Saturday, 5 November 2011

Objective Proficiency p 36. Food. Extra Speaking

1. MONOLOGUE. Prepare a talk of AT LEAST 5 minutes on the subject. You may use the pictures above and the contents below if you wish:

"Slow Food unites the pleasure of food with responsibility, sustainability and harmony with nature" 

- Carlo Petrini, Slow Food founder- 

Do you enjoy  leisurely meals? When was the last time you savoured every mouthful? What did you have? Don't you think we too often gobble down our food, never taking the time to enjoy the flavours and sensations of the things we crave? Do you think it is a good idea to strive to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourage farming of plants and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem? Do you think gardening skills should be taught at schools? What could we do to promote our local small businesses? Do you think it would be feasible to organise celebrations of local cuisine in regional Food Fairs? How would you educate consumers about the risks of fast food?

You may make some notes for your talk to take into the exam. These should not exceed five lines.


In this part of the test, the examiner will ask you some questions about issues related to the TOPIC. Remember that you are expected to have a conversation as natural as possible and give full answers. This part of the examination will last AT LEAST 5 minutes. You will not see the questions below.



1.  Comment on the pictures and relate them to the topic of food.

2. What do you do when you are having a meal at a restaurant and the beef is tough, the gravy is lumpy, the Yorkshire pudding is soggy, the vegetables are watery and bland and the salad is limp?

3. How do you like eggs? Hard-boiled, soft-boiled, over easy, scrambled...?  Do you think omelettes should be runny in the middle?

4. Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you think gooey chocolate cakes smothered in cream are scrumptious? Do you find fluffy and spongy cakes with icing sugar tantalizing? Or maybe you find them too sickly sweet and what you find enticing is juicy and fleshy fruit. Or is it homemade savoury food that you find luscious and tasty?

5. Can you describe the most mouth-watering meal you can recall?
6. Do you like sharp tastes? How about tangy salads or pickled cucumbers? Have you eaten anything with a pungent taste or smell lately? What food do you find overpowering?
7. What is the grossest thing you have ever eaten? Why was it unappetising?
8. Do you like soft drinks fizzy and chilled or do you mind if they have gone slightly flat and lukewarm?
9. How do you like your steak extra-rare, rare, medium rare, medium, medium well or well done?
10. Have you been to a reception or cocktail party recently? Did you have any delectable Hors d'oeuvres? What did they consist of?


Rinse something to wash something with clean water only, not using soap. E.g. Rinse the cooked pasta with boiling water. Rinse the lettuce.
Drain: to make something empty or dry by removing all the liquid from it; to become empty or dry in this way. E.g. Drain and rinse the pasta. You need a colander /ˈkʌləndə(r)/ to drain the pasta, the wire mesh (Sp. malla) sieve is too small.
Strain: /streɪn/ to pour food, etc. through something with very small holes in it, for example a sieve, in order to separate the solid part from the liquid part. E.g. Use a colander to strain the vegetables. Strain off any excess liquid.
Garnish: /ˈɡɑːnɪʃ/ garnish something (with something):to decorate a dish of food with a small amount of another food. Adornar, decorar. E.g. Garnish the chicken with almonds. Soup garnished with croutons /ˈkruːt ɒnz/. 
Top something (with something) to put something on the top of something else. E.g. fruit salad topped with cream
Dress something: to prepare food for cooking or eating. E.g. to dress a salad (= put oil or vinegar, etc. on it). To dress a chicken (= take out the parts you cannot eat).
Grate something to rub food against a grater in order to cut it into small pieces. E.g. grated apple/ carrot/ cheese, etc. Grate the cheese and sprinkle it over the tomatoes.  
Sprinkle: /ˈsprɪŋkl/ to shake small pieces of something or drops of a liquid on something. E.g. Sprinkle chocolate on top of the cake. She sprinkled sugar over the strawberries. She sprinkled the strawberries with sugar.
Drizzle something (over something): to pour a small amount of liquid over the surface of something. E.g. Drizzle the lemon juice over the fish.
Dribble something (into/over/onto something) to pour something slowly, in drops or a thin stream. E.g. Dribble a little olive oil over the salad.
Stew: /stjuː/ (N) a dish of meat and vegetables cooked slowly in liquid in a container that has a lid. Sp. estofado, guiso. E.g. beef stew and dumplings (balls of dough). I'm making a stew for lunch. 
Stew (something): (V) /stjuː/ to cook something slowly, or allow something to cook slowly, in liquid in a closed dish. Sp. estofar, guisar. E.g. stewed apples. The meat needs to stew for two hours.
Braise: /breɪz/ to cook meat or vegetables very slowly with a little liquid in a closed container. Sp. estofar, cocer a fuego lento, guisar. E.g. braising steak (= that is suitable for braising ). The liver is then braised in olive oil.
Soupy: /ˈsuːpi/ having the appearance or consistency of soup. E.g. a soupy stew.

Squeamish: easily made to feel sick or disgusted. E.g.  I've never been squeamish about food. One of my favorite dishes is steamed chicken feet.
Fussy: fastidious (Sp. meticuloso, maniático) about one’s needs or requirements; hard to please. E.g. A fussy eater. He is very fussy about what he eats. 
Picky: (of a person) liking only particular things and difficult to please. Fussy. E.g. a picky eater. She's very picky about her clothes. 
Peck at something: to eat only a very small amount of a meal because you are not hungry. Pick at. E.g. She sat nervously pecking at her food.
Pick at something: to eat food slowly, taking small amounts or bites because you are not hungry. E.g. She sat at the table in silence, picking at her dinner. 
peckish: slightly hungry. E.g. Is there anything to eat? I’m feeling a bit peckish. starting to get peckish.
work something up

to develop or improve something with some effort. E.g. I can't work up any enthusiasm for his idea. She went for a long walk to work up an appetite
Living on them (live on something (often disapproving) to eat only or a lot of a particular type of food. E.g. She lives on burgers.
Leisurely: /ˈleʒəli/ Adj. done without hurrying. E.g. A leisurely meal.
Savour: /ˈseɪvə(r)/ (V) 1. to enjoy the full taste or flavour of something, especially by eating or drinking it slowly. E.g. He ate his meal slowly, savouring every mouthful.
Devour something: /dɪˈvaʊə(r)/ to eat all of something quickly, especially because you are very hungry. Gobble up. E.g. He devoured half of his burger in one bite.
Gobble: /ˈɡɒbl/ to eat something very fast, in a way that people consider rude or greedy. E.g.
Don't gobble your food like that! Gobble something up/ down They gobbled down all the sandwiches.
Wolf: /wʊlf/ wolf something (down) (informal) to eat food very quickly, especially by putting a lot of it in your mouth at once.
guzzle (something) (informal, usually disapproving) to drink something quickly and in large amounts. In British English it also means to eat food quickly and in large amounts. E.g. The kids seem to be guzzling soft drinks all day. (figurative) My car guzzles fuel.
Crave (for) something / crave to do something to have a very strong desire for something. Long for. E.g. She has always craved excitement.
Strive /straɪv/ strove /strəʊv/ striven /ˈstrɪvn/: to try very hard to achieve something. E.g. strive (for something) We encourage all members to strive for the highest standards. Strive (against something) striving against corruption. Strive to do something Newspaper editors all strive to be first with a story. She strove to find a solution that was acceptable to all.
Livestock: /ˈlaɪvstɒk/ the animals kept on a farm, for example cows or sheep.  
Feasible: /ˈfiːzəbl/ that is possible and likely to be achieved. Practicable. E.g. a feasible plan/suggestion/idea
Tough: / tʌf/ (meat) difficult to cut or chew. E.g. the hastily prepared steak was tough.
Tender: (of food) easy to bite through and cut. E.g. This meat is extremely tender. Boil the beans until they are tender.
Gravy: /ˈɡreɪvi/ a brown sauce made by adding flour to the juices that come out of meat while it is cooking.
Lumpy: /ˈlʌmpi/ full of lumps (Sp. grumos). E.g. lumpy sauce. 
Smooth: /smuːð/ (of a liquid mixture) without any lumps. Sp. sin grumos, homogéneo. E.g. Mix the flour with the milk to form a smooth paste.
Yorkshire pudding: /ˌjɔːkʃə ˈpʊdɪŋ/ a type of British food made from batter (a mixture of eggs, milk and flour) that is baked until it rises, traditionally eaten with roast beef.

Soggy: /ˈsɒɡi/ wet and soft, usually in a way that is unpleasant. E.g. soggy bread. 

Watery: 1. containing a lot of water. E.g. Watermelons are watery. 2. (of food, drink, etc.) containing too much water; thin and having no taste. Aguado. E.g. The vegetables were watery and tasteless. Watery soup.
Bland: /blænd/ not having a strong or interesting taste. Unseasoned, mild-tasting, or insipid. Sp. insípido, soso. E.g. a rather bland diet of soup, fish and bread. A bland and unadventurous vegetarian dish.
Limp: not stiff or firm. E.g. a limp salad.
Crunchy: /ˈkrʌntʃi/ firm and crisp and making a sharp sound when you bite or crush it. Sp. crujiente. E.g. a crunchy salad.
discerning: able to show good judgement about the quality of somebody/something. E.g. The discerning customer will recognize this as a high quality product. To the discerning eye , the quality may seem quite poor.
Hard-boiled: (of an egg) boiled until the inside is hard. Soft-boiled boiled for a short time so that the yolk is still soft or liquid.
Soft-boiled: (of eggs) boiled for a short time so that the yolk is still soft or liquid. E.g. soft-boiled eggs. 
fried egg: A fried egg is an egg cooked in oil or fat. E.g. Would you like your fried eggs over easy or sunny side up
Over easy: (of fried eggs) turned over when almost cooked and fried for a short time on the other side.

sunny side up: If a fried egg is served sunny side up, it is cooked on one side only, with the yellow part on top. E.g. I want my eggs sunny side up. 

Scrambled: (of eggs) cooked by mixing the white and yellow parts together and heating them, sometimes with milk and butter. E.g. scrambled eggs.

Runny: having more liquid than is usual; not solid. E.g. runny honey. Omelettes should be runny in the middle. A runny Spanish omelette.

poach something to cook an egg gently in nearly boiling water after removing its shell. E.g. poached eggs.

eggs Benedict (poached eggs with bacon and Hollandaise sauce)

Have a sweet tooth: (informal) to like food that contains a lot of sugar.
Gooey: /ˈɡuːi/ (informal) soft and sticky. E.g. gooey chocolate cakes. 

moist: /mɔɪst/ slightly wet. E.g. warm moist air. a rich moist cake.

Smothered with/in something: /ˈsmʌðə(r)/ 1. thickly covered or with too much of something. E.g. a rich dessert smothered in cream. Smothered in tomato sauce. The meat was smothered in thick sauce. Rich orange sorbets /ˈsɔːbeɪ/ smothered in fluffy (soft, light and containing air) whipped cream. 2. cooked in a covered container. E.g. smothered fried chicken.

Scrumptious: /ˈskrʌm(p)ʃəs/ (of food) extremely appetizing or delicious. E.g. a scrumptious chocolate tart.
Fluffy: /ˈflʌfi/ (of food) soft, light and containing air. E.g. Beat the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.

Spongy: /ˈspʌndʒi/ soft and able to absorb water easily like a sponge. E.g. The bread had a spongy texture. A spongy cake.

Icing sugar: (US confectioner's sugar, powdered sugar) fine white powder made from sugar, that is mixed with water to make icing (US frosting).

Tantalizing: /ˈtæntəˌlaɪzɪŋ/ Something tantalizing is tempting: like a meal that smells amazing and makes you want to eat it. Tantalizing things are very appealing. Sp. tentador. E.g. The tantalizing aroma of fresh coffee wafted (drifted) towards them. The tantalizing fragrance of fried bacon. A tantalizing display of chocolates.
Smells — when they're good smells — can be very tantalizing. Just walking through a good restaurant, smelling and looking at the food, is a tantalizing experience.
Sickly: that makes you feel sick, especially because it is too sweet or full of false emotion. E.g. a sickly sweet smell. She gave me a sickly smile.
Enticing: /ɪnˈtaɪsɪŋ/ something that is enticing is so attractive and interesting that you want to have it. Sp. apetecible, tentador. E.g. An enticing smell came from the kitchen. Enticing food. Enticing aromas.
Juicy: /ˈdʒuːsi/ containing a lot of juice and good to eat. E.g. soft juicy pears. The meat was tender and juicy.
Fleshy: (of plants, fruit) thick and soft. Carnoso. E.g. fleshy fruit/leaves.
Savoury: /ˈseɪvəri/1 having a taste that is salty not sweet. E.g. savoury snacks. 2 having a pleasant taste or smell. E.g. a savoury smell from the kitchen.
Luscious: /ˈlʌʃəs/ having a strong pleasant taste. Delicious. E.g. Luscious fruit.
Mouth-watering: mouth-watering food looks or smells so good that you want to eat it immediately. Tempting. E.g. a mouth-watering display of cakes.
Sharp (of a taste or smell) strong and slightly bitter; (of food or drink) having a sharp taste. Ácido. E.g. The cheese has a distinctively sharp taste. 
Tangy: /ˈtæŋi/ (adj) having a strong, piquant flavour or smell. Sp. ácido. E.g. a tangy salad. A refreshing tangy lemon flavour. Tang: /tæŋ/ (noun) a strong sharp taste or smell. E.g. the tang of lemons. 
Pickled: /ˈpɪkld/ preserved in vinegar. E.g. pickled cabbage/ herring (arenque)/ onions.
Cucumber: /ˈkjuːkʌmbə(r)/
Piquant: /ˈpiːkənt/ having a pleasantly strong or spicy taste. Sp. sabroso. Bien sazonado. E.g. chicken served with a piquant wild mushroom sauce.
Pungent: /ˈpʌndʒənt/ having a strong taste or smell. E.g. the pungent smell of burning rubber. The air was pungent with the smell of spices.
Overpowering: /ˌəʊvəˈpaʊərɪŋ/ very strong or powerful. E.g. an overpowering smell of fish. An overpowering personality. The heat was overpowering. The overpowering stench (a strong, very unpleasant smell) of rotting fish. Go easy on the complimentary toppings — sauerkraut, sweet peppers, caramelized onions — which can be overpowering.
Gross: /ɡrəʊs/ very unpleasant. Disgusting. E.g. ‘He ate it with mustard.’ ‘Oh, gross!’
Heave: to experience the tight feeling in your stomach that you get before you vomit. E.g. The thought of eating trotters makes me heave. His stomach heaved.
trotter: a pig’s foot, especially when cooked and eaten as food.
nauseating: /ˈnɔːzieɪtɪŋ/ making you feel that you want to vomit. E.g. a nauseating smell.
Unappetising (also unappetizing) /ʌnˈæpɪtaɪzɪŋ/ (of food) unpleasant to eat; looking as if it will be unpleasant to eat. E.g. an unappetizing leg of chicken.

Alcoholic: /ˌælkəˈhɒlɪk/ E.g. alcoholic drinks. Non-alcoholic: (of a drink) not containing any alcohol. E.g. a non-alcoholic drink. Can I have something non-alcoholic?
Soft: E.g. a soft drink (a cold drink that does not contain alcohol)
Hard: [only before noun] strongly alcoholic. E.g. Hard liquor /ˈlɪkə(r)/. (Informal) a drop of the hard stuff (= a strong alcoholic drink).  
Sparkling: /ˈspɑːklɪŋ/ containing bubbles of gas. Fizzy. E.g. a sparkling wine. Sparkling mineral water.
Fizzy: having bubbles of gas in it. Sparkling. E.g. fizzy drinks. The wine was pink and slightly fizzy.
Bubbly: containing bubbles. E.g. bake until the top is crisp and bubbly. A bubbly drink.
Flat: no longer having bubbles in it; not fresh. E.g. The soda was warm and had gone flat.
Chilled: very cold but not frozen. E.g. This wine is best served chilled. Chilled foods (= for example in a supermarket). Chilled champagne.
Lukewarm: /ˌluːkˈwɔːm/ slightly warm, sometimes in an unpleasant way. Tepid. E.g. Our food was only lukewarm. Heat the milk until it is just lukewarm. Her coffee was now lukewarm.
Tepid: /ˈtepɪd/ slightly warm, sometimes in a way that is not pleasant. E.g. tepid tea. A tepid bath.
Raw: not cooked. E.g. raw meat. These fish are often eaten raw. 
Extra-rare: (also blue) (of meat) very red and cold.
Rare: (of meat) cooked for only a short time so that the inside is still red. ‘How would you like your steak?’ ‘Rare.’
Medium rare: (of meat) warm red center; firmer.
Medium: (of meat) pink and firm. E.g. a medium steak (= one cooked quite well but not too much)
Medium well: small amount of pink in the center
Well done: (of food, especially meat) cooked thoroughly or for a long time. He prefers his steak well done.
Underdone: not completely cooked.  
Overdone: cooked for too long. E.g. The fish was overdone and very dry.  
Delectable: /dɪˈlektəbl/ (of food and drink) extremely pleasant to taste, smell or look at. 
Hors d'oeuvre: /ˌɔː ˈdɜːv/ plural hors d'oeuvres /ˌɔː ˈdɜːv/ a small amount of food, usually cold, served before the main part of a meal.

vol-au-vent /ˈvɒl ə vɒ̃/
(translation — Fly with the Wind)
a small round case of light pastry filled with meat, fish, etc. in a cream sauce, often eaten with your fingers at parties. E.g. there were wild mushroom vol-au-vent pastries with creamy cheese sauce served as hors d'oeuvres. Vol au Vent  may be filled with sweet or savory fillings and served as hors d'oeuvres or as a main dish.

nibbles [plural] small things to eat with a drink before a meal or at a party. E.g. wine and nibbles.

appetiser: (also appetizer) /ˈæpɪtaɪzə(r)/ a small amount of food or a drink that you have before a meal. E.g. Some green olives make a simple appetizer. This wine should be served chilled as an appetizer.

batter: (N)  a mixture of eggs, milk and flour used in cooking to cover food such as fish or chicken before you fry it, or to make pancakes. E.g. pancake batter. a batter thin enough to be poured. coat in batter, roll in batter, dip in batter. Coat the croquettes in batter before frying them. Sp. Rebocen las croquetas antes de freírlas.
batter (V) cover with batter. E.g. We batter the shrimp before deep-frying them. 

battered fish and chips with garden peas

breadcrumbs: very small pieces of bread that can be used in cooking fish. E.g. coated with breadcrumbs. roll in breadcrumbs. 

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