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.
|young pig||suckling pig|
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|
Here are the names of the most common shellfish.
|shrimp(like prawns but smaller)|
|langostines (like big prawns)|
|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.