I have defined some of the words (underlined) in the blog post, which you can add to your Personal Dictionary. Click on the Excel icon to download the word list to your PC or mobile device, which you can thereafter import into your Personal Dictionary. They are also listed below.
Scroll down to the bottom for links to a crossword and word search using words from this post.
Reputation – The opinion or estimation in which a person or thing is generally held, especially in respect to character, integrity, or quality.
Peckish – Feeling slightly hungry.
Variation – A different form or version of something, especially one that is produced by changing or developing something in a particular way.
Intestines – The long, narrow tubes in the body that food passes through after being digested in the stomach, where nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Equivalent – Equal in value, meaning, or effect.
Delicious – Having a pleasant, attractive taste.
Counterparts – A person or thing that corresponds to or is equivalent to another person or thing, especially in another place or system.
Wash down – To drink something to help swallow food or medication.
Delicacy – A food that is considered rare or expensive, and is therefore highly prized.
Ingredient – One of the substances or items that are combined to make a particular dish, product, or mixture.
Digest – To break down food into smaller substances in the body, especially in the stomach and intestines.
Decline – To become gradually less in amount, strength, or value.
Embrace – To accept or support (an idea, attitude, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.
Insult – An action or remark that causes offense or disrespect, or is intended to do so.
I hope you have already eaten, because you’ll feel peckish after reading my blog about food in the UK! For some reason our food seems to have a bad reputation around the world, which is odd, because nearly everyone who visits us, loves our big breakfasts, roast dinners on Sundays, as well as fish and chips. Furthermore, if we are so bad at cooking, why is it that Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver’s TV shows are so popular, all over the world?
On the whole, the four countries in the UK eat the same meals, but naturally there are some regional variations. Let’s start with Scotland. I suppose the most famous dish of the Highlands has to be Haggis. It is made out of, among other ingredients, sheep intestines, but don’t let that put you off. It can be eaten with neeps and tatties, which are the slang words for turnips and potatoes. The Scots also have a breakfast equivalent to the English one, but they often add black pudding and sometimes haggis too. Naturally a porridge breakfast, made of oatmeal would be the healthier choice. In recent years, visitors have returned home telling me, that they ate a battered Mars bar, which is basically chocolate, deep fried in batter. Just so I have something else sweet on the list, shortbread is a delicious biscuit to eat with tea or coffee.
Crossing over the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland, let’s begin with what is considered to be the ultimate breakfast food, the Ulster fry, which like its English and Scottish counterparts, has sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, the exception this time is that soda farls and potato bread are added, all washed down with tea or an Irish coffee, with a dash of whiskey, of course! Other dishes include Irish Stew, Champ, Wheaten bread, Pasties and a sweet dessert called Fifteens.
Let’s go to Wales next, to sample their delicacies and start with Welsh rarebit, which was originally called rabbit, even though, thankfully, the cute animal is not one of the ingredients! Other dishes to try are Welsh Cawl, Bara Brith and to finish with, something sweet, Welsh cakes.
Because your friend Ed is from England, I know more about English specialities. This would be my perfect Sunday. I would start by eating a full-English breakfast washed down with a big mug of tea and a side order of white bread. When that’s been digested, I can prepare myself for a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings and spotted dick for pudding. If I can still walk, I’ll have a cream tea with scones at the local café in the afternoon. Other favourites of mine include, steak & kidney pie, shepherd’s pie, bangers & mash and fish & chips. That said, my typical day starts with a simple breakfast of cereal and toast. Lunch is normally a cheese sandwich and for dinner a simple meal of meat, potatoes and vegetables.
Like the rest of the world, the speed of life has led to people relying on ready-made foods and take aways, more often delivered to people’s homes these days. In fact, UK citizens spent a total of £8.5 billion on the food delivery business in 2019. Even though the amount spent on going to restaurants was over double at just under £19 billion, the market suffered its fastest decline in seven years.
Whether we eat out or in, we tend to embrace food from other countries. In fact, chicken tikka masala is reported to be the most popular dish ordered in restaurants. As well as Indian cuisine, Chinese, Italian, American, Mexican, Spanish, Greek, Thai and Indonesian are also popular choices.
In 2005, the then France President, Jacques Chirac, famously joked about the English, that ‘one cannot trust someone, whose cuisine is so bad’, so I hope that you can believe me, that everything I’ve told you is true. Despite the insult, we often use the French, ‘Bon appetite’, before eating. Other than that a simple ‘enjoy your meal’ is acceptable.
Anyway, it’s tea time, so I’ve got to go now. Let me know what your favourite meal is in the comment box below.
To test your knowledge, why not do a crossword puzzle, using words from this text?
Click here for instructions on how to play.
To test your knowledge, why not do a word search puzzle, using words from this text?
Click here for instructions on how to play.
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