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1. The history of a popular drink
A. British attitude to what they eat daily has changed a lot over the past twenty years. In the 1990s each person ate about 352 grams of ‘red’ meat each week, but now it’s less than 250 grams. People prefer chicken and fresh fish. And more people are interested in healthy eating these days. In 1988 the national average was 905 grams of fruit and fruit juices each week, but now it’s nearly 2,000 grams.
B. Twenty years ago, British people usually ate at home. They only went out for a meal at special times, like for somebody’s birthday. Today when both parents are working, they cannot cook large meals in the evenings. ‘Ready-made’ meals from supermarkets and Marks and Spencer and ‘take-away’ meals from fast food restaurants are very popular. If you are feeling tired or lazy, you can even phone a local restaurant. They will bring the food to your house.
C. In the past, traditional steakhouses were very popular places, but now more and more people prefer foreign food. Every British town has Indian and Chinese restaurants, and large towns have restaurants from many other countries too.
D. The British population drinks a lot of tea. Tea — mostly green tea from China — came to Britain in the late 1500s. But it was only for the very rich. It became cheaper about three hundred years later, when it was planted in India and later in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). People from all classes started drinking it. But some people thought that too much tea was bad for their health. So they started putting milk in it to make it healthier!
E. Afternoon tea is a small meal. Now most ordinary British families do not have time for afternoon tea at home, but in the past it was a tradition. It became popular when rich ladies invited their friends to their houses for an afternoon cup of tea. They started offering their visitors sandwiches and cakes too. Soon everybody was enjoying this exciting new meal.
F. If someone in England asks you ‘Would you like a cuppa?’ they are asking if you would like a cup of tea. If someone says, ‘Let me be mother’ or ‘Shall I be mother?’ they are offering to pour out the tea from the teapot.
G. Most people today use teabags to make tea, but some serious drinkers make tea in the traditional way. First the water is boiled. Then some of the boiled water is used to warm the teapot. Then the tealeaves are put in the teapot. Then the boiling water is added. Then the pot is left for five minutes under a ‘tea cosy’. Finally, the tea is served in delicate cups with saucers.
A – 5
B – 3
C – 6
D – 1
E – 4
F – 8
G – 7