beer in a traditional Russian container usually used to heat water for tea.
No matter who wins the World Cup match on Sunday, many fans are going home with new favorite foods.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
Mariama Diallo reported this story for VOA News. Jonathan Evans adapted her report. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in This Story
crispier – adj. something that is pleasantly thin, dry, and easily broken; having a pleasantly crisp outer layer
dishes – n. foods prepared in a particular way