Pick 5: FIFA-ranked cuisines for the World Cup

Every four years, 32 countries go head-to-head in world football’s most anticipated matches. Tomorrow the FIFA World Cup begins in Brazil. This competition is not just the mecca of world football, it also offers a glimpse into the culture of the countries. The FIFA ranking compares teams in the league based on their performance over the last four years, and we wanted to highlight the top five countries. Here are our picks on each country’s “star players,” AKA dishes, and where to find them in Atlanta.

FIFA ranking #1: Spain

Star Player: Jamon Iberico

In Spain, ham rules all. Iberian ham goes through a lengthy curing process that sometimes takes a couple of years. The most popular cuts are "de bellota" which are fattier, because the pigs are raised on acorns.
Find it: The Iberian Pig
"Iberico Tasting" is a sampler of one-ounce portions of the Jamon Iberico, Paleta Iberico de Bellota and Lomo Iberico de Bellota.

FIFA ranking #2: Germany

Star Player: Sausage

Specifically- Germany's bauernwurst is a chunky farmer's sausage made from pork and sometimes beef. Bratwurst is the more known and approachable sausage, a casing of pork, veal and spices.
Find it: Kurt's Bistro
The "Schwabian platter" is meat-lovers dream- the plate is piled high with bauernwurst, bratwurst, smoked pork chop, sauerkraut and potato salad.

FIFA ranking #3: Brazil

Star Player: Pasteis

These pastries can vary, some are baked and flaky, while others are fried and crispy. They are filled with ingredients ranging from cheese or cod to custard or potatoes.
Find it: Brazilian Bakery Café
The menu at this strip-mall bakery in Marietta devotes a section to "pasteis." Try the "tudo"- all you can get with ham, beef, chicken, cheese and whatever the baker was able to stuff in for the day.

FIFA ranking #4: Portugal

Star Player: Ameijoas bulhao pato

Frequently served as an appetizer, clam pair great with the summer cravings of a crisp, light-bodied wine or a cold beer. Clams are cooked simply in white wine, olive oil, garlic and cilantro.
Find it: Emidio's
Good Portuguese food is found in Sandy Springs, where the restaurant serves up big portions and authentic fare. The "ameijoas bulhao pato" are clams with white wine and cilantro.

FIFA ranking #5: Argentina

Star Player: asados

The national dish of Argentina is not for the faint of heart. Asados varies, but is generally a mix of barbecued meat cooked on a large grill "parillo."
Find it: Sabores Del Plato
We had to include one Buford Highway spot. "Flavors of the plate," as the name translates, specializes in Uruguayan and Argentinian fare. The "del plata mix grilled" is a carnivore's dream with outside skirt, beef short rib, chicken, blood sausage and sweet breast.