Learn Food Vocabulary



Learn the names of 8 food types in English, learn how to say them: Dessert, Dairy, Meat and Fish, Carbs (Starch) and Grains, Vegetables and Nuts. Enjoy today’s episode :)

Episodes mentioned

Episode [065] Flower and Flour (My Experience with Homophones)
Episode [023] Many vs Much
Episode [085] How To Pronounce Plurals of Nouns Ending in -ff, -f and -fe

Find out how you can improve your English with Me – Click here to start learning: Learn With Me

Also check out these useful episodes

Episode [080] Grocery Shopping (Going To The Supermarket)
Episode [081] Still At the Supermarket (Useful English Phrases)


Hey guys, you are listening to yet another episode of the English Made Simple Show, this is episode number 124, one hundred and twenty four, numero ciento veinticuatro.

Welcome amigos y amigas, welcome to the EMS show, my name is Milena from www.englishmadesimple.net, how’s it going?

Welcome everyone and welcome to my regular listeners, welcome for the 124th time! Ah, how cool is that! 124 episodes!

And if you are new to the show I’d recommend you check out some of the previous episodes I’ve done, you can browse through the whole archive of English Made Simple. Also, transcripts to all of those episodes are available on my website, www.englishmadesimple.net. While you are in there, browsing, you can also click on that link Learn English with me and find out how you can improve your English with me.

Go ahead, have a snoop around the site! Cool bananas!

So amigos y amigas, over the past few weeks, we talked about physical activities, like hiking, running, walking, how to talk about your favourite activities, I believe that often comes up in English exams like IELTS and TOEFL exams. We even covered topics about exercise and fitness, going to the gym and so on.

Having said this guys, I posted a question about activities inside the Facebook Group, inside the English Made Simple facebook group – Thank you to all who responded there and who participated. Thank you so much for joining in!

So in the last few weeks, we talked about doing some physical activity, it feels like we had a good workout over the past few weeks – just talking about it – we were exercising, burning calories, spending energy, maybe lost a couple of kilos in the process – maybe some of us did, and now it’s time we replenish that energy that we lost. It’s time that we replenish all that energy we lost!

It’s time we eat. It’s time we eat some food.

Today, we are going to learn about food. How do you talk about your favourite food? This episode is for those who want to learn some new vocabulary related to food, also for those who are doing IELTS or any other English exam, this could very-well be one of your IELTS questions so listen up carefully – or for those who are travelling and need to be able to order at a restaurant.

You need to know the names of each food type.

In the next few weeks, we will also learn some new words related to cooking and how the food is cooked as well as some adjectives that are useful to know when describing food. This will help with expanding your vocabulary. That’s the point!

Actually, I want to keep it simple today, so let’s make this episode Part 1 of the food series. We might run out of time if we were to cover everything today, so whatever we don’t cover in today’s episode we will cover in the next one, next week that is.

Hopefully, after these Food related episodes you will be able to talk about the food in general – you will have confidence when talking about food – and also you will be able to participate in the conversations about cooking, eating and grocery shopping, shopping for food!
Cool bananas!

First things first, going back to the basics here, let me ask you this question?

Did you know that a lot of words related to food are made up of uncountable nouns? Please remember this when you are talking about food in its plural form.

What are uncountable nouns? We have covered this in the following 3 episodes, episode #23 – Many vs Much, episode #85 – How To Pronounce Plurals of Nouns Ending in -ff, -f and –fe, episode #65 – Flower and Flour (My Experience with Homophones). We learnt about homophones in that episode! Cool!

To save you a bit of time, and just to refresh your memory, please note that there are 2 types of nouns – countable and uncountable nouns.

Countable nouns are the ones we can count on our fingers and when we add the letter ‘s’ we make it a plural. For example, 1 pen, 2 pens – 1 episode, 2 episodes, and 3 episodes and so on. Simple.

When we are talking about uncountable nouns we cannot count them using our fingers, which would mean that we have to add a few more words, we have to combine other words to make it a plural.

For example, you cannot say 1 x milk, 2 x milks – No No – you have to use other words such as litre.
1 litre of milk, 2 litres of milk, or 1 carton of milk and 2 cartons of milk, 50 grams of sugar, 4 grams of sugar.

Hopefully this is crystal clear! This was your refresher, if you will, into countable and uncountable nouns. If you need to know more about this, I think you should tune into episode #23 – Many vs Much. That one goes into a bit more details there.

Righto, cool bananas!

So now back to the food lingo.

How well do you know your food? what’s your favourite food? What do you like to eat? What do you like to drink? What can you not eat? Are you allergic to something?

Some people can be allergic to nuts and dairy. This will be a separate topic by the way. We won’t cover it today. We won’t food allergies today!

We will cover it in the next episode! Cool, let’s continue!

Firstly, let’s talk about what types of foods exist and how do we say them in English. What are their names in English?

Hope you are drinking coffee right now, because there will be a lot of new words for you in today’s episode – you’ll really need to focus and you really need to be alert in today’s episode.

Here we go! Food type number….

1. Beverages / Drinks / Soft Drinks – in Spanish bebidas

When we talk about drinks or beverages what comes to mind: things like coffee, water, tea, wine, beer, juice, spirits. What are spirits? Spirits are high level alcoholic beverages. They have a high level of alcohol, like whiskey, cachaça, rum, vodka and pisco for example. They are called spirits.

Two of my favourite drinks are coffee and wine. Well, not mixed together of course. Because that would be just ridiculous.

Alright, soft drinks are things like soda drinks – coca cola, fanta, sprite, pepsi – any type of fizzy drink.

Next food type you need to know:

2. Dairy: Productos lacteos in Spanish.

Foods that fall under dairy are: milk, cheese, butter, cream, yoghurt, cream cheese – there are more probably.

You can find these items in the Dairy section of the supermarket. Any product made from milk is described as dairy.

The next food item I’d like you to know is:

3. Dessert: o Postres in Spanish: cake, cookies, chocolate, ice-cream, pudding.

According to Weon Inteligente or the online dictionary, weon is back – dessert is usually served at the end of a meal.

I have to disagree with Weon Inteligente on this one.

If you love eating sweets like me, you don’t have to just eat it at the end of a meal – you can eat them whenever you want to. Well, I can eat dessert as the main course and I can even have it for breakfast.

What can I say, I have a sweet-tooth. If you have a sweet tooth, that’s a phrase – then you like eating sweet foods like cakes, Nutella and chocolates. Anything that has sugar in it.

Ok, cool!

Another food type for you to remember is Fruit. I should be eating more fruit than sweets, but it’s just not as enjoyable, you know what I mean?

Does anyone have their favourite fruit?

Mine is sour cherry. It’s like cherries but sour. They have them in Europe, I haven’t found them here in Australia yet. Sour cherry jam is delicious. Ok sour cherry that’s my favourite, what’s your favourite fruit?

4. Fruit: things like: apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, kiwifruit, lemon and so on.
Dry fruit, frutos secos. – sultanas (pasas), figs – higos.

So, those were some examples of fruit.

When I was training for the body-building competition, I wasn’t allowed to eat sweets and carbs.
The next food type is Grains and Starches – I call them Carbs, or Carbohydrates.

If you eat too much starchy foods, and when I say too much I mean over the recommended daily limit, if you eat too much then it just turns to fat.

You will have to exercise to burn off that excess energy.

Some examples of starchy foods are:

5. Grains / Starches: wheat, oats, rice, cereal, bread, roll, potatoes and yes that means chips, papas fritas. Damn it!

If you are a vegetarian, for the next food type I want you to cover your ears. Vegetarians don’t eat meat. I don’t like to eat meat every day myself, I call myself a semi-vegetarian. I tend to eat red meat twice per week. I don’t eat it every day.

Anyway, your next Food type is: Meat and fish.

Example of this type is:

6. Meat / Fish: beef, chicken, pork, salmon, trout – another fish, lamb, mussels for example.

Lots of protein, good for muscle recovery if you are training in the gym, or if you are gym junkie you would probably eat a lot of meat.

By the way, the word fish is plural and singular. You will hear it in the movies, some people may say fishes in the Hollywood movies – but the correct word is fish – describes plural and singular.

Ok we’ve got 2 more food types.

The next food type on our list are:

7. Vegetables or veggies for short: lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peas – arvejas in Spanish.

For a complete meal, it’s best to have a generous serving of veggies. They are low in fat, low in calories and they will make you feel full, so that you don’t eat sweets at the end of the meal. That’s the idea.

Anyway, easier said than done. I don’t have a favourite vegetables and I don’t eat too many veggies, I should be!

But if you feel like snacking in between meals, it’s best to snack on nuts.

This name in English includes all of the nuts like, hazelnuts that’s found in Nutella, almonds – almendras, walnuts – nueces, macadamia nuts and so on.
I forgot one here, peanuts! Peanut butter is delicious!

8. Nuts: peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts

I love eating cakes made from nuts. Walnuts are my favourite type of nuts. In Spanish this is nueces.

Most of these food types we covered today, you could find in your local supermarket. But if you are lucky enough to have a garden at home, you could probably grow your own veggies and not buy them from a supermarket.

And I think that’s about it for today I don’t want to overwhelm you, those were 8 types of foods I wanted you to learn today. Today’s episode was a bit of an introduction to the next few episodes. Remember, we will cover more vocabulary related to food over the coming weeks.

And next week we are going to learn how to describe flavours of various foods. It will be useful for you guys for sure! We will be learning some new words next week! Cool!

Thank you for joining me today amigos y amigas, you’ve been amazing as always, thanks for listening and stay healthy. You’ve been jamming with Milena, until next time, hasta la proxima!

Learn English With Milena

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