Just about every matchup we create here on The World Cup of Food has been interesting and exciting for us, teaching us things about the cuisines and cultures of the world that we probably would never have stumbled upon on our own. In no region is this more true than in Africa. We are coming to realize that we enjoy African food a great deal, and choosing African nations for elimination has been a tough process. The case of Egypt versus South Africa is no exception. On the one hand, there is probably no greater melting pot cuisine on the continent than that of South Africa, where influences from what seems like about fifty different cultures have melded together to form what we see today on the South African table. Egypt, on the other hand, with its early advances in agriculture and technology, has laid much of the groundwork in ancient times for the modern cuisines of the Middle East and North Africa.
For that extra little bit of insight we made some food. Egypt was where falafel was born so we thought that was a good place to start. For South Africa, we made bobotie, a sweet, spiced meat pie with egg topping. It’s kind of a big deal down there, or so we understand. They were both great, so which did we decide should move one step closer to our World Cup?
In a tight decision, we went with Egypt in the end. The Nile Valley has historically produced a bounty of ingredients, and from that a rich cuisine has evolved that we look forward to exploring again later.
In the final qualifying round, Egypt will be up against Ethiopia for a spot in the World Cup of Food.