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Describe a famous food item

IELTS Cue Card Question 145 with Model Answer:

Describe a famous food item from your hometown or country.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • what it tastes like
  • when and how it is usually prepared and eaten
and say why you think it is a famous food item.  

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:

We know that food is an essential part of our culture and identity. For this topic, I'm going to talk about a famous food item from my country, Bangladesh. It is called "Biriyani," and it is a traditional food item that represents the rich heritage of the country.

What it is:
Biriyani is a rice-based dish that originated in Persia and was introduced to the Indian subcontinent by the Mughals. It is made with long-grain rice, spices, meat, vegetables, and sometimes eggs. It is a very flavorful and aromatic dish that is popular all over the world.

What it tastes like:
Biriyani is a combination of different spices and flavours that make it taste unique and delicious. The rice is cooked with saffron, which gives it a yellow colour and a subtle flavour. The meat is cooked in spices like cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaves, which give it a rich, bold flavour. The vegetables are cooked until they are tender and add a hint of sweetness to the dish. The flavours are well-balanced, and the dish is not too spicy or too mild.

When and how it is usually prepared and eaten:
Biriyani is a popular dish that is prepared during special occasions like weddings, festivals, and other celebrations. It is usually prepared in a large pot, and the layers of rice, meat, and vegetables are cooked together in a process called "dum." It is served with a side of raita, which is a yoghurt-based side dish that complements the flavours of the Biriyani. It is eaten with hands and is a communal dish that is shared with family and friends.

Why you think it is a famous food item:
Biriyani is a dish that represents the rich culture and heritage of Bangladesh. It has been passed down from generation to generation, and it is a dish that is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is also a dish that is loved by people all over the world, and it has gained popularity in countries like India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. I think the reason why it is so popular is that it is a dish that is made with love and care, and it brings people together.


Model Answer 2:
The Republic of Ireland is a neutral country with natural beauty. The citizens of Ireland love to eat healthy foods and a wide number of traditional food items are available there. The traditional Irish stew is one of the healthiest foods.

In Ireland, about 20 per cent of the population is related to farming which also helps them to get fresh food ingredients on a daily basis. The stew is taken primarily at lunch and sometimes it is also preferred for supper. This traditional Irish stew is considered very healthy for the ingredients used in its preparation process and the ingredients are produced at local farms. The ingredients are collected from the local farms and it should be noted that around 10 per cent of the local farms produce different food crops while the remaining lands are used for several other purposes including livestock rearing. Sometimes, different herbs are also mixed with the stew to raise its taste. The stew is basically a combination of potatoes, carrots, lamb chops, and parsley. The ingredients are widely used to prepare some other dishes as well. Potato is a broadly used food crop in Ireland and plays an important role in the meals of lunch or supper.

The taste of the traditional Irish stew is different from the other types of foods and stews. This is a mixture of varieties of root vegetables and meats and thus the taste is excellent. In fact, the taste of the stew is yummy. It is the preparation process that raises the taste of the stew and you need to heat the ingredients at a lower heat. The flavour is stronger and the smell spreads in the surrounding which will start your metabolism to grab the stew. Besides, you can also use some traditional spices (if you want) for having a different taste. But this is a matter of dispute the spices decrease the taste and there are two schools about the matter. One school of thought supports the opinion that since this is a traditional dish, it should be prepared with traditional spices so that the flavour contains the traditional taste while the other school of thought has the opinion of making the stew without traditional spices. But whatever the preparation process is, the stew is still entertaining the Irish people as it did in the past days.

The traditional Irish stew is well known for its freshness and ingredients. The food item is prepared for lunch usually and sometimes they are served as a side dish for supper. The preparation process is too easy and the ingredients are available everywhere in Ireland. You will need potatoes in four to five pieces and slice them. Slice four medium sizes of onions. Then you need to slice carrots into about five to six pieces and make sure the slices are thin enough. Chopped bacon is the other ingredient for the stew and you will need about one pound of bacon and three pounds of lamb chops or mutton. Ensure that the mutton or lamb chops are thick by one inch and cut into smaller pieces. You can also add some fresh and chopped parsley. Then place all the ingredients into a large stew pot and pour water about two and a half cups. Now, place the pot in an oven. You can also use pepper, some other herbs or salt to add some extra taste. Keep the pot in the oven for about one and a half hour hours in high heat and then half an hour at a lower heat. The stew is done! Sprinkle the parsley on the stew before serving it in the stew bowl.

The stew is famous for several reasons. Firstly the stew is made with the usual ingredients and though it takes a longer cooking time, it is worth waiting for. The ingredients used in the stew are produced on local farms where they were grown with care. As a result, the food crops become delicious when they are cooked. It helps to satisfy the hunger within a short time and sometimes you even do not need to take the other dishes once you are with the stew. This is one of the national dishes in the country that has been served for about two centuries. People of all strata are having the stew in their meals and satisfied their hunger for centuries. A good number of events are related to the stew and thus it has become a part of Irish history.

Model Answer 3:
The people of Sri Lanka are simple in their living and lifestyle. Food is not a major issue for us but we do cook some delicious foods. Today I will describe one of the best attractive and famous curries of my country. Thank you for the question. I am proud to answer it.

The curry is known as Kukul Mas Curry or chicken curry. This is a simple dish but tastes delicious. Moreover, the preparation process is less complicated than the other curries. The ingredients are available and the most important thing is the smell. The smell is outstanding and will make you feel hungry instantly. This is a very popular curry for Sri Lankans.

The taste of this curry is different from the spices. Ordinarily, a chicken curry tastes good. They are prepared with fewer spices. But they taste hot for the spices used in the curry. The basic difference between ordinary chicken curry and Kukul Mas Curry is that it comes with a delicious flavour and the flavour is brought by the spices. The curry is enriched with spices like cloves, chilli powder, fennel seeds and cinnamon. The spices make the smell really adorable. The spice essence is exposed greatly as the chicken is cooked for a long time. the lengthy cooking also helps to increase the taste of the chicken. In fact, after the cooking is done, it looks mouthwatering.

This is not a special dish but the preparation is special. Usually, people take curry for their lunch or supper. But it takes an attractive look when guests are invited. The preparation process for this curry is also simpler. The preparation needs one pound of chicken, and chopped onion (based on needs). If you want to have it hot, you can apply some green chillies as well. Applying curry leaves, lemon grass, Rampe etc. will make it tastier. Adding ginger, garlic, black pepper, mustard seed, vinegar etc. will be helpful to make it look attractive. But you will need to cut the chicken to your desired size. Before applying, you need to grind some of the spices and make a paste of them. The paste gets easily mixed with the curry and enhances the taste.

The curry is famous for some reasons. First of all, this is a traditional curry of Sri Lanka. Besides, it takes less time to prepare. But if you heat the curry for a long, the taste will increase and the smell will be entertaining. There is a saying that if the curry does not look good, it will not be tasty. And this is true. The curry is prepared mostly with spices. They help to get a natural colour. So, people prefer curry in their regular meals and that has made it famous.

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic: 

"Describe a famous food item."  

1. Among different types of foods, Pho is a famous one in my country. The taste of the food is a bit salty but delicious. The food is prepared with several other ingredients like beef and chicken. The food is prepared mostly for lunch and dinner in a traditional family. This is one of the traditional food items of Vietnam and is available everywhere in the country. Pho is famous for its outstanding taste. When this is prepared with beef, the taste is awesome and when you will take it with chicken thighs, it will amaze you. Adding some herbs increases the value of the food.

2. If you do not try Apple Pie when you are in the USA, I would say you missed something great in your life. This is mostly a dessert item and tastes delicious. In fact, the meal remains incomplete unless you do not take the apple pie. The preparation process of apple pie is easy. It comes with a combination of buttery pastry, sugar, and sliced apples. This is a famous item across the USA because of its extraordinary flavour. Moreover, the pie is also taken with some other spicy ingredients. I think the addition of variety has made it more famous than its own taste. 

3. In Japan, Ramen is a special type of food that might be served at any time of the day. It comes with noodles made with wheat. Sometimes, pork is added to increase the flavour. The preparation process for Ramen is simple. It is prepared with soup and soy sauce is added to increase the taste. The green onions also help make it look better. But the soup needs to be perfect. The food is famous because of its extraordinary cooking style. The pork is made soft while the soup turns thick. And if you take some rice to add to the meal, that would make it a great one.

4. A large number of food items are famous in Malaysia but I prefer the Sentul Satay most. This is a type of barbeque served on sticks. The food is preferable for the evening hours. The preparation process for the Satay is a little complex. The meat is mixed with spices and is eaten using sauce or onion slices. The most impressive part of the food is its smell. The enchanting smell is able to make you feel hungry even if you are not hungry right at that moment. Satay is famous for its nutrients and flavour.

5. Biriyani is a traditional and famous Indian food. It has a long history. The taste of biriyani is unforgettable. Being a heavy meal, this is usually taken either at lunch or at dinner. Sometimes, the item is produced for special occasions as well. Biriyani preparation is complex and takes time to prepare. You can add different ingredients in line with the beef, mutton or chicken items. Moreover, you can add some beverages to help increase the taste of biriyani.

If you can talk about the cue card topic "Describe a famous food item from your hometown or country." you should be able to talk about the following IELTS cue card topics as well:
  • Describe a food item you really like. 
  • Talk about your favourite food item. 
  • Describe a menu or food item you know how to cook. 
  • Describe a popular food in your country. 
  • Describe a food item you want to test. 
  • Describe a famous food or menu in your hometown. 
  • Describe a food common in your country. 
  • Describe a traditional food item in your country.

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