Good manners are important at meal times, though people worry less about table manners than they once did now that many meals are less formal. When eating at a table with other people, it is considered polite to keep your napkin (= a peace of material or paper used to wipe your mouth) below the table on your lap, to chew with your mouth closed and not talk with food in your mouth, to keep your elbows off the table a lot of food all at once, or to take more until it is offered. It is also better to ask somebody to pass the salt, etc. rather than to reach across the table for it.
When invited to a meal at somebody else’s house people often take a bottle of wine or chocolate or flowers, as a gift. Apart from this, it is not usual to give presents to people you do not know well. It is not considered polite to look round other people’s houses without being invited to do so and people usually ask where the toilet is rather than going to look for it. Man people do not smoke and visitor should ask permission before they smoke in somebody’s house. Close friends are much less formal in each other’s houses and may get their own drinks and help to clear away the meal.
Table manners in Britain
Although rules regarding table manners are not very strict in Britain, it is considered rude to eat and drink noisily. At formal meals, the cutlery is placed in the order in which it will be used, starting from the outside and working in. the dessert spoon and fork are usually laid at the top of your place setting, not at the side. After each course, the knife and fork should be laid side by side in the middle of the plate. This shows that you have finished and the plate ca be removed. If you leave the knife and fork apart, it will show that you have not yet finished eating. It is considered impolite to smoke between courses unless your hosts say otherwise. It is polite to ask permission before you smoke in people’s homes. In Britain, smoking is now forbidden in many public places, e.g. on the underground, on stations, in shops, in theatres and in cinemas.
Meals in Britain
A traditional English breakfast is very big meal – sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms.... But nowadays 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 fruit. 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 quick meal. In cities there are a lot of sandwiches bars, where office workers can choose the kind of bread they want – brown, white or 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.
Tea means two things. It is a drink and 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 Sunday 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 juices.
The British like food from other countries, too, especially Italian, French, Chinese and Indian. People often get takeaways meals – you buy food at the restaurant and then bring it home to eat. Eating in Britain is quite international!
Desserts/puddings – apple strudel, chocolate pudding – čok. koláč, doughnut – šiška, pancake, Cheddar cheese, ice-cream, sponge – piškótový koláč, gingerbread, biscuits, wafers – oblátky, fruit trifle – ovocný pohár s vanil. Pudingom, custard, sundae – zmrzlinový pohár
Fruit – pineapple – ananás, pistachio /pisteišiou/, grapes – hrozno, pears /perz/ - hrušky, plums – slivky, prunes – sušené slivky, water/melon, apricots – marhule, peaches – broskyne, cherries, lemon, orange, tangerines, mandarins, nectarines, damsons – ringlóty, figs, dates – ďatle, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts – liskovce, almonds – mandle, cashew – kešu, quince – dula
Drinks/beverages – nápoje – beer: porter – silné čierne, lager – ležiak, aperitif, cider – jablkový mušt, chilled – chladené, champagne /šempei/, sparkling wine – šumivé víno, lemonade, sodas, soft drinks, juice, wine” dry and sweet, sauce – omáčka, gravy – šťava z mäsa pri tepelnej úprave
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