How can I explain my country’s food?

What kind of food do you like to eat?

Do you often eat food from different countries?

Food is usually a great conversation topic.  People are almost always interested in talking about food, especially food from different countries.

But it can be difficult to explain your country’s food.  The food will often be completely new to the listener.  Even the ingredients (things the food is made from) might be new to the listener.  With this in mind, below are a few tips and phrases for explaining your country’s food.

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1. Compare the food to something

Sometimes, it helps to compare the food to a food that the listener already knows about.  For example, ‘It tastes like chicken soup but spicier,’ or ‘They look like pancakes but smaller,’ or ‘It’s a kind of fried chicken but it has a sweet sauce.’

 

2. Talk about what’s in the food

It can also be a good idea to explain some of the things the food is made from (ingredients) and how it’s eaten.  For example, ‘It’s a kind of omelet made from eggs, flour, cabbage and seafood, and it’s often eaten with a kind of spicy barbecue sauce.’

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3. Translate the word for the food?

Sometimes, it’s possible to translate the word for the food. But you will probably still need to give more information.  For example, ‘The Japanese word yakitori means ‘barbecued chicken’ but yakitori is eaten on a skewer.’

 

Of course, it can also help to show a picture of the food on your smartphone 😉

 

Grammar tip:  Is your food countable (eg. dumplings, cookies) or uncountable (eg. noodles, rice, soup)?   For countable foods, be careful to use the plural form

eg. ‘Have you ever tried tacos? They are a kind of traditional Mexican street food.’

 

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