SoCal League Tennis

World’s Best Tennis Players Savor Traditional Foods

There is no time of year better than the present holiday season when traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas-time foods like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are served by Americans and enjoyed heartily.

So there’s no better time than now to check out some of the world’s best tennis players from around the world, and explore the traditional cuisines they enjoy at this time of year.

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria recently captured his first ATP Tour World Finals in London. It’s a safe bet, Dimitrov hustled home to bask in his victory and enjoyed some classic baked banitsa, a favorite from his home land. The greasy pastry includes a filling of feta-like white cheese, though varieties filled with onions, cabbage, spinach, mushrooms or pumpkin can also be found. For a sweeter taste, you can also try banitsa with apples and walnuts. Banitsa in any of its forms is an inevitable part of a traditional Bulgarian breakfast.

If you are looking to spread something over your toast, and a favorite among Bulgarian children looking for a hearty snack, there is lyutenitsa, a thick relish of tomatoes and peppers, onions and garlic.

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki duplicated what Dimitrov did on the women’s side by beating Venus Williams for the WTA year-end title. She no doubt treated herself to a Dutch sweet treat like a stroopwafel, which are two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of sweet syrup. Or perhaps she had a few oliebollen, which are deep fried sweet dumplings (sometimes containing fruit pieces) and dusted in powdered sugar.

Men’s world No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain, as well as his countrywoman and year-end No. 2 on the women’s side Garbiñe Muguruza, may have possibly been tempted by some patatas bravas. While the Spanish do enjoy their spices, they don’t always favor spicy food. But this is the one exception as the fiery red sauce, which varies in composition from province to province, includes spuds which have been peeled, cubed, and fried. The world’s best paella can be found on the south coast of Valencia where the dish was born in the mid-19th century. Key ingredients include chicken and rabbit although the seafood versions considered traditional in more coastal areas and on the island of Nadal’s holiday home in Mallorca.

Women’s year-end world No. 1 Simona Halep of Romania possibly celebrated the holiday season with culinary specialties including various salads with mayonnaise dressing, filled eggs (with a pasta made of yolks, mustard, mayonnaise, pepper), lamb specialties like Haggis, lamb borsch (sour soup), sponge cake with cocoa and Turkish delight filling or with sweet cheese and raisins.

Southern Californians looking to try out some classic Romania food can Google Yalla Mediterranean in Culver City or Panini Kabob Grill downtown. If you are in Orange County, definitely check out Dunarea Restaurant in Anaheim for some classic Romanian dishes.

The all-time Grand Slam leader and winner of two majors in 2017, Roger Federer of Switzerland, possibly indulged in some traditional Italian cuisine in his home town of Basel, particularly pasta and pizza. Foods often associated with Switzerland include cheese and chocolate. Swiss cheeses, in particular Emmental cheese, Gruyère, Vacherin, and Appenzeller, are famous Swiss products. The most popular cheese dishes are fondue and raclette.

Subscribe to Comments RSS Feed in this post

2 Responses

  1. Isn’t Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *