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  • Hi, I'm Oli.

  • Welcome to Oxford Online English!

  • In this lesson, you can learn how to talk about food.

  • You'll see how to talk about different cuisines, talk about food you likeor dislikeand

  • talk about cooking and eating habits.

  • To see more free English lessons, visit our website: Oxford Online English dot com.

  • You can also book English classes with our fully-qualified teachers, who can help you

  • with your English speaking, writing, IELTS preparation, or whatever else you need.

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  • What kind of food do you like?

  • I like a bit of everything, really.

  • I grew up in the UK, and you can get food from all over the world there.

  • My mum's cooking is a combination of different cuisines: a bit of French, a bit of Italian,

  • a bit of Indian, and so on.

  • What's British cuisine like?

  • I know about fish and chips, but there must be more

  • There is, but not that much.

  • There are a few famous dishes like shepherd's pie or Sunday roast, but most people eat a

  • mix of things.

  • What about you?

  • What food do you like?

  • I'm half Spanish, so when I was young we ate a lot of Mediterranean food at home.

  • Now, I live in Berlin, and it's a pretty cosmopolitan place, so you can get all kinds

  • of food, like the UK, I suppose.

  • I've never really had much Spanish food.

  • Is it similar to Italian?

  • In some ways, yes.

  • They both use a lot of fresh ingredients, and there's a lot of seafood, salads, and

  • so on.

  • Pasta isn't so common in Spanish cooking, though.

  • What are some typical Spanish dishes?

  • I'd be interested to try some.

  • I guess paella is quite well-known.

  • My personal favourite is a dish called albondigas, which is meatballs in a tomato sauce.

  • It's simple, but so tasty.

  • Sounds good!

  • Here's a question: do you know the difference between the words 'cuisine', 'dish'

  • and 'meal'?

  • 'Cuisine' means the kind of food you find in a specific country or culture.

  • For example, you have Chinese cuisine, French cuisine, local cuisine, and so on.

  • 'Cuisine' means something like 'cooking style'.

  • You can use the word 'food' or 'cooking' in the same way.

  • So, you can say 'Chinese cuisine', 'Chinese cooking' or 'Chinese food'.

  • The meaning is very close.

  • A 'dish' means something which is cooked or prepared.

  • Usually, a dish is made from different kinds of food.

  • A 'meal' is food eaten at a specific time.

  • Most people eat three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • We often hear English learners make mistakes with these three words, so be careful with

  • them!

  • In the dialogue, you heard how to talk about different cuisines and dishes which you like.

  • Look at some questions you heard.

  • Think about how you could answer these.

  • When you answer these questions, try to be detailed.

  • For example, don't just say 'Vietnamese food is delicious.'

  • Give some more details!

  • Say what kind of dishes are the best, or try to explain why you like it.

  • For example, you could say 'Vietnamese food is delicious, because it uses fresh ingredients

  • and it's a little bit spicy, which I like.'

  • OK?

  • Pause the video and try to answer the questions now.

  • Could you do it?

  • If not, go back and listen to the dialogue again.

  • Next, let's look at how to talk about food you likeor don't!

  • So, what do you think?

  • Oh no!

  • This is terrible!

  • Really?

  • First, you haven't cooked the meat long enough.

  • It's tough and really chewy.

  • You need to keep cooking it until it's tender.

  • I cooked it for two hours, just like you said!

  • Yes, but you also have to check that it's done!

  • Also, these vegetables are awful.

  • They're mushy because you've overcooked them.

  • They should be fresh and crunchy.

  • Right

  • What about the sauce?

  • It's not bad, but it's a little bland.

  • A dish like this should be rich, spicy and a little sour.

  • While you're cooking, don't forget to taste it, and add more spices, or more vinegar,

  • or whatever it needs.

  • Hmm

  • OK

  • I'm a little scared to show you my dessert, now.

  • Ahh, wow!

  • This is amazing!

  • Oh?

  • You mean it?

  • Yes!

  • It's a perfect tart.

  • It's crumbly, but not dry, which is a difficult balance to get right.

  • The fruit gives it a nice, tangy flavour.

  • Very tasty!

  • Thank you!

  • To describe something you ate, you could start with the flavour.

  • For example, you can use words like 'spicy', 'sour', 'sweet', 'bitter', or

  • 'rich'.

  • 'Rich' can be used to describe heavier foods.

  • You also heard 'bland' in the dialogue.

  • 'Bland' describes something which has little or no flavour.

  • Then, you could also describe the texture.

  • In the dialogue, you heard the word 'mushy'.

  • Do you know what this means?

  • 'Mushy' means that something is soft, but in an unpleasant way.

  • If you cook vegetables too long, they'll get mushy.

  • In the dialogue, you also heard 'tough', 'chewy', 'tender', 'crunchy' and

  • 'crumbly'.

  • Can you think of foods which these words could describe?

  • 'Tough' and 'chewy' are similar.

  • Both describe foods which are difficult to eat because you have to chew them for a long

  • time.

  • Meat can be tough or chewy, especially if it's cooked too long and it gets dry.

  • 'Tender' means something like 'soft', but it's mostly used to describe meat which

  • is cooked well, so it's soft and juicy.

  • Crunchy foods make a lot of noise when you're eating them.

  • Dry foodlike potato chips, or hard cookiescan be crunchy.

  • Crumbly food is soft and easily breaks into pieces.

  • 'Crumbly' can be good or badfor a cake, it might be a good thing, but crumbly

  • bread might be a bad thing, because it will fall apart when you try to do anything with

  • it.

  • If you like the taste of something, you can use general adjectives like 'great', 'amazing'

  • or 'fantastic'.

  • You can also use 'tasty' or 'delicious'.

  • Be careful: 'delicious' is a strong adjective.

  • That means you can't say 'very delicious'; if you want to add emphasis, say 'really

  • delicious' or 'absolutely delicious'.

  • To talk about food you don't like, use general adjectives like 'awful', 'terrible'

  • or 'disgusting'.

  • Now, a challenge for you: think about the last thing you ate.

  • Could you describe it?

  • Talk about the flavour, the texture, and whether you liked it or not.

  • For a bonus, try to explain why you did or didn't like it!

  • For example: 'The last thing I ate was a lentil soup.

  • It was quite spicy, but a little bit mushy, because I overcooked the lentils.

  • I didn't like it so much, because it was a little bland.

  • Lentils don't have much flavour.'

  • Now it's your turn.

  • Pause the video and make your answer.

  • Next, let's see how you can talk about cooking habits.

  • Do you cook much?

  • Sometimes.

  • I cook maybe twice a week, but I'm too busy to do more than that.

  • What do you do the rest of the time?

  • For lunch, I eat in the canteen at work.

  • In the evening, I generally get something from the supermarket, or get a takeaway.

  • I don't like it, because I know it's more expensive and less healthy than cooking for

  • myself, but I just don't have the time.

  • What about you?

  • I make most of my meals.

  • I don't cook every day, though.

  • I normally do a lot of cooking on Sunday, and then I have food for the week.

  • I take a packed lunch to work, and then eat leftovers in the evening.

  • That's a good system!

  • I wish I could be so organised

  • It helps that I have a market very close to my house.

  • They have great fresh produce, fish, meateverything you need.

  • That means I don't need to spend much time shopping.

  • Plus, I prefer eating home-cooked, fresh food.

  • If I don't have food with me, I end up eating greasy fast food, and then I feel bloated

  • and gross.

  • Yeah, I'm the same way

  • Maybe I'll start cooking more.

  • Think about the first question you heard in the dialogue: 'Do you cook much?'

  • How would you answer this?

  • You could say something like: 'I cook every day.'

  • 'I don't cook muchmaybe once or twice a week.'

  • 'I don't cook.

  • I've never learned how!'

  • If you don't cook, what can you do for food?

  • You heard some phrases in the dialogue.

  • Do you remember?

  • Look at some sentences that you heard.

  • Imagine you're an English teacher, and you want to explain the meanings of the words

  • in red.

  • How would you do it?

  • A canteen is a bit like a restaurant, but it's run by a company for its staff, or

  • by a university for its students.

  • Canteens are usually cheap, or the food might even be free.

  • A takeaway means you buy or order the food from a restaurant, and then eat it somewhere

  • else, usually at home.

  • A packed lunch means you take food from home and eat it at work or school.

  • If you cook more than you can eat, the extra food is called 'leftovers'.

  • You can eat the leftovers on another day.

  • What about you?

  • Do you cook much?

  • If not, what do you do for food?

  • Pause the video now, and try to make a few sentences to describe your cooking and eating

  • habits.

  • Done?

  • Great!

  • Let's look at our last point.

  • So, what do we do first?

  • First, we need to fry the aubergine and the potato.

  • While you do that, I'll prepare the meat.

  • How are you going to do it?

  • It's easy: you sauté onion and garlic, then add the meat to brown it.

  • Then you add the tomatoes and simmer it for fifteen minutes or so until the sauce thickens.

  • OK, what now?

  • Now we need to make the white sauce.

  • You know how to make white sauce?

  • I think so, though I've never tried it.

  • It's butter, flour and milk, right?

  • Yes, but you need to be careful.

  • Add the milk very slowly, and stir the sauce continuously.

  • Otherwise, it can get lumpy.

  • Should I use a low heat?

  • Yes, as low as possible.

  • So, is that it?

  • Pretty much!

  • We just need to layer all the parts, sprinkle some grated cheese on top, and then bake it

  • for half an hour.

  • What should I do, then?

  • Get a baking dish.

  • Put the potatoes in the bottom, then the aubergine, then the meat.

  • Add another layer of aubergine on top, then pour in the white sauce.

  • Is it ready?

  • Yeah, I think so.

  • It should be lightly brown on top.

  • Nice workyou made your first moussaka!

  • By the way, do you know what 'moussaka' is?

  • It's a famous Greek dish.

  • It's easy to find recipes online if you want to try making it.

  • In the dialogue, you heard several different verbs related to food preparation.

  • Do you remember any?

  • Look at some pairs of words.

  • Could you explain the difference in meaning between these words pairs?

  • Pause the video to think about it if you need time.

  • 'Sauté' and 'fry' both mean to cook something in hot fatusually hot oil.

  • 'Sauté' means that you cook something at high temperature for a short time.

  • In everyday language, people mostly say 'fry', but if you're reading a recipe or watching

  • cooking shows on TV, you might see 'sauté'.

  • 'Boil' and 'simmer' both mean to heat a liquid until it bubbles; 'simmer' suggests

  • you keep the heat as low as possible.

  • 'Boil' means you use a higher heat.

  • 'Pour' is only for liquids.

  • 'Sprinkle' means to spread a small amount of something over something else.

  • 'Sprinkle' is mostly used for powders or things made of small particles, like salt,

  • herbs, grated cheese, and so on.

  • Now, it's your turn.

  • Think about a dish you know how to make.

  • Your job is to give detailed instructions for how to make it.

  • Imagine you're teaching someone, and you want to describe every step of the process.

  • Before you do this, you can watch the dialogue again.

  • There are many more words and phrases you can use to help you.

  • Pause the video, and say your answer out loud.

  • Or, you can write your answer down and share your recipe with other students in the comments!

  • That's all.