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American food habit

2006-07-15 11:40

  Almost any bookstore has a variety of information about the restaurants and food specialties in the area. In addition, local newspapers and magazines include advertisements and articles about where to eat.

  In general, American food is mild tasting; most Americans do not season their food to any great degree. Salads are very popular and are served all year, but especially in the summer. Waiters tend to assume that everyone drinks coffee, but simply tell them if you wish something else. If a waiter says “Now or later?” he means “Do your want coffee with your meal or after it?” Many, but certainly not all, Americans drink coffee or tea with their meals. Either way is perfectly acceptable. When dining out, you can ask for tea, milk, “coke”, wine or beer if you prefer. Restaurants can only serve beer, wine, or other alcoholic drinks if they have a license, that is, permission from the local government to serve alcoholic drinks. Normally, when eating in a private home, it is considered better manners to take whatever is being served and not to ask for something different, unless the hostess gives you a choice.

  The main course served in American meals is usually meat, fish, or poultry, but rarely is more than one of these served at the same meal. Seafood is sometimes served as a first course, however. Most Americans eat breakfast and lunch quickly unless it is a social, business, or family occasion. The evening meal, however, is usually longer and a time for the family to gather together. Rushing through daytime meals is part of the fast pace in America. Another reason for rushing through daytime meals is that many people eat breakfast and lunch in restaurants that are usually crowded with people waiting for a place so that they, too, can be served and return to work at the proper time. So each one hurries to make room for the next person. As with busy people everywhere there is a real difference between a meal that is eaten in a hurry and one that can be enjoyed with friends during one's leisure.

  Two of the most popular American foods are hot dogs and hamburgers. You will find these available at almost all “fast food” restaurants. Hot dogs are also called “franks”, a short form for frankfurters. A hot dog is usually made either from beef or pork, or a combination of the two, but a hamburger is beef. Both are served on a bread roll; hot dogs on a long roll and hamburgers on a round roll. You have your choice of adding a number of sauces and vegetables at no extra charge. A favorite sauce of many Americans is a tomato sauce called ketchup or catsup.

  When you are ordering your lunch at a “fast-food” place, do not be surprised if you do not understand the food orders —— either do many Americans. For example, “draw one”, means “pour a cup of coffee”; “BLT: means ”bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich“。 No one expects you to know this special vocabulary. Order your meal in the usual way. Eating places use their own special words to place an order quickly.

  Eating custom and practice

  American eating is funny. They eat almost everything with a fork, and it appears that holding a knife in one's right hand longer than a few seconds is considered to be against good table manners.

  The system is that if it is absolutely necessary to use a knife, people take the fork in their left hand, and cut off a piece of meat or whatever it is in the normal manner. Then they put the knife down, transfer the fork to their right hand, and only then do they transport the food to their mouth. This is clearly ludicrous, but it is considered good manners.

  Some words and phrases about food

  1. meat and two veg: meat, potatoes and another vegetable

  2. vegans: people who eat no meat or animal products

  3. convenience/prepared foods: prepared meals that need only to be heated

  4. takeaways from Indian or Chinese restaurants are also popular

  5. order in: have a meal delivered to one's home by a restaurant

  6. burger bars, pizzerias, fast-food outlets

  7. healthy eating, health foods

  8. fry-up: fried bacon, sausage and egg with fried bread

  9. organic produce: cereals and vegetables grown without the use of chemicals

  10. scrambled egg, boiled egg, fried egg, "sunny-side-up" (煎一面), "over"(两面煎),"over-easy/easy-over"(两面煎,但蛋黄仍然呈流体状)。

  11.have your ice-cream in a " plain cone"(普通型锥形物)or in a "sugar cone"(甜脆型锥形物)

  Table Manners

  1. Don't put your own utensils into a serving bowl. Use the utensil in the bowl to put some of the food on your own plate, and then return the serving utensil to the bowl.

  2. Don't spit food anywhere. If you have bones in your mouth, take them out with your fingers and place them on the edge of your plate, never on the table or on the floor.

  3. Don't drink soup out of the bowl. Use a spoon.

  4. Don't reach across the table or in front of another person. Ask someone to pass whatever you want.

  5. Don't put net shells or fruit peeling on the floor. Put them in a plate or an ash  tray, or on a table.

  6. Don't belch out loud. If you do, you must say: "Excuse me" quietly and go on with the conversation.

  7. Don't sneeze or blow your nose anywhere  except into a handkerchief or a kleenex. If you cough, cover your mouth with your hand.

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