IELTS Speaking Part 2
Describe a traditional dish from your country that you personally enjoy eating.
You should say:
- the name of the dish
- what ingredients are used to make it
- why you enjoy it
and explain what significance this dish has in your country’s culinary culture.
I’d like to tell you about hummus, a famous Turkish dish. There are various theories about the origin of the recipe. Some say it is Syria, others claim it to be from Egypt. I like to think that Lebanon is responsible for introducing the world to this delicious dish. The ingredients are quite simple: chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini, the last one is a ground sesame seed condiment. Said ingredients are mixed into a thick dip that can be a separate dish, an appetiser, or an addition to a full course. I am very fond of it for its unparalleled taste and because of how nutritious it is – it really makes you feel full of energy.
The significance of this dish is difficult to explain. Maybe it has helped to put Lebanon on the culinary map of the world? This is arguable though, as it is uncertain where hummus originally came from. What I can definitely say is that it is a big part of national cuisine and can often be seen served for family celebrations.
IELTS Speaking Part 3
Food and diets
With the rise of plant-based diets and alternative protein sources, do you think traditional meat-based cuisine will become less popular in the future? Why/why not?
This is likely to be the case, yes. In order to understand this dynamic and how it progresses, let’s take some factors into account. A major contributor is the ever-increasing popularity of vegetarian diet and its multiple variations. People give up eating meat for a number of reasons – their beliefs, taste preferences or intolerance to certain products, to name a few. The general trend is on the rise and it is likely to continue. Secondly, meat is getting more expensive. A good slice of tenderloin is almost twice as expensive as it was several years ago. This could partly be attributed to yearly inflation, but there is another factor at play here. Stricter health and quality standards get included in the price, and the consumer ends up paying for all of that. While not a bad thing in itself, such regulations do make meat less affordable to us.
Should people be encouraged to eat more healthily? Why?
This is an ethical question, so we have to bear this fact in mind. Can you make a person live the way you see fit, or should they be entitled to freedom in all regards? Even if you think you know better, you have no moral right to order a person around. If we forfeit the ethical aspect, then definitely, people should by all means be encouraged to have healthier diets. The general populace should be educated on the numerous benefits of a well-balanced, nutritionally-rich diet.
People need to be more informed. Some are oblivious, and many simply live in denial of how essential proper food is for us. I say we should educate them on the matter in a non-intrusive way. Changes take time, and they have to be organic to be met with acceptance. If we abide by these principles, it ought to work out for everyone just fine.
Obesity among young people is a growing concern in many countries. How can this situation be solved?
Obesity means calorific surplus, so you either have to eat less or spend more energy. Let’s consider these two options. Cutting down on nutrient intake is a big stress, both physically and mentally. It takes considerable willpower to force yourself not to eat less food than the amount you have grown accustomed to. Effectively, this can do more harm than good, so cutting down on food has to be taken at a pace that is comfortable. The second approach is to increase physical activity. This forces the body to make use of the stockpiled nutrients in the form of fat, therefore slowly but steadily making the person more fit. The benefits go beyond weight loss, but let’s focus on the matter at hand.
As with most things in life, dieting should have moderation. If one takes it easy, it is naturally going to feel less stressful. Therefore, ideally, a person aiming to lose weight should combine the two approaches. Eat a bit less, introduce some exercise routine into your life, and you will see your weight go back to normal in no time!
Eating in and out
In your opinion, what are the advantages of eating at home instead of dining out?
To kick off with the obvious reasons, it is much cheaper. A good example is a steak. A restaurant-served steak is going to cost you three to six times more than a home-cooked one. Naturally, at the restaurant you are supposedly getting one cooked by a professional, but the markup is still ridiculously high. This is true for most dishes if you go dining out, as you have to pay for the service and other things.
Another reason for choosing to eat at home is confidence in what you eat. There’s no telling how fresh the ingredients are at your place of choice for the night. Nor can you check the credentials of the cook who makes the food for you. There is a lot of uncertainty involved, so one might as well cook their own food to stay on the safe side. However, this downside can be disregarded if you have been coming to a place for years or if it is a popular chain with strict quality control. Then the risks of food poisoning or subpar services are minimal.
How has the trend of ordering food online affected the restaurant industry?
One might think that it has affected the restaurant in the worst way possible. I mean, much fewer people come to the restaurants now, they don’t leave tips, and there is no service charge either. But it’s not that grim for the catering industry entrepreneurs. Come to think of it, now they can scale their business almost indefinitely through delivery. The restaurant can accommodate only so many people, not matter how big it is. With deliveries, only sky is the limit. And this doesn’t always mean fewer clients coming to the establishment itself. Some just can’t resist the glamour of attending a nice eatery. Therefore, if anything, the development of the online food service sector only contributed to the financial flourishing of such businesses.
What is the role of social media in promoting eating culture and habits?
It seems that there is no single direction in which social media platforms shape the way we eat. People love bragging about their visits to expensive restaurants. They share pictures of the food and sometimes even the bill with astronomical figures. This prompts others to live the high life as well, regardless of whether they can afford it. This results in more people going for restaurant food, even if it is not within their means.
Another possible influence social media could have on the way we approach food is a positive one. There are lots of cooking bloggers around, and some of them are worth following. They provide great cooking tips and open the exciting world of culinary arts to the masses. This effectively popularises a more mindful and informed approach to cooking, enabling people to eat delicious, healthy and reasonably priced dishes.
Food and cuisine vocabulary