Dialogue:______read aloud in pairs

A: What do you think of British food?


B: That's a very difficult question to answer, because if you look in two

supermarket trolleys, you'll see that what people buy is completely different. Some

people will go for fresh vegetables and wholemeal bread, while others prefer tins and

packets of highly processed food.


A: Is there such a thing as British food?


B: That's the second problem, because a lot of what we buy comes from other

parts of the European Community or further afield. Many trolleys will contain both

New Zealand butter and South African fruit.


A: Well, what do people mean when they say they don't like British food?


B: I think it's probably possible to generalize about what is eaten at main meal-

times. Northern Europeans, including the British, tend to eat more potatoes than

Asians, who prefer rice.


A: Can you explain why many Asians prefer French or Italian cuisine to British



B: That's both a question of what different Europeans eat and how it's prepared.

For example, pizza has become international. People are accustomed to eating it and

Italians prepare it well.


A: Do the British prepare food badly?


B: In fact, we have some of the top chefs in the world, but only people with a lot

of money experience British cooking at its best. Students staying in English

families often have to put up with convenience foods, quick preparations served up by

working couples who have little time for anything other than their jobs.


A: Surely, not all host families offer fast food.


B: No .... some are very careful about what they eat. They may buy brown rice,

wholemeal bread, muesli and organically grown fruit. They may eat a mainly

vegetarian diet. But this can cause different problems. Japanese students are used to

eating white rice, while Southern Europeans are used to eating a lot of meat. Certain

versions of the British diet are probably very healthy, but don't appeal internationally.

People simply aren't used to them.