Talking about bread, pasta, potatoes and rice in English

talking-about-bread-pasta-and-rice-in-english

Talking about bread, pasta, potatoes and rice in English

Talking about bread, pasta, potatoes and rice in English is easy to do in English because near all cultures eat these foods. But there is a challenge. The Chinese and the Italians don’t make pasta the same way. German bread and American bread aren’t the same. This means that when you talk about these foods, you need to be a bit more specific about how these foods are prepared.

 


Breads

These are the most common types of bread.

 

Bread
bread
rolls
baguettes
white bread, sliced bread, sliced pan, Wonder bread
wheat
baguettes
baps
rye bread
pumpkin seed bread
whole grain
pumpernickel
naan bread
flatbreads: tortillas, durums, pita bread, lavash, Injera
simit
bagels, biali(s)
sourdough bread
focaccia
pizze
potato bread

Potatoes

Average people do not normally talk about a particular species of potato. Instead, they talk about the potato dish they are having. For this reason, rather than listing potato varieties, I will list potato dishes.

 

Potatoes dishes
baked potatoes, jacket potatoes(GB)
mashed potatoes
potato pancakes
potato farls
potato latkes
potatoes au gratin
scalloped potatoes
roasted potatoes
potatoes dauphinoise
fries: Belgian fries, steak fries, potato fries, shoestring fries, cheese fries, crazy fries, sweet potato fries, freedom fries, French fries

Pasta & Noodles

The only thing I love more than pasta, is more pasta. See below for a list of pastas and noodles.

 

Pasta
gnocchi
spaghetti
capellini, angel hair
fettucini
tortiglione
papardelle
tagliatelle
tortelloni, tortellini
ravioli
maccaroni
rigatoni
pene
farfalle
lasagne
spätzle
fideua
orzo

Asian noodles

While pasta as we think of it is from Italy, pasta’s parents are from Asia. For this reason, when we think of pasta, we think of Italy, and when we think of noodles, we have to think of all of Asia. Here, I will name only a few of the hundreds and hundreds of types of Asian pasta. If you know of a noodle that isn’t on this list that should be, write me.

 

Noodles
chow mein
lo mein
ramen
soba noodles
udon
rice noodles
cellophane noodles/glass noodles

Rice

If you think there are many kinds of noodles, there are even more types of rice. here is a short list of types of rice.

 

Rice dishes and types of rice
white rice
brown rice
long grain rice
basmati
jasmine rice
wild rice
arborio rice

What about couscous, bulgar, and quinoa?

I figured you might ask that. To read up on these, check out my post on Cuisines of Cultures and Countries.


What happens now?

With the terms above, you should be able to talk about most basic types of bread, potatoes, pasta and rice dishes. Stay tuned for my next blog where I tell you how to talk about flavours, herbs, spices and cooking methods. There will also be a few quizzes.


Talking about fruit & veg in English

talking about fruit and veg in english

Talking about fruit & veg

Talking about fruit and veg can differ a lot from country to country. Is a tomatoe a vegetable or a fruit? Is a Niçoise salad a vegetarian dish? It’s a good question for debate. I won’t settle the debate, but I will list a bunch of fruit and veg you can use to describe the fruit and veg itself or a dish that uses the fruit or vegetable.

 

Pronunciation: One important thing – for beginners

 

How many parts (syllables) does the word “vegetable” have? If you said 3, you’re right! Many English learners pronounce the word with 4 syllables. The last part of the word should not sound like the word “table”. Instead, it is pronounced, /ˈvedʒtəbl/ or VEDGE T’BL.

 


What about the people who only eat vegetables or choose not to eat meat or animal products? They are called:

  • vegetarian:
  • a person who doesn’t eat meat

  • vegan:
  • a person who doesn’t eat meat + doesn’t eggs, cheese, honey or other animal products

 


Green vegetables

Here are the names of some green veggies.

 

Vegetable
lettuce (US), salad (GB)
cucumber
asparagus
broccoli
peas
bell peppers
celery
pickles (US) – pickled cucumbers
gherkins (GB) – pickled cucumbers
pickle (GB) – pickled vegetables
brussel sprouts
courgette (GB), zucchini (US)
green beans
kale
spinach

Colorful vegetables

Here are the names of the most common non-green veggies.

 

Vegetables
tomatoes (technically, this is a fruit)
onions
pumpkins
aubergines(GB), eggplants(US)
red & yellow bell peppers
beets
cauliflower
mushrooms
capers
turnips
rhubarb
olives (green, black)
squash
corn (US), maiz (GB)

talking-about-fruit-and-veg-in-english-2

What about fruit?

Talking about fruit may not be as controversial as talking about vegetables. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because the sweetness of fruit makes it less political. One of the most interesting things about fruit is that what a person considers normal in their country may be exotic in another. In the United States, cranberries aren’t so special, but many of us have never seen physalis or sandorn berries which are common in other countries. Below is a list of the most common fruits.

Fruit & fruits

Note: Fruit can be singular or plural. If we talk about “fruit” as in “I like fruit.”, it means, I like fruit in general. If I say, “I like fruits.”, it may mean, I like 2 fruits (e.g. bananas and oranges), but I might not like the rest.
 


Here are the names of some of the most common fruits.

 

Fruit(s)
banana
apple
orange
grapefruit
lemon
lime
clementines
tangerine
peaches
pineapples
strawberry/ies
cherry/ies
blueberry/ies
blackberry/ies
raspberry/ies
grapes
pomegranites
mangos
watermelons
cantelopes
honeydew melons
avocados
coconuts
cranberry/ies
figs
dates
kiwifruit
passionfruit
plums
papayas
pears
starfruits
persimmons
plums
dragonfruit
pomelos
nectarines

What happens now?

With the terms above, you should be able to talk about most basic fruits and vegetables. Stay tuned for my next blog where I tell you how to talk about starches, flavours and cooking methods. There will also be a few quizzes.


Talking about meat and seafood in English

Talking about food in English

Talking about food in English is similar to talking about food in your own language. But first, we have to ask an important question.

 

Who are you talking to?

 

A waiter in England or the United States? Your host who has invited you to stay with them in Ireland or Australia? The bride at a wedding? The pizza delivery guy?

As you can see, it’s important to know what we want to say. Sometimes we want to:

  • Compliment the chef
  • Ask questions about the food
  • Describe a meat or fish dish from our country to someone who doesn’t know it

 

In this post, we will only talk about the way to describe meat and seafood. Since food is an interesting topic for many people you may have to describe food from your country.
We’ll start with meat. Feel free to skip ahead, if you want to focus on fish and seafood.

Meat and seafood

In some countries only land animals are considered meat while birds and sea life are not. In English, generally birds (sometimes called “fowl” or “poultry” and food from the sea (“seafood”) are all considered meat are generally considered meat unless the speaker wants to be very technical.

 

Also – In many countries, the name of the animal is also the name of the food. In English, this is true for chicken and fish, but we usually use different names for the animal once it is prepare for consumption.

 

Take a look at the table below.

 

Animal Food
cow beef
young cow veal
sheep lamb
old sheep mutton
deer venison
pig pork
young pig suckling pig
wild pig boar
rabbit rabbit
goat goat
chicken(male, female) chicken
turkey turkey
duck duck
goose goose

Seafood: fish

For seafood (= fish and shellfish) we just call the food by the same name as the animal.

Here are some of the foods we eat from the sea.

 

Type of fish
fish
salmon
tuna
dorada, seabream
cod
haddock
hake
sole
plaice
monkfish
trout
perch
mackerel
kippers
sardines
eel
stingray
shark

Seafood: shellfish

Here are the names of the most common shellfish.

 

Shellfish
prawns
shrimp(like prawns but smaller)
langostines (like big prawns)
crab
lobster
clams
mussels
oysters
whelks
monkfish
cockles
barnacles
abalone
razor clams
crayflish (like tiny lobsters)

What happens now?

With the terms above, you should be able to basically descibe most basic meats. Stay tuned for my next blog where I tell yu how to talk about fruit and veg, starches, and cooking methods. There will also be a few quizzes.