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II. Read, translate and retell the text: Meals

Living in Russia one cannot but stick to a Russian diet. Keeping this diet for an Englishman is fatal. The Russians have meals four times a day and their cuisine is quite intricate.

Every person starts his or her day with breakfast. Englishmen are sen­tenced to either a continental or an English breakfast. From the Russian point of view, when one has it continental it actually means that one has no breakfast at all, because it means drinking a cup of coffee and eating a bun. A month of continental breakfasts for some Russians would mean starving. The English breakfast is a bit better, as it consists of one or two fried eggs, grilled sausages, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms. The English have tea with milk and toast with butter and marmalade. As a choice one may have corn flakes with milk and sugar or porridge.

Round about 11 in the morning some Englishmen who work have their tea or coffee break. In the morning Americans have a bowl of serial or bacon eggs, toast with jelly and a cup of tea or coffee. They also like pancakes with maple syrup.Then at mid-day, say from I till 2, the city pavements are full of people on their way to cafes. This is lunch time in Great Britain. At lunch people seldom eat soup. Those who have lunch at home may eat chicken or clear soup but not always. They usually have a meat course and a sweet dish. Englishmen like steaks, chops, roast-beef, Yorkshire pudding or fish and chips. A meat course is served with plenty of vegetables: peas, beans, or cauliflower.

A sweat dish is perhaps fruit and pudding or a pie with tea to follow. The usual noon time meal consists of some­thing light, and quick to eat. It could range from a hot, dog or hamburger from a restaurant or something they have packed in a brown bag. Afternoon tea can hardly be called a meal. Tea drinking is quite a tradition with the English. Strong tear is mostly drunk with sugar and cream or milk. Such tea is known as English tea. Tea with lemon is called Russian tea in England.

The evening meal, when all the family gather round the table after their working day, goes under various names: tea, high tea, dinner or supper. It is usually a meat course followed by tinned fruit or a cake and tea. In Great Britain they have dinner at five or six. Soup may be served then, but one should not be misled by the word "soup". British soup is just thin paste and a portion is three times smaller than in Russia. A lot of British prefer to eat out "Fish and Chips" shops are very popular with their take-away food. The more sophisticated public goes to Chinese, Italian, seafood or other restau­rants and experiments with shrimp, inedible vegetables and hot drinks.

When outing, that is on a picnic, the English load their lunches on baskets with all sorts of hamburgers or sandwiches made of slices of bread and butter with ham, cheese, raw tomatoes, cabbage leaves in between. Americans seldom eat large lunches and don't enjoy very many "sweets".

In Russia people may have anything for breakfast. Some good-humoured individuals even prefer soup, but, of course, sandwiches and coffee are very popular. Russians like fried or boiled potatoes with some sausage or ham or a chop (cutlet). Sometimes we prefer an omelette, boiled or fried eggs or just some porridge.

The heart of a Russian person fills with joy when the hands of the clock approach three o'clock. His or her dinner includes three courses. A Russian will have a starter (salad, herring, cheese, etc.), soup, steaks, chops, or fish fillets with garnish, a lot of bread, of course, and something to drink. For the I-st course we eat chicken soup or cab­bage soup (shchi), or beetroot and cabbage 'soup (borshch), noodle soup or just broth. Some people choose mushroom soup or fish-soup. For the 2-nd course Russians eat different kinds of salad (meat salad, fish. salad, vegetable salad), fried, boiled or stewed meat or fish. At times we cook a roast chicken, espe­cially on holidays. For the 3-d course (for dessert) we have a glass of juice, a piece of a cake or a pie (cookies) if we aren’t on a diet.

At four or five the Russians may have a bite: waffles, cakes with juice, tea, cocoa, or something of the kind.

Supper in Russia means one more big meal at seven. The table groans with food again. Some people prefer mashed potatoes with pickled or fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions (leek). Others eat stewed cabbage with a beefsteak or fried liver or kidneys. Russians also like stuffed peppers, tomatoes, squashes, potatoes. A special Rus­sian dish is, "pyelmeni", a kind of ravioli - small cases of pasta containing chopped meat. After that we have a glass of milk or stewed fruit with bis­cuits, crackers, or sweets (candies). But if you are thirsty you drink a coke, lemonade, some beer or even champagne.

Most Russians have never counted calories and they are deeply con­vinced that their food is healthy. Some housewives may admit that it takes some time to prepare all the stuff, including pickles, home-made preserves and traditional Russian pies and pancakes. But they don't seem to mind too much and boil, fry, roast, grill, broil, bake and make. Paraphrasing a famous proverb one can say:

“What is a Russian man's meal is a British man's poison”.

Americans often have dinner at about 5:00 p. m.

It is usually the largest meal of the day. It consists of milk, vegetable and some type of meat. Americans also enjoy carrots, peas, spinach, beets, tomatoes, green beans, squash and many other types of vegetables.

The meat could be chicken, turkey beef or pork. Many Americans enjoy a salad with their dinner. They either have vegetables from a can or they buy them fresh from the supermarket.

Americans seldom have dessert and if, they do it is usually very light.

They seldom sit at the table and eat for very long; they “eat and run”. But many people have different tastes and enjoy different food.

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