Feijioda, Rodizio, Rice and World Cup fever

World Cup 2014

I am not a big football fan. However, I catch football fever every time the World Cup comes round. There is something very powerful, when we allow ourselves to connect to the spirit and energy of a collective event like the World Cup. Do you remember the "feel good" effect during the 2012 Olympics?  Even though I couldn't get tickets to any of the events (this is still a sore point) I smiled at strangers and felt a spirit of joy throughout the duration of the games.

My World Cup loyalty is normally reserved for England and I have been on so many highs and lows with our boys. I am convinced; I felt my first silver hair sprout during the last World Cup.So,I am spreading my odds this year and I plan to support England and Brazil. 

Can you support two teams?

If you do what you have always done,you'll get what you've always gotten.

Anthony Robbins

 

To be honest, I don't think you can truly support two teams. England will always be my number one team. My support for Brazil can be described as a" flirtation" – an experiment to do something different with the view to create a different World Cup experience. In a nutshell, I am creating an opportunity to tap into the Brazilian football obsession.

Where in London does one go, to get a sense of being in Brazil?  I wanted an intimate space with great company and I asked around – Raizes was highly recommended. If you love your meat, then Brazilian cuisine is a perfect for you.

Flavours of Brazil

I opted for Espeto Misto – mixed meat skewer of sausages, chicken and beef, served with rice and salad. I asked the chef if I could taste feijioda and he obliged. This national dish of black eyes beans and sausages added an authentic feel to my meal. The fluffy rice, moist feijioda complimented with dry toasted cassava was set off nicely with the flavours from the succulent mixed meats and a crunchy fresh salad. I was tempted to order a mojito or caiprihina cocktail however, I settled for açaí berry juice. I figured the antioxidants might go some way to neutralise the richness of my meal. Once we were all fed and watered, we were ready to witness the drama of the beautiful game unfold.

There was clapping, hooting and singing as the Brazilian players entered the field. This continued till the 11th minute when Marcelo scored an own goal. The room fell silent for a few seconds. Then the room erupted into a joyous celebration of yelps, shouts and singing when Neymar scored the first goal for Brazil, just before half time. Game on – the Croatian team were not going to be a walk over.

It is this spirit of competition, battle of wills and sheer unpredictability which makes football a fascinating sport to witness. The din soon settled into a soothing rhythmic background pulse which erupted into a crescendo of claps when Neymar scored a contentious penalty goal, 71 minutes into the game. The Croatian team created a few chances to level, however this did not happen and the game was over when Oscar scored the third goal in the dying minutes of the game. It was at this point that I felt myself leap into the air in jubilation.

What a great feeling.

Obrigado to everyone at Raizes. It was a great pleasure to watch the World Cup 2014 opening match with such an enthusiastic crowd.

Are you looking for interesting spaces to watch the World Cup? Check out  http://coronettheatre.co.uk/ or If you prefer to participate online.

We are spoilt for choice really, so, wherever you choose to watch – enjoy the 2014 World Cup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Yewande Okuleye

Cultural Historian|Londoner
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