Ever tried mohinga from Myanmar? Plov from Uzbekistan? Or varenyky from Ukraine?
Northlanders will have the chance to taste world-wide cuisine when the Fifa U20 Football World Cup, the second-biggest men's sporting event in the world, kicks off in Whangarei in a month. Football fans, locals and visitors will be invited to the "Long Brunch" in Cameron St Mall on Saturday May 30, ahead of the first game at Northland Events Centre, and the second in the tournament, between Myanmar and USA.
Mohinga is a fish-based soup with rice noodles, sprinkled with deep-fried fritters; palov is a rice dish cooked with meat, carrot and onions; and varenky are Ukranian dumplings, stuffed with everything from mashed potato, offal, fish or sauerkraut, or sweet versions containing cottage cheese or fruit.
The brunch will include contestants from TV show My Kitchen Rules (including former Whangarei man Aaron Gascoigne) cooking food from each of the countries playing matches in Whangarei - Myanmar, Uzbekistan, USA, Fiji and Ukraine. Entertainment on the day will include Brazilian dancers, street performers and drummers.
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Whangarei District Council economic development manager Pete Gleeson said the theme of the day is: "The Party Never Stops."
"We really wanted to replicate some of the atmosphere we achieved through the Rugby World Cup ..."
The Cambridge blue line painted on city footpaths will be changed to purple, Fifa's main colour, and will lead fans to Northland Events Centre.
Fifa U20 regional events and marketing manager Mel Miller said ticket sales for Whangarei's matches were doing well.
From May 27 to June 11, a "Fever Pitch" fan zone will be stationed in Cameron Street Mall, selling merchandise and match tickets, and giving out information about the tournament, and Whangarei. Tickets are also available from the Ticketek website.
Meanwhile, Whangarei has a roster of more than 200 volunteers who are finishing off their online training modules before the tournament.
Sport Northland's Colleen Atchison, who is co-ordinating the volunteer effort, says Whangarei was the first host city to fulfil its volunteer roster ahead of the cut-off date.