Eating habits

This forum is to learn about foreign cultures and habits, because language skills are not everything you need as a world citizen...

Moderator: Forum Administrators

Ludwig Whitby
Posts: 3665
Joined: 2009-03-30, 13:44
Gender: male
Location: Belgrade
Country: RS Serbia (Србија)

Re: Eating habits

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-05-27, 19:45

This was actually harder than I though. I always have a problem with defining 'my culture' since the typical Serbian culture is rural and traditional and I'm neither...

Breakfast:

It's usually savory and doesn't have to be anything special. You can eat some pastry, an open sandwich or two or some eggs. Bakery products are usually seen as typical breakfast food. Some prefer a heavy breakfast, such as the very cheap combo burek i jogurt . In the more traditional/rural regions you can see combinations such as coffee and brandy for breakfast. The real deal would be with turkish delight or possibly slatko . Like this!

Lunch:

Ideally it starts with a brandy, then soup, then a warm meal (usually meat-based), then dessert and coffee and possibly another brandy. In practice it's usually just the warm meal. It's customary to talk during lunch, especially during these long lunches that nowadays take place almost exclusively on the weekends. What Western and Northern Europeans find interesting about our lunch is the dominance of meat and the scarcity of vegetables.

Dinner:

Either left-overs from lunch or something similar to breakfast like sandwiches or eggs...

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22520
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby linguoboy » 2015-05-27, 20:09

Ludwig Whitby wrote:This was actually harder than I though. I always have a problem with defining 'my culture' since the typical Serbian culture is rural and traditional and I'm neither...

Why can't you speak from the perspective of a progressive urban Serbian then?

Traditionally, the American Midwest was one of the least urbanised parts of the USA, second only to the South. The South has made huge gains since WWII and now the two regions are tied at 76% (compared to 81% for the country as a whole).

A few rural customs do persist, however. For instance, dinnertime for me is still 6 p.m., just as it was for my family growing up. I can wait until later for a special dinner out with friends, particularly on a weekend--say 7, 7:30--but much later than that is really pushing it. The idea of not eating the evening meal until 10 p.m. is really baffling to me. If I'm ever eating that late, something has gone terribly wrong with my day and my entire schedule for the following day will be screwed up as well.

We had a nice conversation with some visitors from the UK on what that meal used to consist of as well. We were all raised on "meat and two veg". That is, a full dinner consisted of a meat-based main dish (e.g. roast beef, pork chops, fried chicken), a starch (generally potatoes), and a green vegetable. The main difference seems to be that their meals always included potatoes whereas for us they alternated with rice, noodles, corn, etc. And there was always a dessert of some sort, even if it was something as simple as a scoop of ice cream. It's taken a lot of effort for me to move away from that pattern now that I'm over and my dietary needs (as well as the nutritional recommendations) have changed.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 22926
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-05-27, 20:44

Varislintu wrote:What I've always wondered about, it that in cultures where you might eat a proper meal at 9-10 pm, when do people go to bed?

OK, I kind of lied. I believe for most of my life, breakfast has been fairly early in the morning (sometimes I have tea with it; in India, usually, we'd have tea without anything else just before it), lunch around noon, tea (again) around maybe 3-4 PM, dinner around 7 PM, and bedtime about three hours later (although in India bedtime was really not long after dinnertime, but then dinner was much lighter there, too). This friend I mentioned did have an Indian friend who ate dinner around 10 PM or something, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if that Indian friend went to sleep late.
Ludwig Whitby wrote:What Western and Northern Europeans find interesting about our lunch is the dominance of meat and the scarcity of vegetables.

One of my cousins got married in Croatia, and tbh, I think most of our relatives who went found this almost disturbing. Of course, my brother and I noticed this, too, but we did not mind one bit. :yum: :lol:

User avatar
OldBoring
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 5834
Joined: 2012-12-08, 7:19
Real Name: Francesco
Gender: male
Location: Milan
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: Eating habits

Postby OldBoring » 2015-06-03, 15:28

IpseDixit wrote:Lunch - we have two courses: primo, which is either pasta, risotto or a soup (the latter is less common), and secondo which consists of meat or fish or cheese and vegs + bread. And at the end we have a fruit and coffee.

Almuerzo - habemos dos platos: el primo, que es o pasta o risotto o sopa (esta última es menos común), y el secondo que consiste en carne, pescado o queso y verduras y pan. Y al final tomamos una fruta y café.

Dinner - same as lunch except that we don't have the primo.

I wonder if this is universal in Italy.
But this reminded me that once I went to a classmate's home to eat lunch, and i was a little surprised that they didn't have any "first course", just chicken breast and salad with focaccia. :) They told me they don't usually eat pasta for lunch.

vijayjohn wrote:One of my cousins got married in Croatia, and tbh, I think most of our relatives who went found this almost disturbing. Of course, my brother and I noticed this, too, but we did not mind one bit. :yum: :lol:

It reminds me when I went to Romania. Lots of meat every day. :D

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 22926
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-06-03, 19:35

Youngfun wrote:It reminds me when I went to Romania. Lots of meat every day. :D

Yeah. I wonder how widespread that is then. Is it some sort of pan-Balkan thing or pan-Eastern European thing or what?

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22520
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby linguoboy » 2015-06-03, 19:51

vijayjohn wrote:
Youngfun wrote:It reminds me when I went to Romania. Lots of meat every day. :D

Yeah. I wonder how widespread that is then. Is it some sort of pan-Balkan thing or pan-Eastern European thing or what?

Isn't it a general response to a relative surge in abundance? The typical Japanese diet used to be almost entirely vegetarian. But with postwar development, consumption of fish and seafood surged and now beef-heavy Korean-style barbecue is all the rage.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
mōdgethanc
Posts: 10625
Joined: 2010-03-20, 5:27
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Eating habits

Postby mōdgethanc » 2015-06-10, 4:16

I think I remember reading something about Americans eating way more meat than they did decades ago, and this is a country famed for its love of steak, so there ya have it.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22520
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby linguoboy » 2015-06-10, 8:50

mōdgethanc wrote:I think I remember reading something about Americans eating way more meat than they did decades ago, and this is a country famed for its love of steak, so there ya have it.

As far back as the mid-19th century, a German immigrant described every meal in American as consisting of "pork and cornbread in varying proportions".

Meat consumption is going through the roof in China these days. 60% of the world's soybeans end up in the bellies of Chinese pigs. Meanwhile, overall meat consumption in the USA is actually dropping slightly overall, as well as continuing to shift from red meat to poultry.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 22926
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-06-11, 23:28

mōdgethanc wrote:I think I remember reading something about Americans eating way more meat than they did decades ago, and this is a country famed for its love of steak, so there ya have it.

I think I remember reading something about this in a German cookbook translated into English that I just happen to have. :lol: (It was talking about the history of the hamburger IIRC).

User avatar
Prowler
Posts: 1855
Joined: 2013-07-19, 5:09
Gender: male
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Eating habits

Postby Prowler » 2015-07-30, 16:36

I'm a very boring eater. I don't really adventure myself in trying new dishes. I just eat and cook basic stuff such as grilling meat(usually chicken) and cooking some pasta or opening a can of beans and a bag of salad and putting it on plate alongside the portion I had just grilled.

If I wake up past 11h00 I don't bother having breakfast and just skip to lunch. Unless it's workout day and I need to eat something before my workout.

User avatar
Meera
Posts: 8740
Joined: 2008-05-27, 22:01
Real Name: Meera
Gender: female
Location: Philadelphia
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby Meera » 2015-07-30, 18:54

I eat completely different from my culture. So I usually eat separately from my family. However Afghans eat a lot and eat very very heavy meals and they usually encourage you to eat more. Almost every meal has heaping piles of rice and bread. Breakfast is usually bread with jam on it. Or Halim which is like oatmeal with meat. There isn't really a distinction between lunch and dinner. Dinner is eaten really late and is based on meat with rice. For lunch/dinner people eat things like qorma which is a stew, kabobs, palows and chalows (meat mixed with rices). For snacks people eat a lot of notes or things like mantu which is dumpling or sombosa's which is similar to Indian samosa's. And Afghans drink tea constantly. No matter what they are doing they are drinking tea!

I don't eat meat or dairy products so eating with other Afghans is really hard. My mom taught me how to make qabuli palow with eggplant, and aashak with tomato sauce also pumpkin is widely used in Afghan cooking so she taught me how to make a kadu qorma which is awesome.
अहिंसा/เจ
True Love: (hi)
TAC 2017: (hi) (ja) (ko)

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 22926
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-08-05, 2:20

I eat differently from my own culture, too, but in a much weirder way. (It's also arguably far less practical and unnecessarily complicated, but it's also more interesting that way :P). Basically, I have all kinds of weird eating rituals that I came up with all by myself. I think the way my brother likes to put it is that I eat South Indian food in a North Indian way, whereas my sister-in-law does the opposite. :lol: So, a normal meal for me would be rice, buttermilk, some kind of vegetable, and some kind of meat (usually chicken, and specifically chicken curry). To eat that, I put some rice on one side of a plate (maybe about two rather large spoons of rice), then spoon the vegetable on the other side, trying as hard as I can to ensure that not a single grain of rice even touches the vegetable. I have the chicken curry in a separate bowl. Then just before eating, I spoon buttermilk onto the rice and mix them together, still trying my hardest not to touch the vegetable. If I do touch the vegetable by this point, then I mix that part of the vegetable together with the rice; otherwise, I just try to mix, say, half of the rice with half of the vegetable. I usually don't even touch the meat until after I'm done eating the rice and vegetables, because the vegetarian part of the meal is so tasty all by itself that it doesn't need meat just to flavor it. :lol:

Kiani

Re: Eating habits

Postby Kiani » 2015-08-11, 10:55

Since I live in the UK, I tend to have a "Western," lunch and an "Eastern," dinner, while breakfast varies. I generally have cereal or just a smoothie and a granola bar for breakfast, but if I have more time I'll make something more traditional, most probably stuffed paratha (an Indian flatbread stuffed with vegetables and paneer cheese or potato) or, if I want something sweet, kheer (rice pudding with saffron and spices) or miti sev (a pudding made from spiced vermicelli, with milk poured on it). Lunch, if I eat at home, would be a rice or pasta dish or maybe something like tacos or stir-fry, but I'll still season whatever it is with Indian spices. And for dinner I usually have rotli shak (vegetable curry with a thin wheat bread) or some type of daal with rice, plus some kind of salty appetiser (nasto) and fruit. Pretty traditional.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 22926
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-08-11, 14:06

Interesting! These days, I tend to have only two meals a day. I'm not even sure what exactly to call them. :lol: The first one is usually around noon and can be any of the following:

  • two bolillos with spoon-size shredded wheat with bran (I just eat it right out of the box :lol:) and a cup of, uhh, "tea" (the way little Indian kids drink it, so it's mostly just milk :lol:),
  • two wheat tortillas with a bowl of yellow split peas (so chapatis and dal :P) and a cup of tea, or
  • two bagels (usually raisin bagels, occasionally blueberry bagels) with a big glass of cold milk.

Occasionally, it can be something else instead. (That reminds me, actually, I haven't had eggs in a long time. :shock:).

The second one is in the evening and can be all sorts of things, but basically it's South Indian food (rice, buttermilk, some kind of vegetable (sometimes two vegetables), and some kind of meat or fish, usually chicken curry) alternating every other day with something else (this week, for example, it's my dad's homemade Chinese food made out of chicken, carrots, onions, bok choy/Chinese cabbage, and probably some other vegetables I'm not remembering right now).

User avatar
Lada
Posts: 4299
Joined: 2003-08-10, 15:23
Real Name: Anna
Gender: female
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: Eating habits

Postby Lada » 2015-08-11, 14:26

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Some prefer a heavy breakfast, such as the very cheap combo burek i jogurt .

According to my experience this is not heavy breakfast, some people eat meat for example.
As Russia is a cold country, people tend to eat heavy meals that give more energy.

My breakfast usually consists of diary products (different kinds of milk porriges, quark, smetana) or eggs (i love omelettes with ham, cheese and tomatoes) or pancakes with smetana etc.

Lunch - though traditionally Russian lunch starts with a soup, I haven't been eating soups for quite a long time. Usually my lunch is just some kind of meat/fish with potatoes/rice/buckwheat/macaroni/pease etc. And tea with something sweet is a must :yep: During summer we often eat fresh fruits and vegatables, during winter - pickled vegetables and mushrooms.

Dinner - sometimes it's pretty much the same as lunch (meat with something), sometimes it's different. Pelmeni, sausages and even a smoked fish may become my dinner. Corn on the cob is something I've recently started to eat.

All kinds of bread are eaten throughout the day, tea is drunk a lot. People do drink coffee, but it's not so mainstream as tea, though cafes tend to create demand for coffee, but people still prefer tea at home.

And what I've been wondering while reading this thread... is the word "supper" in the meaning of "evening meal" ever used now?

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22520
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby linguoboy » 2015-08-11, 14:37

Lada wrote:And what I've been wondering while reading this thread... is the word "supper" in the meaning of "evening meal" ever used now?

I hear it very rarely these days. As a child, I remember saying "supper" and "suppertime" as well as "dinner" and "dinnertime", but no one in my family uses the former any more. Any restaurant menu I've ever looked at which segregates dishes by time of day always labels the last one "Dinner", never "Supper".
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 22926
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-08-11, 14:42

linguoboy wrote:
Lada wrote:And what I've been wondering while reading this thread... is the word "supper" in the meaning of "evening meal" ever used now?

I hear it very rarely these days. As a child, I remember saying "supper" and "suppertime" as well as "dinner" and "dinnertime", but no one in my family uses the former any more. Any restaurant menu I've ever looked at which segregates dishes by time of day always labels the last one "Dinner", never "Supper".

I remember my dad saying that this is because the evening meal is now the main one - in the US, anyway. (I'm not sure how often "supper" is used in Britain, though). IIRC he said that "dinner" always referred to the main meal, but formerly in England, that was the afternoon meal, and "supper" was a lighter meal in the evening.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22520
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby linguoboy » 2015-08-11, 14:49

vijayjohn wrote:I remember my dad saying that this is because the evening meal is now the main one - in the US, anyway. (I'm not sure how often "supper" is used in Britain, though). IIRC he said that "dinner" always referred to the main meal, but formerly in England, that was the afternoon meal, and "supper" was a lighter meal in the evening.

That's exactly right. The shift of the heaviest meal of the day from midday to evening happened with the move from an agricultural economy to an industrial one, which prevented workers from coming home in the middle of the day. So "dinner" became an evening meal and "lunch" was coined to designate the new, lighter midday meal.

As a result, "supper" has held on longest in rural areas. (Now that I think of it, our family's mixed usage may come from my father, who was raised on a farm.) And "dinner" still designates festive meals, such as "Thanksgiving dinner" or "Christmas dinner", regardless what time of day they occur. (Some Southerners serve Thanksgiving dinner as early at noon. I asked a Texan friend, "You mean someone gets up at four in the morning to put the bird in the oven?" and he was like, "Yep".)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 22926
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-08-11, 14:58

Yeah, my dad sometimes serves Thanksgiving dinner pretty early, too (maybe not quite that early, but still. I remember once when my cousins were over for Thanksgiving, he scolded me for taking too long to brush my teeth and take a shower because everything was already ready :P). And getting up at four in the morning (or earlier!) and starting to make dinner is by no means something he's unfamiliar with. That's pretty much what he does every time he makes chicken biryani, for instance. In fact, he would get up at least that early just to make coffee for my mom, because until very recently, she left every morning for work around 5:30.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22520
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Eating habits

Postby linguoboy » 2015-08-11, 15:20

Actually, I wonder if anyone has ever coined a term for the sort of "mealtime treadmill" that you can observe in many languages. For instance, varieties of French which are generally more lexically conservative (e.g. Canadian French, Louisiana French) use déjeuner, dîner, and souper for the three main mealtimes. But in France, souper is a very late evening meal, such as you would have after going to the theatre. Dîner is now the evening meal, which makes déjeuner (lit. "fast-breaking") lunch and has led to the creation of a new term (petit-déjeuner) for breakfast.

Other languages follow the English model of keeping breakfast the same and renaming the midday meal. For instance, early Romans had three main meals, of which cena, the most substantial, was taken at midday. The evening meal was a modest repast called vesperna. (Cf. Alemannic Vesper, a light supper or afternoon snack.) As the upper classes began taking cena later and later and expanding it into a more elabourate feast, prandium came into use for the lighter meal that got you through the afternoon.

The most dramatic example is Portuguese, where jantar (from Latin ientaculum "breakfast") is now the main evening meal. "Breakfast" has come to be called pequeno-almoço or "little lunch" in Portugal and café da manhã or "morning coffee" in Brazil.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


Return to “Culture”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests