This is part of our series about Taste of the World. Check back every few weeks to read more!
Every four years, the World Cup rolls back around, bringing a month of football –soccer for those of you in the United States – and frivolities. It is a celebration of talent, a celebration of overcoming adversity, a celebration of diversity, heck, it really is just a celebration.
The World Cup, for all of the trials and tribulations, is an event that brings the whole world together. Football is not alone in bringing the whole world together, the power of food is known and respected in similar ways. It is worth taking time to recognize the similarities of the two, and the appreciate their commonalities.
The similarities between food and football are many and deep, between the passion they instill to the need -actual or perceived- felt, we are drawn to them. At many peoples’ core is a love for food and football, and in many ways this goes beyond the nutrients and competition, and extends more broadly into how they impact our lives. The sense of community is so deeply ingrained that stripped of meaning, a meal or a match still serves purpose and holds weight. They embody a very powerful sense of community, wrapped in strong, usually positive emotions –unless you are an English fan.
Maya Angelou, the poet, writer, and thinker, said about humanity, “We are more alike, my friend, than we are unalike”. Football is this transcendent power, overcoming language barriers, geographic divides, irreconcilable differences, and more, enabling interactions where none would be previously possible. Football is called the beautiful game, and while much of the grace comes from its play, the game itself embodies a deeper and more powerful ability.
We have and will continue to marvel at the sportsmanship displayed by the players from all corners of the earth, but the on-the-field respect is merely a small piece of the world’s overall fascination with all of the participating country’s cultures and fans. Many people learn more about another country by watching a match than they may ever the rest of their lives; the one exception being eating food representative of that other country.
Any conversation about football and food must always touch on, for however briefly, the impact of tradition. So much of culture and heritage is tied to food, and in many places, football. To say that a person hails from Country X or Area Y is a primer on their traditions and culture. Saying “I’m going to watch the Real Madrid match” and “I can’t wait for the World Cup” evokes so many memories, lore and legends.
We celebrate food every Thursday from 11 am until 3 pm with Taste of the World Market, which brings cuisine from all around the world to one convenient BART stop by way of food trucks.
And although the World Cup is all about promoting different countries, the American thing to do while watching sporting events is to eat; what better way to root on America than to stop by Taste of the World Market and pick up food for the games!
FEDU and Taste of the World are going to be watching, cheering, and living the World Cup for the next month, so stop by and watch a match!