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Summer course 2 - August 2016 - Difficult group - Lesson 2



- Mmm, this looks mouthwatering!
- Tuck in! I'll just check on the pies and be right with you.
- Oh, yum. This venison is delightful! Tender on the inside, crispy on the outside... Is there any more gravy?
- Here you are. There's more of everything if you'd like a second helping.
- Thanks! I think I'll save room for one of your pies.

Dialogue 2 - Difficult
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2 VIDEO: The History of English Breakfast












Forget about the stories you’ve read in history books, our food customs are our most direct connection to the world of the past. This is history that you can touch, smell, and, above all, taste.

The rituals of breakfast, lunch and dinner is something, I think, we take for granted (воспринимаем как само собой разумеющееся), as if they have always existed as they are now. But unpick (покопайся в) the stories of our three main meals, and you’ll discover gastronomic revolutions, technological leaps and sometimes gruesome (устрашающие) realities.

Of all our daily meals, the first of the day has the most mysterious history. I want to start with what we think of now as a “traditional breakfast”. The so-called “English breakfast”, or “Full English” is our best-known contribution (вклад) to international cuisine. This is, I suspect, what most of us think of as a quintessential (типичнейшая) morning meal. But there’s something unexpected going on here because this isn’t the start of the working day, it’s the end of the week.


- So, Friday night in a bikers’ café, what could be nicer, and you are having a Full English…

- You can’t beat a Full English (ничто не сравнится с «полным английским завтраком»)… after a long ride.

- It’s not only a meal that you can eat in the morning, you know, you can eat it pretty much any point (в любой момент) during the day. And I don’t believe that they say it’s unhealthy (вредный) for you…

- ...And I don’t believe that either…


The Full English has become so iconic (культовый), in fact, that it’s now a dish to be enjoyed at any time of day or night.


- For sure, we will witness (увидим) strange mixtures at this time of the day with people ordering a breakfast with a glass of Stella (beer brand)…


The phrase “bacon and eggs” is so familiar to us now, you might never have wondered how and why they were first put together on a plate. But it’s a story intricately bound up (неразрывно связана) with the customs and rhythms of life in a much earlier age - back in the day when our morning meal first got its name.


In the Middle ages the Catholic Church determined (определяла) what you could eat and when. One of the most important rules was that no one should eat until after morning mass (месса). Only then could you break your fast (прервать свой пост). We also have the clergy (духовенство) to thank for creating the combination of bacon and eggs, although it came about almost by accident, because for roughly (примерно) half the days of the year the church forbade (запрещала) people to eat meat at all.


On the days when you couldn’t eat meat you would have to face something like this.


- Eugh (фу), what’s this?

- Well, this is salt fish, which has been prepared in a manner that would have been common in the Middle Ages. So it’s sole fish (палтус) which has been soaked (пропитан) and served here with mustard (горчица) and honey.
- Do you think that grace (молитва перед едой) would improve the smell?

- Probably not, but it might be a good thing to do.

- Thank you, it’s better than it looks!

- It’s a lot better than it looks!.. There certainly was the idea that certain kinds of food had physical effects. And, you know, we know that’s true nowadays, I mean it’s not such a strange idea, you know, chocolate, double cream, they make you feel happy…  So.. meat… well, meat is flesh; there was an idea around that because meat is the product of sexual reproduction, there was a clear connection between meat in particular and sex. So, you know, you eat meat, you’re going to be thinking about sex, which is not what you want…

-...that is fascinating! I’ve never actually thought of, you know, that constrictions (ограничения) on meat eating as being because meat was the product of obvious reproduction…

- One of the reasons, yeah.


Nuns and monks (монахини и монахи) had to observe the rules more strictly than most, but they applied to everyone (касались всех). And the most intense period of abstinence  (воздержание) in Medieval times was Lent. It became traditional to fill up immediately beforehand on all the things you would not be allowed to eat, which is why we have pancakes (блины). But this is also the point at which bacon and eggs comes into the story.
- In Lent, it’s a time when you can’t eat eggs, and that’s a significant source of protein (важный источник белка). Something else, of course, that you can’t eat during Lent is meat. It’s not just the butter and milk and eggs that we use upon Shrove Tuesday (масленичный вторник), but meat too. So the day before Shrove Tuesday used to be known as Collop Monday - “collop” meaning “a bit of meat” - and that was a time when scraps of meat (кусочки мяса) might be used up, so if it was pork, bacon. You’d also have eggs that you were trying to use up. So, there you have it.

- Your full English.

- Bacon and eggs.





Well, I'm on my way
To the city lights,
To the pretty face
That shines her light on the city nights

And I gotta catch a noon train,
I gotta be there on time.
Oh, it feels so good to know she waits at the end of the line.

Sweet, sweet city woman,
I can see your face, I can hear your voice,
I can almost touch you.

Sweet, sweet city woman,
And the banjo and me, we got a feel for singing, yeah, yeah.

Bon, c'est bon, bon, bon, c'est bon, bon
Bon, c'est bon, bon, bon, bon, bon.
Bon, c'est bon, bon, bon, c'est bon, bon
Bon, c'est bon, bon, bon, bon, bon.

So long, ma.
So long, pa.
So long, neighbors and friends.

Like a country morning,
All snuggled in dew,
Ah, she's got a way to make a man feel shiny and new

And she sing in the evening
Old, familiar tunes
And she feeds me love and tenderness and macaroons.

Sweet, sweet city woman,
I can see your face, I can hear your voice,
I can almost touch you.

Sweet, sweet city woman,
And the banjo and me, we got a feel for singing.

Sweet, sweet city woman
Oh she's my sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman.
Sweet, sweet city woman

oh my sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman.
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet city woman

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