Who tuned into the Super Bowl earlier this month?

The annual event typically draws quite a crowd and is famed for raucous parties served up with beer kegs and plenty of margaritas. (Did you know 17.5 million Americans reported that they planned to miss work the day after the Super Bowl, also known as ‘Sick Monday’, in 2020?)

But the usual antics were somewhat tamer this year as most settled down in front of the TV to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers triumph over the Kansas City Chiefs.

One thing that wasn’t tame though was the food. With most people celebrating at home, food became the star player of the 2021 Super Bowl. If you spent any time on Instagram that weekend, you’d have seen plates piled high with buffalo chicken wings, loaded nachos and succulent ribs smothered in BBQ sauce. Enviable spreads complete with Philly cheesesteaks, gooey mac ‘n’ cheese, stacks of sliders and deep-pan pizzas so thick you leave teeth marks behind with every bite.

These fan favourites are always guaranteed to score the winning touchdown. But why should the Americans get to have all the fun?

Raise the stakes

Any rugby fans out there will already have been glued to their tellies over the past few weekends as the six nations of England, France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy go head-to-head for the champion title.

Even if you aren’t usually a big rugby fan, there’s just something about the Six Nations that brings people together. Who doesn’t love walking into the pub to be met with a wall of roses and daffodils swaying merrily as they put their allegiances aside and come together over their love of the game? Plus, it’s always a great excuse to meet up with friends and enjoy a bit of friendly competition over a pint or two.

Sadly, there won’t be any trips to the pub — donned in your team’s colours and suitably silly headgear — this Super Saturday. But why not get your friends and family together virtually to watch the final on the 20th of March? (At least there’s no chance of missing the match-winning try while you’re getting more drinks at the bar!) To up the ante, you could even put together a sweepstake, with everyone dressing up to represent their drawn country.

Take a bite

Of course, no Super Saturday party would be complete without a super spread. If the Americans can do it, surely we can too? After all, there are more than enough culinary delights and snacks between the six nations to go around.

England fans will want to serve up more pork pies than Jonny May has tries, as well as the classic combination of fish and chips (or a big comforting pile of sausages and mash if you’re extra hungry).

The Scots may prefer haggis with neeps and tatties for something more substantial or a hearty bowl of Cullen skink, washed down with a peaty highland whisky to steady the nerves.

An Irish stew is sure to warm the soul regardless of the final score, and potato bites (or anything potato-related really) will keep you coming back for more. Welsh cakes or rarebit also make the perfect half-time snack. And you can never go wrong with Italian pizza or bitesize arancini balls — perfect for eating one-handed, so you can leave the other one free for a beer!

Although moules frites might sound fancy, the French know it’s best eaten with your hands. There’s nothing more satisfying than greedily tucking into a bowl of salty frites and steaming mussels before mopping up that tangy yet creamy white wine sauce with fresh bread. Messy, yet oh so delicious.

And who says you can’t go rogue and stray from your favourite team with your food choices? (We won’t tell if you don’t!) Besides, a traditional English beef and ale pie just tastes better with Guinness…

Fancy trying your hand at some classic dishes from these six nations? Then check out our Best of British, Flavours of France, Italian Masterclass or Taste of Italy courses!