The proof of the pudding is in the eating


疯狂英语·新悦读 2019年9期

A.J.Dalton(amended by Jon Porter)

They say a country's cuisine is a reflection of its culture and national character.If this is true,then the UK is a very diverse country,since every region has its own traditional foods.For example,traditional Scottish cuisine is famous for its robust character:haggis,Aberdeen Angus beef,shortbread and whisky.Wales is well known for its lamb and leeks.Ireland is synonymous(同义的)with Guinness,Irish whiskey and Irish stew.Dishes that originated in one particular region of England have become popular in many other areas.Yorkshire is known for its savoury(美味的) Yorkshire pudding,Cornwall for its Cornish pasty,Lancashire for its black pudding (blood sausage),and so on.

There are of course dishes common to the whole UK as well.While midweek breakfasts tend to be quicker or healthier these days,many people still enjoy a full English breakfast(fried eggs,bacon,sausage,baked beans,fried mushrooms and fried tomato)at the weekend,followed by a Sunday roast(a roasted joint of meat,with roast potatoes,vegetables and gravy)for lunch,perhaps then followed by fish and chips or a pork pie for dinner.For dessert,there are dozens of famous British cheeses to choose from(e.g.Stilton and Cheddar),cakes or sponge and fruit puddings with custard (a vanilla sauce).

With such a range of foods and approaches to cooking,why then did British cuisine have a bad international reputation for so long?There are a number of possible reasons.One is that during the Second World War and for decades after it,there was food rationing in the UK,meaning cooks and chefs were limited by the ingredients that were available,so they lost some of their traditional skills.Another is that British food tends to be “heavy” because of the cold climate—Britons need big meals to keep the body warm.As a result,British cuisine is often unsuitable for,and unpopular among,people from warmer countries in Europeand around the rest of the world.Finally,for a long time,British food did not compare well to the cuisine of its nearest neigh bour,France.France introduced the refined style of cooking known as“nouvelle cuisine”,and French wines,thanks to France's warmer climate,were always considered better than British wines.

Yet British cuisine has enjoyed a better reputation over the last few decades.Why is that?One definite reason is that the wide range of ethnic groups in the UK has given British cuisine new ingredients,flavours,“fusion” combinations and techniques.Curry,which is originally a South Asian dish,is now officially the most popular food in the UK,whereas a roast dinner or fish and chips used to be the most popular.With significant numbers of Polish people coming to the UK recently,Polish food shops can be found in almost every British city.Most cities have a Chinese quarter as well.

Another reason for the improvement in British cuisine is climate change.The UK is warmer now than it ever has been.Today,farmers can grow new herbs,such as coriander(香菜),to meet the demands of increased curry sales.In addition,there has been a boom in growing garlic in Scotland.Even British wine is now respected by the French people,since it is easier to grow and ripen grapes in the UK.And with such a strong import culture,the UK can get its hands on a variety of exotic(外来的) ingredients from around the world at any time of the year.

One last reason for the improvement,however,is the large number of cookery programmes on British television.British people are more educated about food than ever before.British chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are internationally famous and have television shows all over the world.

So what are the results?In 2013,British restaurants received more Michelin stars than in any other previous year.The Michelin Guide(first established in France)sets the international standard for restaurant cuisine,so it would seem that the UK has finally shed its reputation for poor food and is now a culinary(烹饪的) attraction in its own right!

Activity 1:Summaries

There are seven paragraphs in the article.Match them to the summarizing statements below.

A.British agriculture has also begun to change.

B.British cuisine now wins an international reputation.

C.British cuisine has always included a lot of variety.

D.There are common meals for different times of the day.

E.The media has helped the British people to know much more about food.

F.Britain today is very multicultural,which has introduced foreign influences into British cuisine.

G.There are several reasons why British cuisine had a bad international reputation for so long.

Activity 2:


Match the words with a similar meaning.One answer is given.


2.considerably B.because

3.well known

4.since D.skills

5.techniques E.famous F.much

7.large G.significant

Fun corner

Find the odd one out in each set of three words.

1.Dairy products

A.milk B.cheese C.biscuits


A.apples B.potatoes C.peas


A.carrot B.banana C.pear


A.trifle B.tart C.roast

5.British breakfast

A.bacon and chips



A.pork B.beef C.beans


A.rice B.eggs C.bread

Word of the passage

A “foodie” is a slang term for someone who knows a lot about food and likes to visit high-quality restaurants.