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Meals in Great Britain.
The two features of life in England that possibly give visitors their worst impressions are the English weather and English cooking.
A traditional English breakfast is a very big meal – sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms. People who do have a full breakfast say that it is quite good. The writer Somerset Maugham once gave the following advice: “If you want to eat well in England, eat three breakfasts daily.” But nowadays it is often a rather hurried and informal meal. Many people just have cereal with milk and sugar, or toast with marmalade, jam, or honey. Marmalade and jam are not the same! Marmalade is made from oranges and jam is made from other fruits. The traditional breakfast drink is tea, which people have with cold milk. Some people have coffee, often instant coffee, which is made with just hot water. Many visitors to Britain find this coffee disgusting!
For many people lunch is a quite meal. In cities there are lot of sandwich bars, where office workers can choose the kind of bread they want – brown, white, or a roll – and then all sorts of salad and meat or fish to go in the sandwich. Pubs often serve good, cheap food both hot and cold. School-children can have a hot meal at school, but many just take a snack from home – a sandwich, a drink, some fruit and perhaps some crisps. British kids eat more sweets than any other nationality.
“Tea” means two things. It is a drink and a meal! Some people have afternoon tea, with sandwiches, cakes, and, of course, a cup of tea. Cream teas are popular. You have scones (a kind of cake) with cream and jam.
The evening meal is the main meal of the day for many people. They usually have it quite early, between 6.00 and 8.00, and often the whole family eats together.
On Sundays many families have a traditional lunch. They have roast meat, either beef, lamb, chicken, or pork, with potatoes, vegetables, and gravy. Gravy is a sauce made from the meat juice.
The British like food from other countries, too, especially Italian, French, Chinese, and Indian. The British have in fact always imported food from abroad. From the time of the Roman invasion foreign trade was a major influence on British cooking. Another important influence on British cooking was of course the weather. The good old British rain gives us rich soil and green grass, and means that we are able to produce some of the finest varieties of meat, fruit and vegetables, which don’t need fancy sauces or complicated recipes to disguise their taste. People often get take-away meals – you buy the food at the restaurant and than bring it home to eat. Eating in Britain is quite international!