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Multicultural Cooking in the UK

In the 1950s and 60s most of the former British colonies gained their independence and consequently a lot of people migrated to Britain in pursuit of a better life. With them, they brought their culture – and their food traditions.

Indiske kjøttboller med safranris. Foto.

Multicultural cooking

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Multicultural cooking
Street with irish pub in britain. Photo.
Multicultural Britain

Soon restaurants offering food from all corners of the world popped up on every street corner. The most popular restaurants, though, served food from the East. Indian and Chinese dishes became immensely popular among the British. Even if Lebanese, Mexican and Caribbean dishes are challenging their popularity today, a recent opinion poll decided that Chicken Tikka Masala (an Indian curry based dish) was the British national dish.

Indian Food

Multicultural Britain, Manchester Street
Multicultural Britain, Manchester Street

When you eat in an Indian restaurant, it is recommended (for your own sake) to ask how hot (spicy) the dishes are. Many Indian dishes contain curry, which is a mixture of spices that is typically used to preserve meat, fish and vegetables in hot countries. If the food is cooked with curry it keeps longer. However, you should be careful, if you are not used to hot food, you should ask for a mild dish.

Take a look at this menu from an Indian restaurant. Which dish would you prefer if you are not used to Indian food? What would you recommend to someone who does not like hot food?

Chopsticks

Chopsticks
Chopsticks

If you visit a Chinese restaurant, you will probably get “normal” cutlery, i.e. a knife, fork and spoon. However, you should take the challenge and use chopsticks. The chopsticks should be moved up and down to pick up various pieces of food. It is a good idea to start practising with pencils. Here are the instructions.

  1. Place one stick between your thumb and index finger. Rest the chopstick on the third finger.
  2. The second stick should be placed above the first between your thumb and index finger. Let it rest on the second finger with the tips together.
  3. Move the top stick up and down while raising your second finger.

Tasks

Comprehension

  1. Why does Britain have so many multicultural restaurants?
  2. When did these restaurants start popping up in Britain?
  3. Which part of the world is most commonly represented among Britain’s multicultural restaurants?
  4. Which dish became Britain’s national dish? Where is this dish from and why did it become the national dish?
  5. If you are not used to Indian food, what should you do when you order?
  6. What does the text suggest that you do when eating Chinese food?

Translate and Demonstrate

Translate the instructions about how to use chopsticks. Then comment in English while demonstrating how you use them.

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