Food and eating habits (in english speaking countries)
In different parts of Britain people have different eating habits. Most of them have five or six meals a day: breakfast, elevenses, lunch, tea, dinner and later perhaps supper.
The British like to begin the day with a cup of coffee or tea. Then they have a leisurely breakfast. The traditional English breakfast starts with cereals - cornflakes with milk or porridge, an oats pudding, which is very tasty and nourishing. This can be followed by fried bacon and eggs or sausages with grilled tomatoes. They round off with many cups of tea or coffee and a marmalade toast.
Nowadays such a breakfast is not very common, only at weekends, when people have more time. Most Englishmen prefer lighter and quicker meal and have a bowl of cornflakes, toast and marmalade, and coffee or tea, of course.
Later in the morning they have elevenses, which is usually not more than a cup of tea and biscuits. Sometimes, often at weekends, when they get up later, they have brunch, a combination meal, which is eaten for breakfast and lunch.
The midday meal is called the lunch and is usually fairly light, consisting of a warm dish and a dessert, or just ham and cheese sandwiches and some fruit.
Around four o’clock in the afternoon the English have teatime. The meal consists of thin slices of bread and butter with cheese, fish, ham, or a meat paste, perhaps some vegetables as lettuce or tomatoes. This is followed by jam, tarts or cakes. Then there are several cups of strong tea with milk.
Dinner, the main meal, is served in the evening at around 7 o’clock, when all members of the family are at home. It may have three or four courses. The meal consists of soup, fried fish and chips or meat with vegetables. Beef, mutton and lamb are preferred to pork in England. The English cookery is famous for meat puddings and meat pies, which are usually served at dinner. As a dessert they can have a fruit salad, a pie, jelly, custard or ice cream.
Later in the evening more tea, cocoa, milk, sandwiches, cold meat or biscuits may be eaten as supper.
Recently there have been great changes in eating habits. English favorites, sausages, fried eggs, bacon and chips are on decline, as many people think that too much fat may cause diseases such as diabetes and heart disease or spoil their figures. Therefore they drink more skimmed milk, prefer fibrous brown bread to white one, eat less butter and cut down meat. About 10 % of all young people are now vegetarian.
It is difficult to say what American people prefer for their meals, because the United States is a country with many different ethnic groups with different eating habits. Many popular dishes, which are considered typically American, are of foreign origin and were brought to America by Italian, Mexican, Greek, Turkish, Chinese and other people.
The breakfast usually consists of juice or coffee, eggs, toast, fruit and cereals. Pancakes and muffins are popular breakfast food too. Some people do not eat any breakfast at all but simply have a cup of coffee.
Lunch often consists of a BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) sandwich, hamburgers of various types, hot dogs or pizza.
Many people in the U.S. have dinner between 5 and 7 o’clock. It is often the biggest meal of the day when fried steak or fish and chips are served. Then there is a dessert.
Many Americans like to have lunch and dinner out – at snack bars, fast food restaurants or more expensive restaurants. Those, who want to eat at home without preparing the meal, can use take-away services. Some meals, especially pizza, can also be ordered to be delivered home. On some occasions Americans like to eat outdoors and have picnics or barbecues.