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Episode
172

The Curious Taste of British Food

Jul 2, 2021
History
-
24
minutes
Food & drink
Life in the UK
Great Britain
The British Empire
England
Henry VIII
The Victorian Era
World War II

British food has a bad reputation. It's often considered boring, uninspiring, and tasteless.

But it hasn't always been this way.

Discover what role William the Conqueror, Henry VIII, The French Revolution and Colonialism all played in making British food taste the way it does.

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[00:00:00] Hello, hello hello, and welcome to English Learning for Curious Minds, by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:12] The show where you can listen to fascinating stories, and learn weird and wonderful things about the world at the same time as improving your English.

[00:00:22] I'm Alastair Budge and today we are going to be talking about The Curious Taste of British Food.

[00:00:30] Now, when you hear the words “British Food” you might think of all sorts of things.

[00:00:36] Fish and chips. Large breakfasts. Roast Beef.

[00:00:40] But British food probably isn’t at the top of your list of favourite foods. If you had one last meal on Earth, you might not choose to spend it at a British restaurant.

[00:00:52] So, in this episode we are going to talk about the history of British food, how the overall tastes of British food have developed over the years, and the factors that have influenced it. 

[00:01:05] Perhaps you might come to the conclusion that it is now not nearly as bad as people think it is, and even if you don’t come to that conclusion, you’ll know a little bit more about why it tastes the way it does.

[00:01:20] Before we get right into today’s episode though, I want to remind you that you can become a member of Leonardo English and follow along with the subtitles, the transcript and its key vocabulary over on the website, which is leonardoenglish.com.

[00:01:35] Membership of Leonardo English gives you access to all of our learning materials, as well as all of our bonus episodes, so that’s more than 170 different episodes now, as well as two new ones every week, plus access to our awesome private community where we do live events, challenges, and much, much more.

[00:01:56] Our community now has members from over 50 countries, and it's my mission to make it the most interesting place for curious people just like you to improve their English.

[00:02:08] So, if that is of interest, - and I can't see a reason why it wouldn't be - then the place to go to is leonardoenglish.com.

[00:02:18] Right, let’s get started, and talk about The Curious Taste of British Food.

[00:02:25] This podcast has many listeners from countries like Spain, France, and Italy. Countries where British food doesn’t have a great reputation.

[00:02:35] For many people, it is considered dull, boring, without a taste.

[00:02:41] A cuisine full of heavy food, meat covered in too much sauce, potatoes, and overcooked pasta.

[00:02:50] Now, British food is not completely innocent of those accusations, and there is a lot about the cuisine of the British isles that is rightly deserving of some criticism.

[00:03:03] But it is not as bad as you might think! 

[00:03:06] Whatever your view on British food, it is undeniable that it is a curious mix, and is a product of a myriad of foreign influences. Some of which, as we will find out, have been changed so much that it is hard to see any relation between them and the original.

[00:03:27] To understand how British food got to where it is today, we need to go on a little trip down memory lane, we need to go back almost a thousand years to find the first major event that impacted British food.

[00:03:42] And that was with the arrival of the Normans.

[00:03:47] As you may know, in 1066 William the Conqueror sailed over from northern France to Britain, overcame the local Saxon king, King Harold, and became King William I of England.

[00:04:02] Although the Norman Conquest involved some brutal behaviour by the new King towards the local people, the influence of the invasion on British cooking was a positive one. 

[00:04:14] The Normans had strong trade links with the southern Mediterranean, which in turn traded with the middle east, and therefore there were some Persian influences in Norman cuisine

[00:04:26] The Normans also changed the meat that British people ate. Previously, the most popular meats were beef, lamb and mutton, the meat of sheep, and goat. The Normans were also fans of pork and chicken, and these two meats started to find their way onto British tables.

[00:04:48] Much of the more sophisticated cooking, the cooking involving exciting spices, was only available to the richest in society, but a clear tradition was established in Southern England in particular of good and imaginative cooking amongst those who could afford it.

[00:05:06] Our next influential event is the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century when King Henry VIII, who, if you can have seen his portrait, looks like the sort of person who might have enjoyed a large meal, took England out of the Church of Rome. 

[00:05:23] What has this possibly got to do with cooking, you might ask? 

[00:05:28] Well, quite a lot, actually.

[00:05:30] Before the break with Rome, the medieval Christian calendar contained almost 200 holy days: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, as well as lots of other Christian holidays.

[00:05:43] These were days when, because of the need for people to maintain a calm, contemplative and devout state of mind, you were not allowed to eat meat, as it was thought that it was likely to make you full of passion or strong feelings – sexual passion in particular. 

[00:06:01] Instead of eating meat, those that could afford to would eat fish.

[00:06:07] Much of the inventiveness, of the invention of new dishes, had actually come from cooks in monasteries and aristocratic homes inventing clever, heavily flavoured or spiced recipes to make the fish that had to be eaten on the nearly 200 holy days of the year as tasty as possible. 

[00:06:30] And one way in which cooks made these fish dishes more interesting was through the clever use of herbs and spices. 

[00:06:39] The Reformation resulted in the banning of all monks and their monasteries – the dissolution of the monasteries as it was called. 

[00:06:48] Its main effect was to make Henry VIII much richer as he took the land for the crown - for himself - and distributed some to his favourite noblemen; but the effect on British cuisine was that the incentive to create interesting dishes disappeared. 

[00:07:07] You could now eat meat any day you wanted, so fish plummeted in popularity.

[00:07:14] At the same time, there was a general move against what were regarded as dangerously foreign dishes, food with too much spice or taste, associated with the now forbidden Catholicism, from continental Europe. 

[00:07:29] English food, plain, healthy and in its natural form was especially promoted. 

[00:07:36] With no shortage of fertile land for animals, beef and mutton, often roasted or boiled, became the main ingredient of the diet of wealthy people in the 16th century. 

[00:07:49] The next stopping point on our British culinary journey comes with The Industrial Revolution, and the French Revolution shortly afterwards, in 1789. 

[00:08:00] What impact might these two events have had on the development of British food? 

[00:08:05] Firstly, the Industrial Revolution brought significant advances in the way in which food could be produced. 

[00:08:13] Not only did the amount of grain or potatoes that each hectare of land could produce increase by several times, but also the technology that allowed food to be preserved improved dramatically. 

[00:08:27] Indeed, the use of industrial methods in food production - from the development of nitrates in fertiliser to freezing, drying and canning - was the beginning of mass food manufacture and was a mixed blessing for people in Britain, there were positive and negative aspects.

[00:08:47] For the British the invention of canning, of using a can to preserve food, was the most influential invention, so here is a brief summary of how we learned to preserve food in cans, and the impact it had on British cuisine

[00:09:04] The technology was initially devised by a Frenchman by the name of Appert in 1809, but quickly spread to Britain shortly afterwards. 

[00:09:15] It was designed initially for military use, but before long became a vital way of dealing with food shortages; for example in the 1860s a cow disease in Britain was no reason for the people to stop eating beef, as tinned beef could be imported from South America and Australia. 

[00:09:36] American producers joined in - notably Heinz, the famous producer of baked beans - and by the 1930s, cheap canned food had increased choice and convenience in all British homes.

[00:09:50] Food became cheaper, and would last for longer. 

[00:09:54] The average British person could now eat meat more frequently than before, albeit highly processed meat out of a can. 

[00:10:02] But another related result of the Industrial Revolution was that workers spent more time working in the factories, and there simply wasn’t a huge amount of time to cook properly. 

[00:10:14] Combined with the fact that food was cheaper and didn’t really need to be prepared, many Brits just ended up eating quick, low quality food, and a lot of the culture of preparing healthy, fresh food was forgotten.

[00:10:31] Indeed George Orwell, writing in 1937, said "We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine gun."

[00:10:43] This was for the average person in Britain, but for the richest in society it was a different story directly after the French Revolution.

[00:10:54] As you will have heard if you have listened to the episode on the French Revolution, the French aristocracy suffered considerably during these bloody years; some, like the King, literally lost their heads to the guillotine, whilst the more lucky or wise ones fled the country. 

[00:11:12] A considerable number of chefs employed by their aristocratic French masters fled to England and found work as chefs in large English houses, in the houses of the richest people in British society.

[00:11:28] These British people were not only the traditional aristocrats, the lords and ladies, but they were also joined by merchants and early industrialists who were the main beneficiaries of the enormous wealth created by the Industrial Revolution. 

[00:11:46] For the richest in society, the arrival of so many expert French chefs and the British attraction to French high class cooking or, to use the correct French term, “haute cuisine”, meant that this wealthy or affluent landed class could display their wealth in the most fashionable way, through showing off the best French dishes at their lavish, extravagant dinner parties.

[00:12:14] The wealth that was creating so many newly rich people in this large, socially competitive upper middle-class meant that the display of wealth and sophistication may well have become even more important than the quality of the food itself. 

[00:12:32] If you visit any of these great houses that were owned by wealthy industrialists, many of which are now owned by the National Trust, so they are open to the public, you can often see examples of menus from this era, from this time in history. 

[00:12:49] These menus are displayed in the grand, elegant dining rooms of the time. With industrialised methods of making beautiful China plates and cups, and expensive, silver cutlery, dinners must have been quite theatrical in their display of opulence - or extreme wealth. 

[00:13:09] Fast forward now to the early 20th century and the eve of the 1st World War, which is probably just after the highest point of the British Empire and Britain's industrial power relative to other nations.

[00:13:24] The British Empire had a profound effect on what Britons eat - both through what early imperialists brought back from far-flung, from distant lands and, yet more significantly, from what immigrants from the former empire brought into the country after 1945. 

[00:13:45] The first of these influences of empire on the national palate is perhaps best illustrated by the story of the well known dish, curry. 

[00:13:56] When you hear or see the word curry, you might think of it as an Indian dish. 

[00:14:02] Well, you are half-right

[00:14:05] The word curry is an Anglicised version of the word “kari”, from the Tamil word meaning a sauce that is added to rice. 

[00:14:15] What had happened was that the British incomers to India, with their appetite for meat and their desire to take their meat-eating habits into this foreign territory, took a liking to a combination of meat and this sauce that the locals ate. 

[00:14:34] This new dish made their favourite beef or mutton much tastier through all the wonderful spices, especially the most important spices for curry, being coriander seeds, turmeric, cumin and chili peppers. 

[00:14:50] By 1747 curry had appeared in a book of British recipes. 

[00:14:56] By 1809 it was served in coffee houses in Britain. 

[00:15:00] When the most influential cookery book of the Victorian era was published, by a lady called Mrs Beeton in 1860, numerous curry recipes, sent to her by enthusiastic housewives, were included. 

[00:15:16] This lady, Mrs Beeton, and her famous book, “Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management”, had a powerful influence on British cooking for decades. 

[00:15:27] It is thought that in the 1930s her book was still being used in almost half of the households in Britain. 

[00:15:36] Many food historians, searching for the reasons that British food had become so unimaginative and boring, drew attention to the influence of Mrs Beeton. 

[00:15:49] Her book was influential in setting out what was socially acceptable in what was often called polite society [meaning the higher classes of British society]. 

[00:16:00] In the minds of many generations of British women, and it being a patriarchal society, it was almost exclusively the women who were responsible for cooking, these strict rules, combined with a strong fear of being seen to do the wrong thing and the resulting social stigma, led to a real decline in inventiveness of British cooking. 

[00:16:23] It is important to remember that the Victorian era, that is Britain in the 19th Century, was an age of puritanism with its fear of pleasure and a particular emphasis on decorum - meaning a set of rules, or a code of behaviour - which needed to be kept strictly.

[00:16:44] How you run your house and what you serve at your dining table were all part of decorum and social respectability. 

[00:16:52] So, Mrs Beeton laid down the rules with this incredibly influential culinary guidebook. 

[00:16:59] No to spices and other foreign flavourings - unless in the familiar creation of curry. 

[00:17:06] Vegetables needed to be heavily cooked – boiled to death in fact - as she believed they could cause stomach problems if eaten raw

[00:17:16] So, to summarise the potential causes of the decline in British cuisine by, say, 1930 they include an over-emphasis on display and decorum, the fear of any strong flavouring or spices, suspicion of foreign influences, the frequent use of tinned food and the resulting forgetting of how to prepare good, fresh food. 

[00:17:42] The Second World War brought with it an additional factor which would mark British eating for decades afterwards: austerity and food rationing, meaning limits being placed on what food you were allowed to buy. 

[00:17:57] With food rationing in place from 1939 until 1953, a whole generation of people grew up with war time habits of frugality – or, to put it another way, the habit of living simply and cheaply. 

[00:18:13] If you add these factors into the ones mentioned previously, you can see why the diets of those, like my parents, who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, were characterised by dishes that were born out of post-wartime austerity and shortages

[00:18:30] For example, my father will talk of a childhood favourite of his, called corned beef hash. 

[00:18:38] This was in fact a dish made out of Argentinian tinned beef but mainly consisting of potatoes. 

[00:18:46] There’s a reason you will struggle to find it in a modern British restaurant because...well, it’s not very nice.

[00:18:53] Some wartime eating habits still remain; for example, the national love of the sausage [or “banger” to use the affectionate name it acquired in the War]. 

[00:19:05] Home cooking in Britain was given a boost by the popularity and health benefits of the so-called Mediterranean diet in the 1970s. A cookery writer called Elizabeth David helped popularise French cooking in particular. 

[00:19:22] Subsequent TV cooks, such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, have done much to increase the glamour of cooking and thereby encourage Britons to cook more imaginatively. 

[00:19:34] Well, what is the situation like now in 2021, perhaps you are asking yourself?

[00:19:41] Thankfully, things have moved on from the days of the endless tinned and dehydrated food of the 1960s and 1970s, but the British diet is still markedly different to that of other European nations. 

[00:19:58] One perhaps surprising difference is the UK’s addiction to takeaways, to takeaway food.

[00:20:05] Indeed, the UK has 40% of the takeaway market of the whole of Europe. 

[00:20:12] These are not just in the long-established styles of Chinese and Indian food which dominated the foreign restaurant scene some 40 years ago, but people‘s tastes are truly global and include Thai, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Greek, Mexican, you name it. 

[00:20:31] The influx of immigrants from all over the world means that the national palate has become much more receptive to all these wonderful, varied tastes. 

[00:20:43] This draw towards ethnic foods is evident in supermarkets as well, where the sections containing “ready meals” are huge – far larger than similar sections in, say, French or Italian supermarkets. 

[00:20:59] And in general, the standard of these oven-ready mealsat is pretty good. 

[00:21:05] COVID-19 has, of course, accelerated a trend which was already quite marked: Brits are eating an increasing proportion of food which they either bring into the house already completely cooked or which they take home and warm up. 

[00:21:22] And when it comes to ‘foreign’ food, to dishes that Brits might consider to be foreign, but are very often eaten in Britain, many are either British adaptations of foreign dishes or, in the case of one of the country‘s favourite meals, Chicken Korma, a dish which was invented in Britain and given an Indian name. 

[00:21:45] So, that is a brief introduction to the curious taste of British food. Like many British things, British cuisine is a mix, a mish-mash one could say, of influences from all over the world.

[00:21:59] From France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, India, China, the Middle East. And much like the English language, all of these influences have been brought to this little island, in many cases put together, and that’s how we have come up with British food.

[00:22:17] The result is, I hope you’ll agree, not as bad as most people think.

[00:22:24] OK then, that is it for today's episode on The Curious Taste of British Food.

[00:22:31] I hope you enjoyed it, and that it has given you a little insight into why British food tastes like it does.

[00:22:39] We actually did a mini-series on some specific British dishes, such as Oysters, The Sandwich, Fish and Chips and the English Breakfast, so if you want to know more about those, then I would recommend giving those ones a listen. Those are actually episodes 16, 17, 18, and 19, from about 18 months ago.

[00:23:00] And as always, I would love to know what you thought of this episode.

[00:23:04] Have you ever actually tried British food? What do you think of it? I hope you might have been pleasantly surprised...

[00:23:12] If you are a member of Leonardo English you can head right into our community forum, which is at community.leonardoenglish.com and get chatting away to other curious minds.

[00:23:23] And if you are not yet a member of Leonardo English, today might be the day to change that.

[00:23:29] Membership of Leonardo English means unlocking all of our bonus episodes, plus the transcripts, subtitles, and key vocabulary, as well as member only events, challenges, and much much more.

[00:23:42] I am on a mission to make Leonardo English the most interesting way of improving your English, and I would love for you to join me, and curious minds from 50 different countries, on that journey.

[00:23:56] The place you can go to for all of that is leonardoenglish.com.

[00:24:01] You've been listening to English Learning for Curious Minds, by Leonardo English.

[00:24:07] I'm Alastair Budge, you stay safe, and I'll catch you in the next episode.



[END OF EPISODE]


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Get immediate access to a more interesting way of improving your English
Become a member
Already a member? Login

[00:00:00] Hello, hello hello, and welcome to English Learning for Curious Minds, by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:12] The show where you can listen to fascinating stories, and learn weird and wonderful things about the world at the same time as improving your English.

[00:00:22] I'm Alastair Budge and today we are going to be talking about The Curious Taste of British Food.

[00:00:30] Now, when you hear the words “British Food” you might think of all sorts of things.

[00:00:36] Fish and chips. Large breakfasts. Roast Beef.

[00:00:40] But British food probably isn’t at the top of your list of favourite foods. If you had one last meal on Earth, you might not choose to spend it at a British restaurant.

[00:00:52] So, in this episode we are going to talk about the history of British food, how the overall tastes of British food have developed over the years, and the factors that have influenced it. 

[00:01:05] Perhaps you might come to the conclusion that it is now not nearly as bad as people think it is, and even if you don’t come to that conclusion, you’ll know a little bit more about why it tastes the way it does.

[00:01:20] Before we get right into today’s episode though, I want to remind you that you can become a member of Leonardo English and follow along with the subtitles, the transcript and its key vocabulary over on the website, which is leonardoenglish.com.

[00:01:35] Membership of Leonardo English gives you access to all of our learning materials, as well as all of our bonus episodes, so that’s more than 170 different episodes now, as well as two new ones every week, plus access to our awesome private community where we do live events, challenges, and much, much more.

[00:01:56] Our community now has members from over 50 countries, and it's my mission to make it the most interesting place for curious people just like you to improve their English.

[00:02:08] So, if that is of interest, - and I can't see a reason why it wouldn't be - then the place to go to is leonardoenglish.com.

[00:02:18] Right, let’s get started, and talk about The Curious Taste of British Food.

[00:02:25] This podcast has many listeners from countries like Spain, France, and Italy. Countries where British food doesn’t have a great reputation.

[00:02:35] For many people, it is considered dull, boring, without a taste.

[00:02:41] A cuisine full of heavy food, meat covered in too much sauce, potatoes, and overcooked pasta.

[00:02:50] Now, British food is not completely innocent of those accusations, and there is a lot about the cuisine of the British isles that is rightly deserving of some criticism.

[00:03:03] But it is not as bad as you might think! 

[00:03:06] Whatever your view on British food, it is undeniable that it is a curious mix, and is a product of a myriad of foreign influences. Some of which, as we will find out, have been changed so much that it is hard to see any relation between them and the original.

[00:03:27] To understand how British food got to where it is today, we need to go on a little trip down memory lane, we need to go back almost a thousand years to find the first major event that impacted British food.

[00:03:42] And that was with the arrival of the Normans.

[00:03:47] As you may know, in 1066 William the Conqueror sailed over from northern France to Britain, overcame the local Saxon king, King Harold, and became King William I of England.

[00:04:02] Although the Norman Conquest involved some brutal behaviour by the new King towards the local people, the influence of the invasion on British cooking was a positive one. 

[00:04:14] The Normans had strong trade links with the southern Mediterranean, which in turn traded with the middle east, and therefore there were some Persian influences in Norman cuisine

[00:04:26] The Normans also changed the meat that British people ate. Previously, the most popular meats were beef, lamb and mutton, the meat of sheep, and goat. The Normans were also fans of pork and chicken, and these two meats started to find their way onto British tables.

[00:04:48] Much of the more sophisticated cooking, the cooking involving exciting spices, was only available to the richest in society, but a clear tradition was established in Southern England in particular of good and imaginative cooking amongst those who could afford it.

[00:05:06] Our next influential event is the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century when King Henry VIII, who, if you can have seen his portrait, looks like the sort of person who might have enjoyed a large meal, took England out of the Church of Rome. 

[00:05:23] What has this possibly got to do with cooking, you might ask? 

[00:05:28] Well, quite a lot, actually.

[00:05:30] Before the break with Rome, the medieval Christian calendar contained almost 200 holy days: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, as well as lots of other Christian holidays.

[00:05:43] These were days when, because of the need for people to maintain a calm, contemplative and devout state of mind, you were not allowed to eat meat, as it was thought that it was likely to make you full of passion or strong feelings – sexual passion in particular. 

[00:06:01] Instead of eating meat, those that could afford to would eat fish.

[00:06:07] Much of the inventiveness, of the invention of new dishes, had actually come from cooks in monasteries and aristocratic homes inventing clever, heavily flavoured or spiced recipes to make the fish that had to be eaten on the nearly 200 holy days of the year as tasty as possible. 

[00:06:30] And one way in which cooks made these fish dishes more interesting was through the clever use of herbs and spices. 

[00:06:39] The Reformation resulted in the banning of all monks and their monasteries – the dissolution of the monasteries as it was called. 

[00:06:48] Its main effect was to make Henry VIII much richer as he took the land for the crown - for himself - and distributed some to his favourite noblemen; but the effect on British cuisine was that the incentive to create interesting dishes disappeared. 

[00:07:07] You could now eat meat any day you wanted, so fish plummeted in popularity.

[00:07:14] At the same time, there was a general move against what were regarded as dangerously foreign dishes, food with too much spice or taste, associated with the now forbidden Catholicism, from continental Europe. 

[00:07:29] English food, plain, healthy and in its natural form was especially promoted. 

[00:07:36] With no shortage of fertile land for animals, beef and mutton, often roasted or boiled, became the main ingredient of the diet of wealthy people in the 16th century. 

[00:07:49] The next stopping point on our British culinary journey comes with The Industrial Revolution, and the French Revolution shortly afterwards, in 1789. 

[00:08:00] What impact might these two events have had on the development of British food? 

[00:08:05] Firstly, the Industrial Revolution brought significant advances in the way in which food could be produced. 

[00:08:13] Not only did the amount of grain or potatoes that each hectare of land could produce increase by several times, but also the technology that allowed food to be preserved improved dramatically. 

[00:08:27] Indeed, the use of industrial methods in food production - from the development of nitrates in fertiliser to freezing, drying and canning - was the beginning of mass food manufacture and was a mixed blessing for people in Britain, there were positive and negative aspects.

[00:08:47] For the British the invention of canning, of using a can to preserve food, was the most influential invention, so here is a brief summary of how we learned to preserve food in cans, and the impact it had on British cuisine

[00:09:04] The technology was initially devised by a Frenchman by the name of Appert in 1809, but quickly spread to Britain shortly afterwards. 

[00:09:15] It was designed initially for military use, but before long became a vital way of dealing with food shortages; for example in the 1860s a cow disease in Britain was no reason for the people to stop eating beef, as tinned beef could be imported from South America and Australia. 

[00:09:36] American producers joined in - notably Heinz, the famous producer of baked beans - and by the 1930s, cheap canned food had increased choice and convenience in all British homes.

[00:09:50] Food became cheaper, and would last for longer. 

[00:09:54] The average British person could now eat meat more frequently than before, albeit highly processed meat out of a can. 

[00:10:02] But another related result of the Industrial Revolution was that workers spent more time working in the factories, and there simply wasn’t a huge amount of time to cook properly. 

[00:10:14] Combined with the fact that food was cheaper and didn’t really need to be prepared, many Brits just ended up eating quick, low quality food, and a lot of the culture of preparing healthy, fresh food was forgotten.

[00:10:31] Indeed George Orwell, writing in 1937, said "We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine gun."

[00:10:43] This was for the average person in Britain, but for the richest in society it was a different story directly after the French Revolution.

[00:10:54] As you will have heard if you have listened to the episode on the French Revolution, the French aristocracy suffered considerably during these bloody years; some, like the King, literally lost their heads to the guillotine, whilst the more lucky or wise ones fled the country. 

[00:11:12] A considerable number of chefs employed by their aristocratic French masters fled to England and found work as chefs in large English houses, in the houses of the richest people in British society.

[00:11:28] These British people were not only the traditional aristocrats, the lords and ladies, but they were also joined by merchants and early industrialists who were the main beneficiaries of the enormous wealth created by the Industrial Revolution. 

[00:11:46] For the richest in society, the arrival of so many expert French chefs and the British attraction to French high class cooking or, to use the correct French term, “haute cuisine”, meant that this wealthy or affluent landed class could display their wealth in the most fashionable way, through showing off the best French dishes at their lavish, extravagant dinner parties.

[00:12:14] The wealth that was creating so many newly rich people in this large, socially competitive upper middle-class meant that the display of wealth and sophistication may well have become even more important than the quality of the food itself. 

[00:12:32] If you visit any of these great houses that were owned by wealthy industrialists, many of which are now owned by the National Trust, so they are open to the public, you can often see examples of menus from this era, from this time in history. 

[00:12:49] These menus are displayed in the grand, elegant dining rooms of the time. With industrialised methods of making beautiful China plates and cups, and expensive, silver cutlery, dinners must have been quite theatrical in their display of opulence - or extreme wealth. 

[00:13:09] Fast forward now to the early 20th century and the eve of the 1st World War, which is probably just after the highest point of the British Empire and Britain's industrial power relative to other nations.

[00:13:24] The British Empire had a profound effect on what Britons eat - both through what early imperialists brought back from far-flung, from distant lands and, yet more significantly, from what immigrants from the former empire brought into the country after 1945. 

[00:13:45] The first of these influences of empire on the national palate is perhaps best illustrated by the story of the well known dish, curry. 

[00:13:56] When you hear or see the word curry, you might think of it as an Indian dish. 

[00:14:02] Well, you are half-right

[00:14:05] The word curry is an Anglicised version of the word “kari”, from the Tamil word meaning a sauce that is added to rice. 

[00:14:15] What had happened was that the British incomers to India, with their appetite for meat and their desire to take their meat-eating habits into this foreign territory, took a liking to a combination of meat and this sauce that the locals ate. 

[00:14:34] This new dish made their favourite beef or mutton much tastier through all the wonderful spices, especially the most important spices for curry, being coriander seeds, turmeric, cumin and chili peppers. 

[00:14:50] By 1747 curry had appeared in a book of British recipes. 

[00:14:56] By 1809 it was served in coffee houses in Britain. 

[00:15:00] When the most influential cookery book of the Victorian era was published, by a lady called Mrs Beeton in 1860, numerous curry recipes, sent to her by enthusiastic housewives, were included. 

[00:15:16] This lady, Mrs Beeton, and her famous book, “Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management”, had a powerful influence on British cooking for decades. 

[00:15:27] It is thought that in the 1930s her book was still being used in almost half of the households in Britain. 

[00:15:36] Many food historians, searching for the reasons that British food had become so unimaginative and boring, drew attention to the influence of Mrs Beeton. 

[00:15:49] Her book was influential in setting out what was socially acceptable in what was often called polite society [meaning the higher classes of British society]. 

[00:16:00] In the minds of many generations of British women, and it being a patriarchal society, it was almost exclusively the women who were responsible for cooking, these strict rules, combined with a strong fear of being seen to do the wrong thing and the resulting social stigma, led to a real decline in inventiveness of British cooking. 

[00:16:23] It is important to remember that the Victorian era, that is Britain in the 19th Century, was an age of puritanism with its fear of pleasure and a particular emphasis on decorum - meaning a set of rules, or a code of behaviour - which needed to be kept strictly.

[00:16:44] How you run your house and what you serve at your dining table were all part of decorum and social respectability. 

[00:16:52] So, Mrs Beeton laid down the rules with this incredibly influential culinary guidebook. 

[00:16:59] No to spices and other foreign flavourings - unless in the familiar creation of curry. 

[00:17:06] Vegetables needed to be heavily cooked – boiled to death in fact - as she believed they could cause stomach problems if eaten raw

[00:17:16] So, to summarise the potential causes of the decline in British cuisine by, say, 1930 they include an over-emphasis on display and decorum, the fear of any strong flavouring or spices, suspicion of foreign influences, the frequent use of tinned food and the resulting forgetting of how to prepare good, fresh food. 

[00:17:42] The Second World War brought with it an additional factor which would mark British eating for decades afterwards: austerity and food rationing, meaning limits being placed on what food you were allowed to buy. 

[00:17:57] With food rationing in place from 1939 until 1953, a whole generation of people grew up with war time habits of frugality – or, to put it another way, the habit of living simply and cheaply. 

[00:18:13] If you add these factors into the ones mentioned previously, you can see why the diets of those, like my parents, who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, were characterised by dishes that were born out of post-wartime austerity and shortages

[00:18:30] For example, my father will talk of a childhood favourite of his, called corned beef hash. 

[00:18:38] This was in fact a dish made out of Argentinian tinned beef but mainly consisting of potatoes. 

[00:18:46] There’s a reason you will struggle to find it in a modern British restaurant because...well, it’s not very nice.

[00:18:53] Some wartime eating habits still remain; for example, the national love of the sausage [or “banger” to use the affectionate name it acquired in the War]. 

[00:19:05] Home cooking in Britain was given a boost by the popularity and health benefits of the so-called Mediterranean diet in the 1970s. A cookery writer called Elizabeth David helped popularise French cooking in particular. 

[00:19:22] Subsequent TV cooks, such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, have done much to increase the glamour of cooking and thereby encourage Britons to cook more imaginatively. 

[00:19:34] Well, what is the situation like now in 2021, perhaps you are asking yourself?

[00:19:41] Thankfully, things have moved on from the days of the endless tinned and dehydrated food of the 1960s and 1970s, but the British diet is still markedly different to that of other European nations. 

[00:19:58] One perhaps surprising difference is the UK’s addiction to takeaways, to takeaway food.

[00:20:05] Indeed, the UK has 40% of the takeaway market of the whole of Europe. 

[00:20:12] These are not just in the long-established styles of Chinese and Indian food which dominated the foreign restaurant scene some 40 years ago, but people‘s tastes are truly global and include Thai, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Greek, Mexican, you name it. 

[00:20:31] The influx of immigrants from all over the world means that the national palate has become much more receptive to all these wonderful, varied tastes. 

[00:20:43] This draw towards ethnic foods is evident in supermarkets as well, where the sections containing “ready meals” are huge – far larger than similar sections in, say, French or Italian supermarkets. 

[00:20:59] And in general, the standard of these oven-ready mealsat is pretty good. 

[00:21:05] COVID-19 has, of course, accelerated a trend which was already quite marked: Brits are eating an increasing proportion of food which they either bring into the house already completely cooked or which they take home and warm up. 

[00:21:22] And when it comes to ‘foreign’ food, to dishes that Brits might consider to be foreign, but are very often eaten in Britain, many are either British adaptations of foreign dishes or, in the case of one of the country‘s favourite meals, Chicken Korma, a dish which was invented in Britain and given an Indian name. 

[00:21:45] So, that is a brief introduction to the curious taste of British food. Like many British things, British cuisine is a mix, a mish-mash one could say, of influences from all over the world.

[00:21:59] From France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, India, China, the Middle East. And much like the English language, all of these influences have been brought to this little island, in many cases put together, and that’s how we have come up with British food.

[00:22:17] The result is, I hope you’ll agree, not as bad as most people think.

[00:22:24] OK then, that is it for today's episode on The Curious Taste of British Food.

[00:22:31] I hope you enjoyed it, and that it has given you a little insight into why British food tastes like it does.

[00:22:39] We actually did a mini-series on some specific British dishes, such as Oysters, The Sandwich, Fish and Chips and the English Breakfast, so if you want to know more about those, then I would recommend giving those ones a listen. Those are actually episodes 16, 17, 18, and 19, from about 18 months ago.

[00:23:00] And as always, I would love to know what you thought of this episode.

[00:23:04] Have you ever actually tried British food? What do you think of it? I hope you might have been pleasantly surprised...

[00:23:12] If you are a member of Leonardo English you can head right into our community forum, which is at community.leonardoenglish.com and get chatting away to other curious minds.

[00:23:23] And if you are not yet a member of Leonardo English, today might be the day to change that.

[00:23:29] Membership of Leonardo English means unlocking all of our bonus episodes, plus the transcripts, subtitles, and key vocabulary, as well as member only events, challenges, and much much more.

[00:23:42] I am on a mission to make Leonardo English the most interesting way of improving your English, and I would love for you to join me, and curious minds from 50 different countries, on that journey.

[00:23:56] The place you can go to for all of that is leonardoenglish.com.

[00:24:01] You've been listening to English Learning for Curious Minds, by Leonardo English.

[00:24:07] I'm Alastair Budge, you stay safe, and I'll catch you in the next episode.



[END OF EPISODE]


[00:00:00] Hello, hello hello, and welcome to English Learning for Curious Minds, by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:12] The show where you can listen to fascinating stories, and learn weird and wonderful things about the world at the same time as improving your English.

[00:00:22] I'm Alastair Budge and today we are going to be talking about The Curious Taste of British Food.

[00:00:30] Now, when you hear the words “British Food” you might think of all sorts of things.

[00:00:36] Fish and chips. Large breakfasts. Roast Beef.

[00:00:40] But British food probably isn’t at the top of your list of favourite foods. If you had one last meal on Earth, you might not choose to spend it at a British restaurant.

[00:00:52] So, in this episode we are going to talk about the history of British food, how the overall tastes of British food have developed over the years, and the factors that have influenced it. 

[00:01:05] Perhaps you might come to the conclusion that it is now not nearly as bad as people think it is, and even if you don’t come to that conclusion, you’ll know a little bit more about why it tastes the way it does.

[00:01:20] Before we get right into today’s episode though, I want to remind you that you can become a member of Leonardo English and follow along with the subtitles, the transcript and its key vocabulary over on the website, which is leonardoenglish.com.

[00:01:35] Membership of Leonardo English gives you access to all of our learning materials, as well as all of our bonus episodes, so that’s more than 170 different episodes now, as well as two new ones every week, plus access to our awesome private community where we do live events, challenges, and much, much more.

[00:01:56] Our community now has members from over 50 countries, and it's my mission to make it the most interesting place for curious people just like you to improve their English.

[00:02:08] So, if that is of interest, - and I can't see a reason why it wouldn't be - then the place to go to is leonardoenglish.com.

[00:02:18] Right, let’s get started, and talk about The Curious Taste of British Food.

[00:02:25] This podcast has many listeners from countries like Spain, France, and Italy. Countries where British food doesn’t have a great reputation.

[00:02:35] For many people, it is considered dull, boring, without a taste.

[00:02:41] A cuisine full of heavy food, meat covered in too much sauce, potatoes, and overcooked pasta.

[00:02:50] Now, British food is not completely innocent of those accusations, and there is a lot about the cuisine of the British isles that is rightly deserving of some criticism.

[00:03:03] But it is not as bad as you might think! 

[00:03:06] Whatever your view on British food, it is undeniable that it is a curious mix, and is a product of a myriad of foreign influences. Some of which, as we will find out, have been changed so much that it is hard to see any relation between them and the original.

[00:03:27] To understand how British food got to where it is today, we need to go on a little trip down memory lane, we need to go back almost a thousand years to find the first major event that impacted British food.

[00:03:42] And that was with the arrival of the Normans.

[00:03:47] As you may know, in 1066 William the Conqueror sailed over from northern France to Britain, overcame the local Saxon king, King Harold, and became King William I of England.

[00:04:02] Although the Norman Conquest involved some brutal behaviour by the new King towards the local people, the influence of the invasion on British cooking was a positive one. 

[00:04:14] The Normans had strong trade links with the southern Mediterranean, which in turn traded with the middle east, and therefore there were some Persian influences in Norman cuisine

[00:04:26] The Normans also changed the meat that British people ate. Previously, the most popular meats were beef, lamb and mutton, the meat of sheep, and goat. The Normans were also fans of pork and chicken, and these two meats started to find their way onto British tables.

[00:04:48] Much of the more sophisticated cooking, the cooking involving exciting spices, was only available to the richest in society, but a clear tradition was established in Southern England in particular of good and imaginative cooking amongst those who could afford it.

[00:05:06] Our next influential event is the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century when King Henry VIII, who, if you can have seen his portrait, looks like the sort of person who might have enjoyed a large meal, took England out of the Church of Rome. 

[00:05:23] What has this possibly got to do with cooking, you might ask? 

[00:05:28] Well, quite a lot, actually.

[00:05:30] Before the break with Rome, the medieval Christian calendar contained almost 200 holy days: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, as well as lots of other Christian holidays.

[00:05:43] These were days when, because of the need for people to maintain a calm, contemplative and devout state of mind, you were not allowed to eat meat, as it was thought that it was likely to make you full of passion or strong feelings – sexual passion in particular. 

[00:06:01] Instead of eating meat, those that could afford to would eat fish.

[00:06:07] Much of the inventiveness, of the invention of new dishes, had actually come from cooks in monasteries and aristocratic homes inventing clever, heavily flavoured or spiced recipes to make the fish that had to be eaten on the nearly 200 holy days of the year as tasty as possible. 

[00:06:30] And one way in which cooks made these fish dishes more interesting was through the clever use of herbs and spices. 

[00:06:39] The Reformation resulted in the banning of all monks and their monasteries – the dissolution of the monasteries as it was called. 

[00:06:48] Its main effect was to make Henry VIII much richer as he took the land for the crown - for himself - and distributed some to his favourite noblemen; but the effect on British cuisine was that the incentive to create interesting dishes disappeared. 

[00:07:07] You could now eat meat any day you wanted, so fish plummeted in popularity.

[00:07:14] At the same time, there was a general move against what were regarded as dangerously foreign dishes, food with too much spice or taste, associated with the now forbidden Catholicism, from continental Europe. 

[00:07:29] English food, plain, healthy and in its natural form was especially promoted. 

[00:07:36] With no shortage of fertile land for animals, beef and mutton, often roasted or boiled, became the main ingredient of the diet of wealthy people in the 16th century. 

[00:07:49] The next stopping point on our British culinary journey comes with The Industrial Revolution, and the French Revolution shortly afterwards, in 1789. 

[00:08:00] What impact might these two events have had on the development of British food? 

[00:08:05] Firstly, the Industrial Revolution brought significant advances in the way in which food could be produced. 

[00:08:13] Not only did the amount of grain or potatoes that each hectare of land could produce increase by several times, but also the technology that allowed food to be preserved improved dramatically. 

[00:08:27] Indeed, the use of industrial methods in food production - from the development of nitrates in fertiliser to freezing, drying and canning - was the beginning of mass food manufacture and was a mixed blessing for people in Britain, there were positive and negative aspects.

[00:08:47] For the British the invention of canning, of using a can to preserve food, was the most influential invention, so here is a brief summary of how we learned to preserve food in cans, and the impact it had on British cuisine

[00:09:04] The technology was initially devised by a Frenchman by the name of Appert in 1809, but quickly spread to Britain shortly afterwards. 

[00:09:15] It was designed initially for military use, but before long became a vital way of dealing with food shortages; for example in the 1860s a cow disease in Britain was no reason for the people to stop eating beef, as tinned beef could be imported from South America and Australia. 

[00:09:36] American producers joined in - notably Heinz, the famous producer of baked beans - and by the 1930s, cheap canned food had increased choice and convenience in all British homes.

[00:09:50] Food became cheaper, and would last for longer. 

[00:09:54] The average British person could now eat meat more frequently than before, albeit highly processed meat out of a can. 

[00:10:02] But another related result of the Industrial Revolution was that workers spent more time working in the factories, and there simply wasn’t a huge amount of time to cook properly. 

[00:10:14] Combined with the fact that food was cheaper and didn’t really need to be prepared, many Brits just ended up eating quick, low quality food, and a lot of the culture of preparing healthy, fresh food was forgotten.

[00:10:31] Indeed George Orwell, writing in 1937, said "We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine gun."

[00:10:43] This was for the average person in Britain, but for the richest in society it was a different story directly after the French Revolution.

[00:10:54] As you will have heard if you have listened to the episode on the French Revolution, the French aristocracy suffered considerably during these bloody years; some, like the King, literally lost their heads to the guillotine, whilst the more lucky or wise ones fled the country. 

[00:11:12] A considerable number of chefs employed by their aristocratic French masters fled to England and found work as chefs in large English houses, in the houses of the richest people in British society.

[00:11:28] These British people were not only the traditional aristocrats, the lords and ladies, but they were also joined by merchants and early industrialists who were the main beneficiaries of the enormous wealth created by the Industrial Revolution. 

[00:11:46] For the richest in society, the arrival of so many expert French chefs and the British attraction to French high class cooking or, to use the correct French term, “haute cuisine”, meant that this wealthy or affluent landed class could display their wealth in the most fashionable way, through showing off the best French dishes at their lavish, extravagant dinner parties.

[00:12:14] The wealth that was creating so many newly rich people in this large, socially competitive upper middle-class meant that the display of wealth and sophistication may well have become even more important than the quality of the food itself. 

[00:12:32] If you visit any of these great houses that were owned by wealthy industrialists, many of which are now owned by the National Trust, so they are open to the public, you can often see examples of menus from this era, from this time in history. 

[00:12:49] These menus are displayed in the grand, elegant dining rooms of the time. With industrialised methods of making beautiful China plates and cups, and expensive, silver cutlery, dinners must have been quite theatrical in their display of opulence - or extreme wealth. 

[00:13:09] Fast forward now to the early 20th century and the eve of the 1st World War, which is probably just after the highest point of the British Empire and Britain's industrial power relative to other nations.

[00:13:24] The British Empire had a profound effect on what Britons eat - both through what early imperialists brought back from far-flung, from distant lands and, yet more significantly, from what immigrants from the former empire brought into the country after 1945. 

[00:13:45] The first of these influences of empire on the national palate is perhaps best illustrated by the story of the well known dish, curry. 

[00:13:56] When you hear or see the word curry, you might think of it as an Indian dish. 

[00:14:02] Well, you are half-right

[00:14:05] The word curry is an Anglicised version of the word “kari”, from the Tamil word meaning a sauce that is added to rice. 

[00:14:15] What had happened was that the British incomers to India, with their appetite for meat and their desire to take their meat-eating habits into this foreign territory, took a liking to a combination of meat and this sauce that the locals ate. 

[00:14:34] This new dish made their favourite beef or mutton much tastier through all the wonderful spices, especially the most important spices for curry, being coriander seeds, turmeric, cumin and chili peppers. 

[00:14:50] By 1747 curry had appeared in a book of British recipes. 

[00:14:56] By 1809 it was served in coffee houses in Britain. 

[00:15:00] When the most influential cookery book of the Victorian era was published, by a lady called Mrs Beeton in 1860, numerous curry recipes, sent to her by enthusiastic housewives, were included. 

[00:15:16] This lady, Mrs Beeton, and her famous book, “Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management”, had a powerful influence on British cooking for decades. 

[00:15:27] It is thought that in the 1930s her book was still being used in almost half of the households in Britain. 

[00:15:36] Many food historians, searching for the reasons that British food had become so unimaginative and boring, drew attention to the influence of Mrs Beeton. 

[00:15:49] Her book was influential in setting out what was socially acceptable in what was often called polite society [meaning the higher classes of British society]. 

[00:16:00] In the minds of many generations of British women, and it being a patriarchal society, it was almost exclusively the women who were responsible for cooking, these strict rules, combined with a strong fear of being seen to do the wrong thing and the resulting social stigma, led to a real decline in inventiveness of British cooking. 

[00:16:23] It is important to remember that the Victorian era, that is Britain in the 19th Century, was an age of puritanism with its fear of pleasure and a particular emphasis on decorum - meaning a set of rules, or a code of behaviour - which needed to be kept strictly.

[00:16:44] How you run your house and what you serve at your dining table were all part of decorum and social respectability. 

[00:16:52] So, Mrs Beeton laid down the rules with this incredibly influential culinary guidebook. 

[00:16:59] No to spices and other foreign flavourings - unless in the familiar creation of curry. 

[00:17:06] Vegetables needed to be heavily cooked – boiled to death in fact - as she believed they could cause stomach problems if eaten raw

[00:17:16] So, to summarise the potential causes of the decline in British cuisine by, say, 1930 they include an over-emphasis on display and decorum, the fear of any strong flavouring or spices, suspicion of foreign influences, the frequent use of tinned food and the resulting forgetting of how to prepare good, fresh food. 

[00:17:42] The Second World War brought with it an additional factor which would mark British eating for decades afterwards: austerity and food rationing, meaning limits being placed on what food you were allowed to buy. 

[00:17:57] With food rationing in place from 1939 until 1953, a whole generation of people grew up with war time habits of frugality – or, to put it another way, the habit of living simply and cheaply. 

[00:18:13] If you add these factors into the ones mentioned previously, you can see why the diets of those, like my parents, who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, were characterised by dishes that were born out of post-wartime austerity and shortages

[00:18:30] For example, my father will talk of a childhood favourite of his, called corned beef hash. 

[00:18:38] This was in fact a dish made out of Argentinian tinned beef but mainly consisting of potatoes. 

[00:18:46] There’s a reason you will struggle to find it in a modern British restaurant because...well, it’s not very nice.

[00:18:53] Some wartime eating habits still remain; for example, the national love of the sausage [or “banger” to use the affectionate name it acquired in the War]. 

[00:19:05] Home cooking in Britain was given a boost by the popularity and health benefits of the so-called Mediterranean diet in the 1970s. A cookery writer called Elizabeth David helped popularise French cooking in particular. 

[00:19:22] Subsequent TV cooks, such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, have done much to increase the glamour of cooking and thereby encourage Britons to cook more imaginatively. 

[00:19:34] Well, what is the situation like now in 2021, perhaps you are asking yourself?

[00:19:41] Thankfully, things have moved on from the days of the endless tinned and dehydrated food of the 1960s and 1970s, but the British diet is still markedly different to that of other European nations. 

[00:19:58] One perhaps surprising difference is the UK’s addiction to takeaways, to takeaway food.

[00:20:05] Indeed, the UK has 40% of the takeaway market of the whole of Europe. 

[00:20:12] These are not just in the long-established styles of Chinese and Indian food which dominated the foreign restaurant scene some 40 years ago, but people‘s tastes are truly global and include Thai, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Greek, Mexican, you name it. 

[00:20:31] The influx of immigrants from all over the world means that the national palate has become much more receptive to all these wonderful, varied tastes. 

[00:20:43] This draw towards ethnic foods is evident in supermarkets as well, where the sections containing “ready meals” are huge – far larger than similar sections in, say, French or Italian supermarkets. 

[00:20:59] And in general, the standard of these oven-ready mealsat is pretty good. 

[00:21:05] COVID-19 has, of course, accelerated a trend which was already quite marked: Brits are eating an increasing proportion of food which they either bring into the house already completely cooked or which they take home and warm up. 

[00:21:22] And when it comes to ‘foreign’ food, to dishes that Brits might consider to be foreign, but are very often eaten in Britain, many are either British adaptations of foreign dishes or, in the case of one of the country‘s favourite meals, Chicken Korma, a dish which was invented in Britain and given an Indian name. 

[00:21:45] So, that is a brief introduction to the curious taste of British food. Like many British things, British cuisine is a mix, a mish-mash one could say, of influences from all over the world.

[00:21:59] From France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, India, China, the Middle East. And much like the English language, all of these influences have been brought to this little island, in many cases put together, and that’s how we have come up with British food.

[00:22:17] The result is, I hope you’ll agree, not as bad as most people think.

[00:22:24] OK then, that is it for today's episode on The Curious Taste of British Food.

[00:22:31] I hope you enjoyed it, and that it has given you a little insight into why British food tastes like it does.

[00:22:39] We actually did a mini-series on some specific British dishes, such as Oysters, The Sandwich, Fish and Chips and the English Breakfast, so if you want to know more about those, then I would recommend giving those ones a listen. Those are actually episodes 16, 17, 18, and 19, from about 18 months ago.

[00:23:00] And as always, I would love to know what you thought of this episode.

[00:23:04] Have you ever actually tried British food? What do you think of it? I hope you might have been pleasantly surprised...

[00:23:12] If you are a member of Leonardo English you can head right into our community forum, which is at community.leonardoenglish.com and get chatting away to other curious minds.

[00:23:23] And if you are not yet a member of Leonardo English, today might be the day to change that.

[00:23:29] Membership of Leonardo English means unlocking all of our bonus episodes, plus the transcripts, subtitles, and key vocabulary, as well as member only events, challenges, and much much more.

[00:23:42] I am on a mission to make Leonardo English the most interesting way of improving your English, and I would love for you to join me, and curious minds from 50 different countries, on that journey.

[00:23:56] The place you can go to for all of that is leonardoenglish.com.

[00:24:01] You've been listening to English Learning for Curious Minds, by Leonardo English.

[00:24:07] I'm Alastair Budge, you stay safe, and I'll catch you in the next episode.



[END OF EPISODE]