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You might follow clothes fashion - but do you follow food fashion? We serve you a banquet of food trends. Practise your reading skills and pick up some new vocabulary.


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Food fashions

Hungry for the new

What did you eat for lunch today? Did you choose this dish because it was healthy, cheap or because it was… well, just very tasty? Are you a fussy eater or an adventurous gourmet? Come with us to savour some of the current trends in food.

To do

Read this article about food fashions. While you're reading, see if you can work out which of the food trends it describes is the oldest. The answer is at the bottom of the article.


Part 1
Satay chicken pizza might have made my purist Italian grandmother squeeze her tomatoes in anger and turn her nose up in disgust, but this marriage of tastes is perfectly fine in the 21st century. It's part of what we call 'fusion cuisine'. Chef and food writer Ching-He Huang, who presented a series on Chinese Food for the BBC, is a fan of the movement. "Fusion has been happening for centuries, for as long as people have travelled," she says. "You would take your comfort food, noodles, perhaps, with you, and then use whatever you could find locally to make it taste of home. But with the internet, and global travel, the exchange of ideas makes the process much faster."

Part 2
Wolfgang Puck is seen by many as one of the chefs who made 'fusion' elegant. He cut his teeth in his native Vienna and made a name for himself when he opened his own restaurant in Los Angeles in the 70s. This European delved into Asian cuisine and became one of the first in a long line of celebrity chefs. He said in an interview to the Wall Street Journal that initially he got negative responses from traditional American-Chinese restaurant owners but he is not bitter. "I believe authenticity is about evolution, not repeating your grandmother's recipe," he explains. "Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colours, there are only so many flavours – it's how you combine them that sets you apart."

Part 3
The act of cooking food can make Puck feel like an artist, and it can also wake up the mad scientist in some of his peers. Londoner Heston Blumenthal became well-known for mastering what's known as 'molecular gastronomy'. His kitchen is more of a lab, in which he uses dry ice, centrifuge machines and Petri dishes. Items on his menu are said to involve dozens of ingredients, and it includes delicacies such as snail porridge and bacon and egg ice cream. Blumenthal believes that eating uses all five senses, which send messages to the brain where the memory helps us to decide if we like a particular food or not. If you eat oysters while you are listening to the sound of the sea, they are supposed to taste better.

Part 4
My granny would take fusion food and molecular gastronomy with a pinch of salt. Probably her cup of tea would be the Slow Food Movement. It was founded by her countryman Carlo Petrini in the 1980s and it seeks to preserve regional cuisine and the use of ingredients that are grown locally. The movement is a reaction against the popularisation of fast food, industrial food production and globalisation. Petrini says he wants to see farmers connected more directly with consumers.

Part 5
All these trends give us food for thought. Are we eating healthily? Are we really enjoying our food or are we scoffing a sandwich at our desks because we don't have time to take lunch anymore? That's it for me: I'm going to the coffee shop around the corner to get myself a 'cronut'! What’s a cronut? Well, that's what you have when you marry a French croissant with an American doughnut. A feast of calories that will excite my palate and then live on in my hips. Maybe next time, instead of writing about food fashions I might be writing about … fad diets!

The answer to our question:

The oldest trend that the article mentions is 'fusion food', which, according to chef and food writer Ching-He Huang, "has been happening for centuries, for as long as people have travelled", but now has just intensified.

To do

Here are more questions for you to check how much of the article you can understand and how well you've learnt adverbs. Have a 'second helping' of the article and… savour it!

Food fashions quiz

7 Questions

Choose the best answer to check your understanding of the article

Excellent! เยี่ยม! แย่หน่อย! คุณทำคะแนนได้:
x / y

End of Session 3

How was that? Has it given you an appetite for learning more English? Join us in Session 4 where Rob is in the kitchen. He will teach you how to prepare an authentic English dish!


Session Vocabulary

  • fussy eater
    someone who chooses what they eat very carefully and refuses to eat things they don't like

    someone who likes to eat food of very high quality

    enjoy (normally used when you are talking about food)

    someone who follows very traditional rules

    turn up her nose
    reject something because she believes it is not good

    cut his teeth
    did something for the first time

    made a name for himself
    became well-known for being good at something

    delved into
    studied something carefully to find out more about it

    (here) resentful, angry

    the quality of being real or genuine

    similar people in a group

    becoming very good at doing something

    dry ice
    frozen carbon dioxide, easy to identify by its very low temperature and white smoke

    centrifuge machines
    machines which separate solids in liquids by rotating at high speed

    Petri dishes
    glass dishes traditionally used in laboratories to grow bacteria

    food that is expensive and eaten only on special occasions 

    with a pinch of salt
    (here) with suspicion that something might not be true

    cup of tea
    (here) preference

    food for thought
    something that makes you think about something

    eating quickly and with enthusiasm

    something that is very popular for a brief period of time

    second helping
    a second serving of the same food