LEARN real ENGLISH LANGUAGE & CULTURE

Zak's Survival Pack - English slang guide - Pink Reliant Robin

ESSENTIAL TOOLS AND TIPS FOR SURVIVING IN ENGLAND


Part Four. What to eat and drink in England.


Some of the sentences below have been removed from the text. Read it, and find the correct place.

This is the typical scenario. A foreign student arrives in England, usually in London. He spends the first few days visiting typical tourist places, and whenever he gets hungry, he visits one of those cheap, disgusting fast food places near the tourist sights. There you can find disgusting rubbery pizza cooked by Spanish engineers, horrible paella cooked by Hungarian dentists, and stroganoff that was cooked two weeks ago by Italian taxi drivers. A______ If you want real cannelloni made by real Italians, go to La Porchetta in Finsbury Park, North London. For real paella cooked by Spaniards go to Hanwell Street in the centre of London. There is a whole colony of Spanish restaurants there.

 

A question. Where do all the best chefs and cooks in the world work? Is it in the working men’s cafes in Minsk? In canteens in Antwerp? In Greek kebab restaurants? Of course not. The answer is probably in Paris, London, or New York City. But just like in NYC, you have to have the money to pay for quality. It’s no use going to Britain without money and expecting to eat well. Go to Italy, Spain or Greece. B_____ On the other hand, if money is no problem for you, then London is your city. The quality of the better restaurants is unsurpassed.

 

There is far more variety of international food available in England than in almost any other country. Not only in restaurants, but in supermarkets too. If you eat out, you will probably have to choose between dishes like Italian lasagne, Turkish kebabs, Indian chicken tikka massala, or Chinese sweet and sour pork. If you want snacks, you can choose between Jewish bagels, Danish pastries, Greek falafels or Mexican tacos. Anything basically.

C_____ For example, if you are vegetarian, diabetic, suffer from certain food allergies, or have special needs on health or religious grounds, then this is the place for you.

 

The only type of restaurant that you will have trouble finding is an English one. They do exist, but are the exception rather than the rule. London has several. But you fill find thousands more Indian or Chinese restaurants. This is not to say that traditional English cuisine can’t be found. There are some good traditional English dishes, but you will have to look carefully to find them; Cornish pasties (meat and/or vegetables cooked in pastry), shepherd’s pie (a pie made with a meat base and mashed potato on top), biriani (an dish invented by an Indian in Birmingham), Lancashire hot potYorkshire pudding, and there is another great British invention that we haven’t mentioned... the sandwich! Also worth the trouble to investigate are crumpets, muffins, (two types of round bread-like cakes usually eaten hot with butter) and scones, another type of cake eaten with jam and cream, and a cup of hot tea.)

 

Although foreigners have this stereotypical image of Brits eating fish and chips all day, everyday, you are far more likely to find us eating Indian curriesD_____ Recent surveys show that curry has now become the national dish. They are available from many places, but the best are from Indian restaurants. These establishments are cheap, good value, and are everywhere.

Fast food is common. It is often referred to as junk food, a term which is always used negatively.  It could be argued that this is what has given our cuisine such a bad reputation. There are the normal multinational chains of American-style hamburger restaurants, which are probably exactly the same as the ones in your country, except that you can buy a cup of tea, but not a beer in there.

 

Extremely common too, are the Greek or Turkish-owned kebab shops, which similar to English fish and chips, differ enormously in quality. A kebab shop usually offers, amongst other things, different cooked meats in pitta bread, (that type of flat Arabic bread), chips (fried potatoes) houmous (a paste made from chickpeas), and salads. If these don’t appeal to your foreign tastes, you obviously haven’t drunk enough beer. After eight pints of lager, this food will look... eatable. Be careful. E_____                

 

So to get us in the mood, what should we drink? Britain is the second biggest importer of wine, behind Germany. There are wines from all corners of the planet available in virtually every supermarket or off-licence (shop specialising in alcoholic drinks). Beer is everywhere, in every colour or form. You can’t just walk into a pub and ask for a beer, like a typical tourist. F _____ The most common type is lager, the golden coloured beer that is most typical throughout Europe. Pilsner is very similar. These should always be served cold. Bitter, which is a red/brown colour and often comes from a barrel. It is served at room temperature, and is often the cheapest drink in the bar. G_____  Try a bitter on a cold winter night in front of the pub fire when it is snowing outside. Another classic beer is stout, which is the heavier black one. Guinness is the most famous brand. Also worth noting is real ale. Ale is an old word for beer and real ale is often a thick, bitter, homemade beer produced in a traditional way. I can see that we ought to look at this in more detail. Look! There’s a pub. Let’s go and do some more studying! Come on!

 

1. You have to specify which kind and what quantity.

2. England is one of the best countries for anybody with specialised diets.

3. After so much booze, those ugly English girls in mini skirts and white stilettos,  will look attractive too.

4. There, the typical working man, or less rich people eat far better than in England.

5. A type of spicy dish that can be made with meat, fish and/or vegetables, and is served with rice.

6. Foreign students usually refuse to try anything that is not ice-cold.

7. Then the tourist goes back home telling everybody that the food is terrible!

 

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