Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card # 140 - Describe your favourite food item

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe your favourite dish or food item.

You should say:

  • what dish or food item it is
  • how it is prepared or cooked
  • how common this food item or dish is

and explain why it is your favourite dish/food item.


Model Answer 1:

I love food, so it is hard to think of just one favourite sort of food!  However, if I had to choose, I can think of something that I like to have as a special treat from time to time. 

The food is quite simple.  I’ve always thought of it as a Greek speciality, although others tell me that it actually originates from Egypt. This food is "Houmous" and I love it.  The food is spelt differently in American English – they call it hummus and in British English, we spell it with an ‘O’ and a ‘U’ as opposed to just the ‘U’ but the recipe is the same in either case.

Basically, it is made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is popular throughout the Middle East (including Turkey), North Africa (including Morocco), and in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe, but it is also extremely popular with me, although I’m very particular about the sort I buy. 

I live near a wonderful delicatessen, it is run by a friendly couple, he is Italian and she is vintage Yorkshire.  They make their own houmous with only the finest quality virgin olive oil and huge quantities of the best fresh garlic they can get hold of.  It’s pretty expensive, but I love it. And it’s better than my own attempts for some reason, I don’t know why, but it shouldn’t be so hard to make.

Why do I like it?  I think it is partly the texture, and partly the taste, I love garlic.  Also, because I’m vegetarian and it is a very healthy food, with lots of protein and quality fats that are good for you.  Of course, you can have too much of a good thing, but I think it’s well worth it.

It is my favourite food not only because it is absolutely delicious, but also because you can share it with other people.  It is best eaten as a dip, with friends.  I cut up lots of carrots, cucumber and celery into crudités carefully sliced to make a colourful dish, perhaps with some slices of warm pitta bread too.  A nice bottle of white wine helps.  We can then all sit together enjoying the fresh humous dip, sipping our glasses of wine and laughing and talking to put the world to rights.  It is a great way to enjoy a fabulous food item.

[ Written by - Lucy Marris | Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]


Model Answer 2:

I have a number of favourite food items that I like to eat. While some of these food items are traditional, others have unconventional recipes and cooking methods. However, today, I would like to talk about a food item which is cooked in a traditional manner.

This favourite food item of mine is called “Hilsha fish curry”. Hilsa (or Ilish) curry is the national dish of Bangladesh, made from the Hilsa fish, and is one of the most popular traditional Bangladeshi dishes. In Bangladesh, it is common to eat every part of the Hilsa fish, including the head and the eggs. In fact, nothing is wasted as each and every part of this fish has its own unique delicacies. One can find fish egg dishes or fish head curries that are widely revered throughout the country.

This particular food item is very popular in many parts of India as well except that they have their own Hilsha fish to fry. In fact, Indian people sometimes rely on the export of this delicious fish from Bangladesh. Anyway, the ingredients, used to prepare this dish, are Hilsa fish, salt, turmeric powder, black cumin seeds, green chillies, mustard oil, and water. Mustard oil and black cumin seeds are also significant in the preparation of this dish, depending on what kind of taste one really prefers. But, in order to cook this delicious food item, one first needs to marinate the Hilsha fish in turmeric and chilli paste before slowly frying it on low heat and serving with mustard gravy and steamed rice. The result is a combination of sweet and sour flavours with an incredible spicy kick.

Anyway, it is my favourite food item because Hilsa curry is filling, flavoursome, and easy to make. Besides, it is also widely available throughout the country, especially, during the rainy season.  Finally, it is my favourite also because it is the only authentic “Bengali” curry that can be served on all occasions.


Sample Answer 3:

My favourite dish is "Fried Rice, vegetables, chicken curry and salad". This is, in fact, the most popular menu in our country that people often enjoy both at home and outside. I often devour this dish when I visit one of my favourite eateries or restaurants.

To prepare this menu, the rice is first boiled in water for about 25 minutes and then fried with some vegetables, spices, onions and olive oil. The chicken curry is prepared separately using some local spices and chicken, and finally, the salad is prepared using different seasonal vegetables and fruits. Then those vegetables and fruits are cut into pieces and mixed together with mustard. Then these three items are served together. This is a delicious menu.

I eat this dish at least 2 or 3 times a week. This menu is prepared at our home, and sometimes I eat it in a restaurant also. There are some variations in the way this food is prepared and the ingredients that are used to prepare it. Different restaurants have their own speciality in preparing and serving this dish.

This is my favourite food for many reasons. Firstly it is very delicious, flavoursome and healthy. This menu meets the demand for different food values our body needs, which is the second reason for me to often eat it. It is available in most parts of our country which is another reason many people love to order it. Moreover, someone does not require much effort to prepare this dish, so we can easily cook it at home. For all these reasons it is my favourite dish.

Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Q. Tell me about the types of food that people eat in your country.
Q. How are the eating habits of people now in your country different from their eating habits in the past?
Q. How healthy is your country’s food?
Q. Why do you think different cultures have different table manners?
Q. How may eating habits change in the coming decades?
Q. How has technology changed the way we prepare our food these days?

Q. Tell me about the types of food that people eat in your country.
Answer: The majority of the people in my country is overly reliant on rice and curries – curries, predominantly cooked with fish and vegetables, whether they are eating at homes or dining at some restaurants. Of course, many people, these days, are increasingly becoming habituated with eating “international cuisines”, mostly Chinese and other oriental types, in addition to consuming traditional foods for their daily needs. Besides, people in my country also like to eat different kinds of fruits that are imported from other countries as well as homegrown. 

Finally, fast food items have gained huge popularity in the last ten years, especially among young children. 

Q. How are the eating habits of people now in your country different from their eating habits in the past?
Answer: If we are talking about the eating habits of the majority of the people, it certainly hasn’t changed much from the past. But, if we are talking about the rest and others, especially the ones from affluent societies with a higher income, they seem to have become more comfortable with eating at restaurants instead of homes, probably because of their busy lifestyles. We can also see that more and more people are inclining towards foreign dishes in the recent years which wasn’t that visible even a decade or so ago. Moreover, fast food items have become widely popular among young children who are mad about eating those fast food. Finally, technology now enables people to order food of their choice staying home through food ordering applications and websites. 

Q. How healthy is your country’s food?
Answer: If we compare my country’s foods with many parts of the world, especially the countries in the west, we can safely surmise that they are generally more healthy. By the way, when I say “healthier”, I mean to suggest that a tiny percentage of people in my country is as obese as in many other countries. Besides, not too many people in my country are overly reliant on red meats – meats that can potentially cause many health complications - for their daily protein needs. Our oil/butter consumption is also at a minimal which thankfully help prevent heart diseases.

Q. Why do you think different cultures have different table manners?
Answer: People from different cultures eat different food – different food in different shapes, sizes and textures – and therefore, it is only natural that they will have different table manners. It is also a matter of personal taste, preference and comfort, regardless of what culture a person belongs to. For example, a person may carry a bottle of cranberry apple juice and drink from it, instead of sitting still at a table, because he/she wants to enjoy a beautiful summer day outside also at the same time. It can also be true that as nations we have some distinctive cultural aspects and behaviours when it comes to table manners. This is why "burping" while eating may be acceptable in some cultures while indecent in others.

Q. How may eating habits change in the coming decades?
Answer: Well, ‘eating habits’ is a rather broad term since it is associated with a number of other factors, such as what we eat and why we eat them. In fact, I think that because of the development of technology, especially food technologies, the chances are that we will probably start eating many new foods or food items which, we thought, were harmful to our health. In the same way, we will probably scrap or completely give up on some of the foods, we like, in the coming decades because of finding new data and statistics with the help of the latest technologies. But one thing is sure that we will have a diverse range of choices while ordering food due to the advancement of technology.

Q. How has technology changed the way we prepare our food these days?
Answer: Technology has certainly changed the ways we do many things, including, of course, how we prepare our food as well. To begin with, it is because of the new technologies, like TV and the internet, we almost instantly are able to learn about our favourite recipes so that we can cook our favourite dishes. Secondly, technology has allowed us to have many sophisticated kitchen appliances, such as ovens and electric grills, which can actually help us prepare our foods in much lesser time and with much lesser effort. Perhaps in the past, not many people dared to try to cook food from what they already knew how to cook, but these days people prepare exotic and foreign dishes at home.


Similar Cue Card Topics

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics as well:

  1. Describe a food item you often eat.
  2. Describe a food you eat outside your home.
  3. Describe an outdoor meal you have had with your friends.
  4. Describe a food item you know how to cook.


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.82 (33 Votes)

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