1.British Cuisine: the Best of Old and New
British cuisine (烹饪) has come of age in recent years as chefs (厨师) combine the best of old and new.
Why does British food have a reputation for being so bad? Because it is bad! Those are not the most encouraging words to hear just before eating lunch at one of Hong Kong's smartest British restaurants, Alfie's by KEE, but head chef Neil Tomes has more to say.
"The past 15 years or so have been a noticeable period of improvement for food in England," the English chef says, citing the trend in British cuisine for better ingredients, preparation and cooking methods, and more appealing presentation. Chefs such as Delia Smith, Nigel Slater, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay made the public realise that cooking - and eating - didn't have to be a boring thing. And now, most of the British public is familiar even with the extremes of Heston BlumenthaPs molecular gastronomy, a form of cooking that employs scientific methods to create the perfect dish.
"It's no longer the case that the common man in England is embarrassed to show he knows about food," Tomes says.
There was plenty of room for improvement. The problems with the nation's cuisine can be traced back to the Second World War. Before the War, much of Britain's food was imported and when German U-boats began attacking ships bringing food to the country, Britain went on rations (配给).
"As rationing came to an end in the 1950s, technology picked up and was used to mass-produce food," Tomes says. "And by then people were just happy to have a decent quantity of food in their kitchens."
They weren't looking for cured meats, organic produce or beautiful presentation; they were looking for whatever they could get their hands on, and this prioritisation of quantity over quality prevailed for decades, meaning a generation was brought up with food that couldn't compete with neighbouring France, Italy, Belgium or Spain.
Before star chefs such as Oliver began making cooking fashionable, it was hard to find a restaurant in London that was open after 9pm. But in recent years the capital's culinary (烹饪的) scene has developed to the point that it is now confident of its ability to please the tastes of any international visitor.
With the opening of Alfie's in April, and others such as The Pawn, two years ago, modern British food has made its way to Hong Kong. "With British food, I think that Hong Kong restaurants are keeping up," says David Tamlyn, the Welsh executive chef at The Pawn in Wan Chai. "Hong Kong diners are extremely responsive to new ideas or presentations, which is good news for new dishes."
Chefs agree that diners in Hong Kong are embracing the modern British trend. Some restau rants are modifying the recipes (菜谱) of British dishes to breathe new life into the classics, while others are using better quality ingredients but remaining true to British traditions and tastes.
Tamlyn is in the second camp. "We select our food very particularly. We use US beef, New Zealand lamb and for our custards (牛奶蛋煳)we use Bird's Custard Powder," Tamlyn says. "Some restaurants go for custard made fresh with eggs, sugar and cream, but British custard is different, and we stay true to that."
Matthew Hill, senior manager at the two-year-old SoHo restaurant Yorkshire Pudding, also uses better ingredients as a means of improving dishes. "There are a lot of existing perceptions about British food and so we can't alter these too much. We're a traditional British restaurant so there are some staples (主菜) that will remain essentially unchanged."
These traditional dishes include fish and chips, steak and kidney pie and large pieces of roasted meats. At Alfie's, the newest of the British restaurants in town and perhaps the most gentlemen's club-like in design, Neil Tomes explains his passion for provenance (原产地)."Britain has started to become really proud of the food it's producing. It has excellent organic farms, beautifully crafted cheeses, high-quality meats."
However, the British don't have a history of exporting their foodstuffs, which makes it difficult for restaurants in Hong Kong to source authentic ingredients.
"We can get a lot of our ingredients once a week from the UK," Tamlyn explains. "But there is also pressure to buy local and save on food miles, which means we take our vegetables from the local markets, and there are a lot that work well with British staples."
The Phoenix, in Mid-Levels, offers the widest interpretation of "British cuisine", while still trying to maintain its soul. The gastro-pub has existed in various locations in Hong Kong since 2002. Singaporean head chef Tommy Teh Kum Chai offers daily specials on a blackboard, rather than sticking to a menu. This enables him to reinterpret British cuisine depending on what is avail able in the local markets.
"We use a lot of ingredients that people wouldn't perhaps associate as British, but are pre sented in a British way. Bell peppers stuffed with couscous, alongside ratatouille, is a very popular dish."
Although the ingredients may not strike diners as being traditional, they can be found in dishes across Britain.
Even the traditional chefs are aware of the need to adapt to local tastes and customs, while maintaining the Britishness of their cuisine.
At Yorkshire Pudding, Hill says that his staff asks diners whether they would like to share their meals. Small dishes, shared meals and "mixing it up" is not something commonly done in Britain, but Yorkshire Pudding will bring full dishes to the table and offer individual plates for each diner. "That way, people still get the presentation of the dishes as they were designed, but can carve them up however they like," Hill says.
This practice is also popular at The Pawn, although largely for rotisseries (烤肉馆),Tamlyn says. "Some tables will arrive on a Sunday, order a whole chicken and a shoulder of lamb or a baby pig, and just stay for hours enjoying everything we bring out for them."
Some British traditions are too sacred (神圣的)to mess with, however, Tomes says. "I'd never change a full English breakfast." 【題組】1.
What is British food generally known for?
(A) Its unique flavour.
(B) Its bad taste.
(C) Its special cooking methods.
(D) Its organic ingredients.
3.【題組】3. Why couldn't Britain compete with some of its neighbouring countries in terms of food in the post-war decades?
(A) Its food lacked variety.
(B) Its people cared more for quantity.
(C) It was short of well-trained chefs.
(D) It didn't have flavourful food ingredients.
4.【題組】4. With culinary improvement in recent years, London's restaurants are now able to appeal to the tastes of .
(A) most young people
(B) elderly British diners
(C) all kinds of overseas visitors
(D) upper-class customers
5.【題組】5. What do Hong Kong diners welcome, according to Welsh executive chef David Tamlyn?
(A) Authentic classic cuisine.
(B) Locally produced ingredients.
(C) New ideas and presentations.
(D) The return of home-style dishes.
6.【題組】6. While using quality ingredients, David Tamlyn insists that the dishes should________ .
(A) benefit people's health
(B) look beautiful and inviting
(C) be offered at reasonable prices
(D) maintain British traditional tastes
7.【題組】7. Why does Neil Tomes say he loves food ingredients from Britain?
(A) They appeal to people from all over the world.
(B) They are produced on excellent organic farms.
(C) They are processed in a scientific way.
(D) They come in a great variety.
8.Several recent studies have found that being randomly (随机地) assigned to a roommate of another race can lead to increased tolerance but also to a greater likelihood (可能性)of conflict.
Recent reports found that lodging with a student of a different race may decrease prejudice and compel students to engage in more ethnically diverse friendships.
An Ohio State University study also found that black students living with a white roommate saw higher academic success throughout their college careers. Researchers believe this may be caused by social pressure.
In a New York Times article, Sam Boakye – the only black student on his freshman year floor -said that "if you're surrounded by whites, you have something to prove."
Researchers also observed problems resulting from pairing interracial students in residences.
According to two recent studies, randomly assigned roommates of different races are more likely to experience conflicts so strained that one roommate will move out.
An Indiana University study found that interracial roommates were three times as likely as two white roommates to no longer live together by the end of the semester.
Grace Kao, a professor at Penn said she was not surprised by the findings. "This may be the first time that some of these students have interacted, and lived, with someone of a different race," she said.
At Penn, students are not asked to indicate race when applying for housing.
"One of the great things about freshman housing is that, with some exceptions, the process throws you together randomly," said Undergraduate Assembly chairman Alec Webley. "This is the definition of integration."
"I've experienced roommate conflicts between interracial students that have both broken down stereotypes and reinforced stereotypes," said one Penn resident advisor (RA). The RA of two years added that while some conflicts "provided more multicultural acceptance and melding (融合)," there were also "jarring cultural confrontations."
The RA said that these conflicts have also occurred among roommates of the same race.
Kao said she cautions against forming any generalizations based on any one of the studies, noting that more background characteristics of the students need to be studied and explained. 【題組】57.
What can we learn from some recent studies?
(A) Conflicts between students of different races are unavoidable.
(B) Students of different races are prejudiced against each other.
(C) Interracial lodging does more harm than good.
(D) Interracial lodging may have diverse outcomes.
9.【題組】58. What does Sam Boakye's remark mean?
(A) White students tend to look down upon their black peers.
(B) Black students can compete with their white peers academically.
(C) Black students feel somewhat embarrassed among white peers during the freshman year.
(D) Being surrounded by white peers motivates a black student to work harder to succeed.
10.【題組】59. What does the Indiana University study show?
(A) Interracial roommates are more likely to fall out.
(B) Few white students like sharing a room with a black peer.
(C) Roommates of different races just don't get along.
(D) Assigning students' lodging randomly is not a good policy.
11.【題組】60. What does Alec Webley consider to be the "definition of integration"?
(A) Students of different races are required to share a room.
(B) Interracial lodging is arranged by the school for freshmen.
(C) Lodging is assigned to students of different races without exception.
(D) The school randomly assigns roommates without regard to race.
12.【題組】61. What does Grace Kao say about interracial lodging?
(A) It is unscientific to make generalizations about it without further study.
(B) Schools should be cautious when making decisions about student lodging.
(C) Students' racial background should be considered before lodging is assigned.
(D) Experienced resident advisors should be assigned to handle the problems.
13. Passage Two
Questions 62 to 66 are based on the following passage.
Global warming is causing more than 300,000 deaths and about $125 billion in economic losses each year, according to a report by the Global Humanitarian Forum, an organization led by Annan, the former United Nations secretary general.
The report, to be released Friday, analyzed data and existing studies of health, disaster, population and economic trends. It found that human-influenced climate change was raising the global death rates from illnesses including malnutrition (营养不良)and heat-related health problems.
But even before its release, the report drew criticism from some experts on climate and risk, who questioned its methods and conclusions.
Along with the deaths, the report said that the lives of 325 million people, primarily in poor countries, were being seriously affected by climate change. It projected that the number would double by
Roger Pielke Jr., a political scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who studies disaster trends, said the Forum's report was "a methodological embarrassment" because there was no way to distinguish deaths or economic losses related to human-driven global warming amid the much larger losses resulting from the growth in populations and economic development in vulnerable (易受伤害的) regions. Dr. Pielke said that “climate change is an important problem requiring our utmost attention.” But the report, he said, "will harm the cause for action on both climate change and disasters because it is so deeply flawed (有瑕疵的)."
However, Soren Andreasen, a social scientist at Dalberg Global Development Partners who supervised the writing of the report, defended it, saying that it was clear that the numbers were rough estimates. He said the report was aimed at world leaders, who will meet in Copenhagen in December to negotiate a new international climate treaty.
In a press release describing the report, Mr. Annan stressed the need for the negotiations to focus on increasing the flow of money from rich to poor regions to help reduce their vulnerability to climate hazards while still curbing the emissions of the heat-trapping gases. More than 90% of the human and economic losses from climate change are occurring in poor countries, according to the report. 【題組】62.
What is the finding of the Global Humanitarian Forum?
(A) Global temperatures affect the rate of economic development.
(B) Rates of death from illnesses have risen due to global warming.
(C) Malnutrition has caused serious health problems in poor countries.
(D) Economic trends have to do with population and natural disasters.
14.【題組】63. What do we learn about the Forum's report from the passage?
(A) It was challenged by some climate and risk experts.
(B) It aroused a lot of interest in the scientific circles.
(C) It was warmly received by environmentalists.
(D) It caused a big stir in developing countries.
15.【題組】64. What does Dr. Pielke say about the Forum's report?
(A) Its statistics look embarrassing.
(C) It deserves our closest attention.
(B) It is invalid in terms of methodology.
(D) Its conclusion is purposely exaggerated.
16.【題組】65. What is Soren Andreasen's view of the report?
(A) Its conclusions are based on carefully collected data.
(B) It is vulnerable to criticism if the statistics are closely examined.
(C) It will give rise to heated discussions at the Copenhagen conference.
(D) Its rough estimates are meant to draw the attention of world leaders.
17.【題組】66. What does Kofi Annan say should be the focus of the Copenhagen conference?
(A) How rich and poor regions can share responsibility in curbing global warming.
(B) How human and economic losses from climate change can be reduced.
(C) How emissions of heat-trapping gases can be reduced on a global scale.
(D) How rich countries can better help poor regions reduce climate hazards.
18.When it comes to eating smart for your heart, thinking about short-term fixes and simplify life with a straightforward approach that will serve you well for years to come.
Smart eating goes beyond analyzing every bite ad you lift __67__ your mouth. "In the past we used to believe that __68__ amounts of individual nutrients (营养物) were the __69__ to good health," Linda Van Horn, chair of the American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee. "But now we have a __70__ understanding of healthy eating and the kinds of food necessary to __71__ not only heart disease but disease __72__ general," she adds.
Scientists now __73__ on the broader picture of the balance of food eaten __74__ several days or a week __75__ than on the number of milligrams (毫克) of this or that __76__ at each meal.
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains, for example, provide nutrients and plant-based compounds __77__ for good health. “The more we learn, the more __78__ we are by the wealth of essential substances they __79__," Van Horn continues, "and how they __80__ with each other to keep us healthy."
You'll automatically be __81__ the right heart-healthy track if vegetables, fruits and whole grains make __82__ three quarters of the food on your dinner plate. __83__ in the remaining one quarter with lean meat or chicken, fish or eggs.
The foods you choose to eat as well as those you choose to __84__ clearly contribute to your well-being. Without a __85__, each of the small decisions you make in this realm can make a big __86__ on your health in the years to come. 【題組】67.