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PAU mock exam 7

Have family meals really changed?


A new survey claims to show that British home cooks are more adventurous than a generation ago. The Birmingham Food Fest,
(BFF), has just released the results of a survey in which the results show that British ‘mums’ (somewhat sexist to limit it to that
demographic if you ask me, but they questioned 1,000 mums) know the recipes for an average of 21 dishes by heart, compared
to their mothers 30 years ago who languished with just 17.
Well, let’s see. The supposed top five dishes in ‘modern mum’s repertoire’ are spaghetti bolognese, a roast, sausage and mash, baked
potatoes and Mexican fajitas. It was apparently roast dinner, spaghetti bolognese, baked potatoes, sausage and mash, and meat
and two vegetables 30 years ago.
The top four are merely the same dinners in a different order. The new additions are those fajitas, a Chinese stir-fry homemade
pizza, chicken tikka masala and steak and chips. Pork and lamb chops have sadly disappeared from the typical maternal dinner
in the UK. Everything else – lasagne, shepherd’s or cottage pie, omelette, chicken casserole, sausage and potato, fish fingers and
chips, fish and chips, burger and chips – is broadly as popular as it ever was.
And as for those ‘new’ dishes: the fajitas most likely come from a packet, and I don’t expect the typical British mother is grinding her
own spices, though I could be wrong. I doubt, too, that she’s making pizzas that often. Steaks are just modern-day lamb chops and,
for most people, chicken tikka masala comes from a jar.
So, however, much is made of a supposed renaissance in British cooking, the average British mother cooks almost identically to the
way her own mother did. This is not to ignore the genuine advances in British eating that have taken place over the last 30 years.
Restaurants are braver, we care more about the welfare of our farm animals, and we do at least watch those aspirational food shows
on the telly. Moreover, the dishes on the list are partly intended for children, of course. But parents (or ‘mums’, if the BFF insists) are
still, to a remarkable degree, cooking what was cooked for them. What dishes do you cook today that your parents cooked for you?
Do you make anything in the kitchen your parents would never have prepared? And if you have children, do you feed them as you
were fed in turn?
Adapted from Have family meals really changed?, Oliver Thring, theguardian.com, 14th September 2011

1 Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Use the 3 Use of English
exact words from the text to justify your answers. 1 Rewrite the following sentence, using an appropriate
1 Many of the so-called new dishes are homemade. modal verb.
I advise you to cook using natural ingredients.
You
2 According to the author, cooking habits in Great Britain
have changed very much in the last generation thanks to 2 Complete the following sentence.
exotic recipes. I’d be extremely healthy if

3 Join the sentences using the words given and the correct
3 According to the author, cooking in Britain has improved tense.
despite his opinion of the survey. I didn’t eat anything all morning. I feel tired.
I feel tired because

2 Answer the following questions in your own words, relating Find words or phrases in the text that mean …
4
to the ideas from the passage.
1 study (paragraph 1)
1 Why does the author consider the survey sexist?
2 findings (paragraph 1)

3 just (paragraph 3)

4 real (paragraph 5)
2 What aspects of cooking in Britain have changed in the last
30 years? 5 Write a composition of 120–150 words on the following:
Cooking is related to health problems. Discuss.

3 Why are ‘new dishes’ in the survey criticised?

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