Meals are one of the basic things for people so it is very important what we eat and how we eat it. Meals and ways of preparing meals or dishes are a part of the culture of a country. Every country all over the world is known for eating its own meals and for having their national specialties. For example, borsch falls under typical Russian cuisine as spaghetti and pizza do for Italians. In our country, we also have our own national meal - roast pork with bread-roll dumplings. There are also some dishes that are known all over the world as typical for a country: fish and chips are eaten mostly in England and hamburgers in America.

European eating habits are very interesting. People usually have three meals during the day. The day usually starts with breakfast, the main meal of the day is lunch, and around 6 o´clock is dinner. Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. In our country, breakfast consists of bread and butter and a cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa.

Before noon, people usually have a small snack. It is usually fruit or müsli and they also drink coffee or tea. Around noon everybody has a lunch. In our country, lunch is known to be the main meal of the whole day. Most people take their lunch at the school canteen or in the local canteen. Soups may be either vegetable or meat broths. The main dish can be either sweet, such as fruit dumplings, or pancakes with jam and cream. We can also have some meat with some vegetables such as potatoes, chips, rice, Czech dumpling, pasta, or bread. It’s healthy to drink at least one glass of mineral water, juice, tea, or beer after each meal. Scientists recommend drinking at least two liters of water per a day.

Around 6 o´clock it is time for dinner. At this time, the entire family is usually together. It is a light meal but most people are very busy and don´t have time for preparing lunch so for them this is their main meal of the day.

As for the meals in GB, it´s necessary to mention that eating habits her are different from those on the continent. It is the result of the different development Britain as an island country. Britain has its own national cuisine depending on the traditional ways of preparation. Traditional 5 o´clock tea sticks with only a few people, but it is a custom.

The day in Britain starts later than our day. After getting up, people in GB usually have breakfast. The term traditional English breakfast means a rich meal in the morning. People are very busy though these days. A lot of women go to work and that´s why eating habits have changed, too. People usually have only a light breakfast instead of the traditional English breakfast, which is a big morning meal. A light breakfast consists of orange juice, cereal or musli or cornflakes with milk, followed by buttered toasts with jam or marmalade. Then people have a cup of tea with milk and without sugar. This is a typical English drink. Today more people drink coffee with milk instead tea in the morning. The traditional English breakfast is eaten on weekends or on holidays. It is sometimes called brunch. This breakfast is quite big and hot. It´s a very big meal: first orange juice, then cereal, fried eggs and tomatoes, bacon, sausages, and the very popular baked beans. Then there´s toast and marmalade, which is made from oranges, and tea with milk. I think this breakfast is very unhealthy, but people like it. During the morning, people at work have a cup of tea and some biscuits. This small snack is called “elevens”.

Between 12 and 1 o´clock it is usually lunch time. It´s very common to have something light like sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, or pies. In cities, there are a lot of sandwich bars, where the office workers go. The sandwiches usually have a traditional triangular shape. Each sandwich consists of two slices of bread with different fillings inside.

School children don´t usually have their lunches at the school canteen. They bring packed lunches from their houses in special lunch boxes. Inside them there are the popular sandwiches, some fruit, something sweet, and crisps. The most popular are crisps with salt and vinegar, or cheese and onion. Today most of people buy takeaways from pubs. These are not meals which are put into plastic boxes and can be eaten anywhere.

In the afternoon, British people have a traditional snack. It is the 5 o´clock tea. People usually drink quite strong tea with milk and eat some cakes or biscuits. The British are known to be great tea drinkers.

In GB, dinner is the main meal of the day. At the time of dinner between 6 and 8 p.m., the whole family meets and has it together. Each dinner consists of a few courses: the main meal (meat and chips, potatoes, and cooked vegetables) followed by a cake or a pie, then by fruit with cream (cherries, strawberries) or by ice-cream and some juice. Our evening meal may be either warm or cold. A cold and quick dinner may be like the breakfast and consist of some slices of bread or rolls, kippers, or some spread. Later at night, after the theatre or cinema, you can have the last meal of the day - the supper – it consists of something light like cheese and biscuits.

Some people all over the world prefer going to a restaurant or having fast food in McDonalds. Some parents are also teaching their children bad eating habits and TV advertisements have a bad influence on children´s diets, too. Children often go to sweet-shops, but sugar is bad for their teeth.

Everybody likes eating something different, but of course, every meal should include fruits and vegetables. Our national meal is roasted pork with sauerkraut and dumplings. More healthy fish and poultry are slowly replacing beef and pork. Our meal is sometimes too fat and unhealthy, and we don´t eat enough vegetables. It is healthy to drink at least one glass of mineral water, juice, tea, or beer, after each meal. Scientists recommend drinking at least two liters of water a day.

Přidal: Dan_T 4. 12. 2009
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