Sunday, June 04, 2006

Food as a way to learn English!: "Go into most British kitchens and you will find a pile of Italian cookery books, on the assumption - nurtured by writers from Elizabeth David to Antonio Carluccio - that Mediterranean cuisine holds the key to La Dolce Vita. Now Renata Beltrami and Silvia Mazzola, two cookery writers from Milan, have launched a campaign to turn the tables by persuading Italians of the joys of . . . British cooking. The result, Language on a Plate, manages to make Lancashire hotpot or summer pudding sound as mouthwatering as spaghetti alle vongole or zabaglione. According to the authors, the aim is to help Italians to learn English through recipes and understand the British way of life through such baffling concoctions as stuffed marrow or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. The initiative could have a useful educational purpose, according to a survey by Censis, a respected research institute, which concluded that most Italians' knowledge of English was "dismal". Although 53 per cent of Italians claimed to speak English, in reality they spoke it "badly, if at all", the survey said.... Even today the expression mangiare all'Inglese - to eat like the English - is an insult".

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