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American Food

When we speak about American food, we always imagine hamburgers and hot dogs, fried chicken and giant steaks. But in fact Americans eat every kind of food imaginable, even spaghetti and pizza. The expression "as American as apple pie" means something that is typically American, but even apple pie came from somewhere else. The only true American foods are those that the Native Americans gave the first settlers, including corn, squash, pumpkin and turkey. Roast turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie are still eaten at Thanksgiving.

The typical day starts with breakfast. During the week this might be something quick: cereal with milk, a muffin or toast with coffee, tea, milk or juice. On the weekends when people have more time, breakfast might be pancakes, waffles, an omelet, or bacon and eggs.

Lunch at work or school is usually between 12 and 1 pm. Some people prefer to bring their lunch from home. Tuna fish, sliced meat called cold cuts or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are kids' favorites. Most schools and some businesses have cafeterias that serve lunch.

Dinner, the biggest meal of the day, is generally at 6 or 7 pm. A typical dinner includes a hot vegetable, a salad, meat, and a potato or pasta dish. Stew (meat cooked with vegetables) and soup are also favorite dinner foods.

Americans love desserts. The standard dessert is pie. You can have fruit pies made from apple, peach, apricot or cherry, or berry pies with blackberry, raspberry or blueberry. A piece of pie is often served with ice cream.

But the truth is that Americans don't have much time for old-fashioned cooking at home. Quick snacks all through the day have taken its place. Takeout meals from restaurants and pizza parlors have become a regular part of everyday life. Ready-to-eat and instant processed foods that are quick to prepare are also very popular. TV dinners are complete dinners on a tray that you take from the freezer and heat up in the oven or micro-wave.

An enormous fast-food industry gives hungry Americans the snacks they want when they want them. Ice cream, popcorn and hot dogs are on sale everywhere. Best known, perhaps, is the McDonalds hamburger business.

But fast food makes you fat, that's why Americans are the fattest people in the world. More and more Americans worry about it and. take greater interest in their health. The fashion for health food is growing all the time. Among middle-class people salads, beans and fruit have taken the place of steak and ice cream. Drinking is going down too. Smart businesspeople order mineral water, not wine, at their business. So now Americans pay more attention to their eating habits.


steak — бифштекс
imaginable — который можно вообразить
expression — выражение
as American as apple pie — типично американский
apple pie — яблочный пирог
true — настоящий, истинный
settler — поселенец
squash — кабачок
pumpkin — тыква
turkey — индейка
roast — жареный
Thanksgiving — День благодарения (официальный праздник в память первых колонистов Массачусетса, отмечается в последний четверг ноября)
cereal — блюдо из хлебных злаков
muffin — сдобная булка
waffles — вафли
tuna fish — тунец
sliced meat — мясная нарезка
peanut butter — паста из тертого арахиса
to include — включать
pasta — макаронные изделия
stew — рагу, тушеное мясо
peach — персик
cherry — вишня
blackberry — ежевика
raspberry — малина
blueberry — черника
piece — кусок
old-fashioned — несовременный, старомодный, старинный
snack — легкая закуска
pizza parlor — пиццерия
instant processed foods — продукты быстрого приготовления
to prepare — готовить
complete — полный, полностью укомплектованный


1. What traditional American dishes do you know?
2. What kind of American food have you tasted?
3. What do Americans usually eat for breakfast?
4. When do Americans generally have lunch?
5. What do they usually eat for lunch?
6. Do Americans love desserts? What is the standard dessert?
7. Do Americans like fast food, or do they prefer to eat something that takes longer to cook? And what about you?
8. What are the traditional American takeout meals?
9. Can you say that eating habits in the USA are changing? Why?
10. What kind of food do you eat?
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