Bon appetit.
June 11, 2018 8:31 AM   Subscribe

"A good match of soccer is much like a fine meal. When carefully prepared and crafted, both ought to leave one challenged, provoked, delighted, entertained, and, one hopes, nourished. Likewise, picking a soccer team to root for can be, perhaps even should be, akin to picking a restaurant at which to dine — a flavor quest." SBNation presents: A Tasteful Quiz for Selecting Your Team.
posted by everybody had matching towels (40 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm rooting for Spain. Also, I'm hungry.
posted by turtlebackriding at 8:45 AM on June 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Can this quiz exist for, like, food?

I got Japan. So it works?
posted by q*ben at 8:50 AM on June 11, 2018 [2 favorites]


"Despite a variety of exciting dishes and two decades as one of the top 16 restaurants in the world, Mexico is somehow still struggling to crack the World’s 8 Best. The controversial Marquez dish is back on the menu after a dispute with the health department, and it leads your meal superbly. Old favorites like Chicharito and Guardado are still served at this well-known establishment, but it’s the new dish, Lozano — silky smooth and bursting with umami — that makes this joint more interesting than it has been in a decade.—Kim McCauley"

changed some answers ....


"Denmark’s essential ingredient is surprise. Whenever you’re ready to make a decision on their quality, you’re served something that contradicts it. After one course, you might wish you had stopped at Cafe Montenegro across the street, but then Denmark will come out and surprise you with something approaching world-class. The exception to this unevenness: Christian Eriksen, a dish that is terrifyingly consistent and brilliant."—Zito Madu
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:00 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got England:

There is no disappointment on earth like it. You sit there, the taste of the coffee still bitter in your mouth, and you look back at the wreckage of another miserable meal at The Three Lions. You ask yourself, What went wrong this time? The answers can vary: At times it's been the poor use of excellent ingredients; at others the overselling of the bland and ordinary. For a while, it was the refusal to experiment with even the most basic of spices. The rotating cast of variously incompetent chefs de cuisine doesn't help, and some regulars even blame the restaurant's punishing year-round opening hours. But every time, you swear that you won't fall for it again. And every time, back you come. Surely, surely, they'll have gotten it right this time.—Andi Thomas

As a Buffalo sports fan this fits right in with my typical experience.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:04 AM on June 11, 2018 [17 favorites]

I got Japan. In related news, I will probably be rooting for Japan, but not because of this quiz. (I have a lot of family in Japan. Also, I like Japan.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:06 AM on June 11, 2018

England. Sounds about right. But I don't mind who wins as long as it isn't Russia.
posted by pracowity at 9:07 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got Serbia. " One strange little thing about Serbia — the servers. They slam plates on the table, while their speech is a touch loud and very stern. The service is still professional, and there’s nothing wrong with the food. It’s honestly just hard to concentrate on the dishes with all of the noise and the overwhelmingly serious atmosphere. I enjoyed the Matić, I think? The Kolarov was tasty, I remember that. The Milinković-Savić was superb. But it is all just so… loud."

Which is mostly funny because I specified a very quiet restaurant.
posted by ardgedee at 9:11 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got Nigeria but I have some concerns about the methodology - why are "served the same thing since 1928" and "a local institution" different responses?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:29 AM on June 11, 2018

I got Denmark, so if they get any further than the groups I guess they might as well be my second team. I usually go with whoever I get in the office sweep but this year that has been Saudi Arabia and England, offering little hope beyond just England (that is, none).
posted by biffa at 9:31 AM on June 11, 2018

I got France.

Uh, no.

Was it my willingness to eat spiders?
posted by chavenet at 9:32 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got Sweden:

Smile bright, for this summer you will dine with Sweden. While the establishment lacks the daring and creativity of years past, new management has built a solid, homey ambiance with a menu that specializes in earnest and honest fare. The standout dish is Emil Forsberg, a bright zesty flash in an otherwise standard menu. You’re in for a fine meal, to be sure, though fans of the daring, bold and (some might argue) crazy will be disappointed — as of now, the Zlatan has been removed from the menu for the summer.

But change my answer on the cannibalism question and I get Colombia:

The World Cup’s best kept secret is no longer a secret, after a splashy explosion onto the scene four years ago. The chefs at Colombia are still serving up what they do best, and don’t you worry about whispers of a faltering James Rodriguez — the dish is still delightful and, at times, genius. Nostalgic diners, don’t be afraid to order up the Falcao, either. It may not have the bite it once did, but it still has that delicious flair that made you fall in love however many years ago
posted by nubs at 9:42 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got South Korea. My team is adorable so I'm happy.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:44 AM on June 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

I got Japan. Likely because I'm comfortable with cannibalism.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:54 AM on June 11, 2018

I got Belgium, which could be okay if I get some of their beers with the meal.
posted by billsaysthis at 10:01 AM on June 11, 2018

See also SB Nation's Galactic Brain soccer glossary, if you're like me and only really pay attention during the WC. Might make me sound smart.

If this keeps up, though, I might just have to fire up Football Manager again and utterly confuse and enrage myself.
posted by nubs at 10:01 AM on June 11, 2018

I’m S. Korean and I got Denmark in the quiz. Well, they both wear red.
posted by needled at 10:08 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got Denmark but will of course be supporting Whoever England Are Playing.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 10:10 AM on June 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

I just skip these quizzes and pick my team based on whether I like that country's food.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:19 AM on June 11, 2018

Denmark, but I assumed the cannibalism answer is what got me there. ("essential ingredient is surprise") Hmm. Maybe the cannibalism question is a mislead?

...or maybe, once again, I'm putting more thought into an internet quiz than its creators did.
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:21 AM on June 11, 2018

Maybe the cannibalism question is a mislead?

I'm assuming it's an attempt to make a winking reference to the Uruguayan rubgy team whose plane crashed in the Andes; lots of people assume it was a soccer team.
posted by nubs at 10:26 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Honest answers get me Japan. Switching into pretentious foodie mode gets me Germany. I'm experiencing some cognitive dissonance.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 10:26 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

> I got Japan. Likely because I'm comfortable with cannibalism.

I said "What? No!" to cannibalism and I still got Japan.

The responses are more delightful than I expected - especially England. (I haven't followed the World Cup at all so far, so I have no idea about my usual go-to teams. What's Brazil up to on this quiz? What about Spain?)
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:02 AM on June 11, 2018

Iceland and a four-seat restaurant.
posted by catlet at 11:03 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ah, if I'm OK with a little cannibalism and want to go all pretentious foodie, I end up at Spain:

This World Cup you will be dining with Spain, and how could you not be pleased with that? Ignore the naysayers who say the joint’s best days are behind it — there’s still plenty to love here, and despite the fatigue, it’s still world class in its execution. Menu mainstays De Gea and Pique are still exceptional, and, though crunchy and bitter, Sergio Ramos is always worth a sampling. New menu addition Isco is bright, creative, and surprising. And watch out for the Diego Costa dessert — it’s spicy, with a serious kick.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:05 AM on June 11, 2018

(And - this should go in Ask, but I asked this exact question 4 years ago - is there an up-to-date cord-cutter's guide to streaming the World Cup matches somewhere?)
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:14 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:22 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Egypt. Which is appropriate, because I just devoured this profile of Mo Salah by Haniq Abdurraqid. Just keep a protective bubble around that shoulder!
posted by ChuraChura at 11:23 AM on June 11, 2018

I got Iceland, but I already have a Japan jersey and towel from last time, so I'll stick with that.
posted by betweenthebars at 11:28 AM on June 11, 2018

Japan here too. Which is good, because as a .usian in .nl I was fresh out of ideas.
posted by sldownard at 12:56 PM on June 11, 2018

If cannibalism=Uruguay, it's probably less about plane crashes, and more about Luis Suarez.

That said, I was pro-cannibalism and got Portugal.
posted by dr. boludo at 1:31 PM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


Though it’s well known for its aesthetically pleasing table settings and its signature dish, Modrić, more adventurous patrons will find that Croatia has lots to offer. Almost everything on offer is sophisticated, possessing exquisite depth of flavor. While it has yet to make any world's best lists, the chef's decision to put his most famous plate in the Modrić-Rakitić-Kovacić three-course offering could propel this establishment to new heights. However, while other dishes contain interesting flavor combinations, they often feel as if they're missing a finishing touch. Strong cocktails. (The Vida packs a punch!) Highly professional service. A place to be seen for the intellectual crowd.—Kim McCauley

(Really, though, I am rooting for Brazil, because I did a student exchange there, even though I learned on MetaFilter during a past World Cup that this is an inappropriate reason to root for a team in the World Cup.)
posted by jacquilynne at 1:38 PM on June 11, 2018

What, I’m the only one who got Morocco?

“For a decade, Ivory Coast has been Africa’s gold standard. But over the last couple of years, Morocco has consistently come out ahead of it with local critics. After one meal with the Atlas Lions, it’s clear why: The Belhanda, Ziyech and Harit are fresh, exciting and delightfully spiced, while the Benatia is a hearty and satisfying main course. There’s apparently a sensational secret off-menu item — Ayoub El Kaabi — but your reviewer didn’t hear about it until after their visit. Ask your server about it if you’re feeling adventurous.”
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:09 PM on June 11, 2018

I'm anti-cannibalism and also got Portugal, which is confusing because I don't know anything about them? Is it because I like classic dishes but will eat habaneros?
posted by fiercekitten at 5:42 PM on June 11, 2018


Enjoy the experience at Argentina, where the only thing that will prevent you from having one of the best meals of your life is the always present possibility that the wait staff, chef, and customers will all break out into a wild brawl over the quality of the main course that evening. Don’t fault the course — Lionel Messi, as sumptuous and brilliant as anything you could ever hope to experience — but rather chuck it up to a general hysteria surrounding the joint. Some places just make people go mad, I suppose.—Nate Scott
posted by epj at 8:30 PM on June 11, 2018

Serbia. But...why? I asked for a quiet restaurant!
What do I have to do to get the team I want? (Germany). Must tweak answers till I get to it.
posted by Nieshka at 2:47 AM on June 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

like Argedee and Nieshka, I got Serbia despite wanting a quiet space. maybe it was the knowledgeable waiter part? I think I'm cheering for Chile this time.
posted by biggreenplant at 6:43 AM on June 12, 2018

World Cup 2018 post
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:37 PM on June 12, 2018

I'm assuming it's an attempt to make a winking reference to the Uruguayan rubgy team whose plane crashed in the Andes; lots of people assume it was a soccer team.

Star Uruguay forward Luis Suarez has been caught biting opponents three times including this almost career-defining moment in the last World Cup
posted by kersplunk at 1:42 PM on June 12, 2018

I got Scotland:

Your life and your football, like your dining experiences, are built on simple hopes rather than expectation. The menu lists fine meals accompanied with exotic wines which fail to satisfy, when all you really wanted was a munchie box and a can of Irn Bru. Your waiter is a pretentious hipster from Shoreditch who uses 25 words instead of 'aye' and 'nae', but you'd prefer a straight-talking Weegie with a worrying facial scar who affectionately addresses you as a '****'. Repeatedly on the verge of victory, you have been on the losing side of every referendum this decade, like buying a fish supper with mushy peas and being given jellied eels, pathetically thin fries and guacamole. Home is where the Buckie, not the Vodka, is and you'll be staying there anyway this tournament. Like every tournament.

Also, you love deep fried confectionary.

posted by Wordshore at 4:52 AM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

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