Perhaps one of the best - loved cliches is that of the English
breakfast, fruit juice, cereal and milk, and then sausages, eggs,
bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and then buttered toast with
marmalade, all washed down with plenty of tea with milk. But this
takes a long time to prepare and is too filling. We might
occasionally have it at weekends as a BRUNCH (= breakfast+lunch)
or if we are on holiday. A much more common breakfast is a cup of
coffee and a piece of toast or a yogurt.
British eat is much convenience food. There are all kinds of
tinned, dried, frozen, prepackeged, precooked and prepared foods
on sale in British shops, but the same is true everywhere else in
Europe. These days most women go out to work and fewer and and
fewer are full-time housewives. So they have less time to
preparing meals. But that is not to say that everybody lives on
TV dinners, packet soups, frozen pizza and canned vegetables.
Another common notion is that we overcook everything. In some
homes this happens. But we know that overcooking destroys
Perhaps the biggest reason for these ideas is that many of
people who visit Britain have few changes to eat really authentic
home-cooked British food. Most of their restaurants serve ethnic
food - Chinese, Indian, Italian, Greek, indeed, food from almost
everywhere except Britain ! Fast food like pizza, hamburgers and
kebabs is more international than British and very often foreign
visitors' experiences of British food an limited to sandwiches,
pub snacks . . .
As to what is typically British, it's important to remember
that Britain comprises several countries, and that each of them
has its own traditions. There are also regional variations. There
are historical factors to consider, too.
In the Middle Ages, English food was highly spiced. Also
ingredients were mostly controlled by Italian merchants and were
expensive. Potatoes and tobacco were brought back (from USA).
Later they were under the influence of French cuisine, which
prefers the use of herbs. Cookery in Britain has been exposed to
many new influences. This is a result of immigration but also due
to more of our people travelling abroad and being exposed to
foreign food. Health consciousness and increased prosperity are
also important factors.
Interest in cookery in Britain is very high these days. People
eat out more than ever before, cookery is the subject of all
manner of books, magazine articles, radio and TV programmes and
conversations, and shops are full of all manner of exotic
Many people are now vegetarians, while many others have stopped
eating red meat. Recently there have been great changes in eating
habits English favorites, sausages, fries eggs, bacon and chips
are now on decline. Many people think that too much fat may cause
diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Therefore they drink
more milk, they ate brown bread and less butter. About 10 % of
all young people are now vegetarians. Also Britain's food
industry now produces more low-fat and health food.
It is very difficult to say what American prefer for breakfast,
lunch and dinner. The U.S. is the country where many different
ethnic group life and eating habits are very different, too. Many
dishes which are now popular in the U.S., and are considered
typically American, are of foreign origin and were brought to
America by Italian, Mexican, Greek, Turkish, Chinese and other
Typical breakfast consists of eggs, juice, fruit, coffee, tea,
butter, bacon, ham, sausages . . . Many Americans, especially
children, have cereals for breakfast. Some people don't eat any
breakfast at all but simply have a cup of coffee.
Lunch often consists of a sandwich, frenchfries, salad,
hamburger (in various types), hot dog and pizza, are also
typically American and popular as lunch food.
Dinner time in the U.S. varies from one past of the country to
another. But many people have dinner (the large meal) between 5-7
o'clock. Usually are served salad, potatoes, meat, vegetables,
corn, desert, cookies, cake, ice-cream.
Many Americans like to have lunch and dinner "out" - at snack
bars, fast food restaurants or more expensive restaurants and
hotels. They can also use bake-away services (very popular).
Those people who want to eat at home, without preparing the meal,
order to take away. Some meals (pizza) can also be ordered to be
delivered home. During holidays and special occasions Americans
like to eat outdoors with family or friends and have picnics and