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Vocabulary: cooking 词汇: 烹调

Love leftovers 喜欢残羹盛饭

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson recommended goose fat.

In the UK, we throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year. At least half of that food is perfectly edible. One reason for this is a problem with portions – we keep on cooking more than we can eat. And most people just scrape their plates into the bin at the end of the meal.


Our ancestors didn’t have enough money to waste it discarding perfectly good food. They were thrifty and knew how to cook up something from odds and ends of food the next day. And the UK’s Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, wants us to learn some of those old skills again.

He criticises celebrity chefs, saying, “Cookbooks in the 1970s and 1980s always had chapters on using up scraps and leftovers. But this stopped in the 1990s.” And if the media is part of the problem, maybe the media can be part of the answer. Mr Paterson wants celebrity chefs, like Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, to give us more recipes using leftover food.

Celebrity chefs are very influential in the UK. Shops frequently sell out of ingredients they use in their recipes. When Nigella Lawson praised goose fat for making roast potatoes, sales soared. And veteran cook Delia Smith has boosted sales of so many different ingredients over the years, the ‘Delia effect’ is now in the dictionary.

There are some traditional British recipes using leftovers. ‘Bubble and squeak’ is fried up leftover vegetables from the Sunday roast dinner. Bread and butter pudding is traditionally a good use for stale bread.

But modern British lifestyles and left-overs don’t go well together. We hear about food safety, and are scared to use food past its sell-by date. Once, people could buy food as they needed it. But in the last 50 years, small local shops have closed, and people do a whole week’s shopping at the supermarket. It’s hard to plan your menu a week in advance, which leads to waste. So it seems it will take more than TV chefs to persuade Britons to love leftovers.


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