In just a few hours, the 2014 World Cup will open in São Paulo as the heavily favored Seleção take the field against Croatia. Over the next month, we will be highlighting some of our favorite Brazilian dishes and food experiences, as well as stories from some of the competing nations. But today, we felt it appropriate to pay a small homage to Croatia, Brazil’s sacrificial ham (get it?) Italian prosciutto, born just across the Adriatic sea, is beloved in Croatia, where it is known as pršut. Of course, Croatians have put their own unique spins on the classic delicacy. Native to the western Croatia region of Istria, which is near the Italian border, pršut is generally similar to Italian preparations, but Istrians remove skin and fat, and replace it with salt, spices, and other herbs. But go further down the Dalmatian coast, and pršut – shock of shocks – is generally not dried but smoked, with the flavor accented by the air from nearby mountains and fields. Having never been to Croatia, and of course being big fans of dried cured ham, we would love to try both varieties. Maybe the Croatian national football team will bring some to their match in a few hours? The afterparty would be fun!