Hey there and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast. My name is Sam.
And once again, here is Ken.
And today we’re asking what’s the craic about.
Ken, we’re gonna look at what our favorite foods, what we enjoy eating of course, what kind of restaurants we might go to.
Our native countries and because our listeners may not know what we enjoy, what people there enjoy to eat… eating.
And maybe some dietary restrictions in our culture.
We will give some advice even though we may not be the best people – I may not be the best person to give advice, but…
But we will give some advice. So, how are you feeling? Are you sitting comfortably? Have you got the coffee?
Well, because the topic is food, I’m excited to talk about it, although I don’t necessarily know.
Ken, pause-pause-pause. I have coffee here.
Listeners there at home – this is amazing.
If only you could smell the coffee.
The smell of coffee… So, we’re gonna.. we’re probably gonna… although it’s about food, we’re probably gonna mention coffee, Ken.
Cause you know me, you know me.
Do you know that I love coffee? Have I told you this enough?
So, you’re sitting comfortably? I have a coffee at least, even if you don’t. I’m sorry I won’t share.
Ken, I have a question for you.
Absolutely, of course. Everybody eats!
Seriously? Me too. But do you know what?
100% of people that eat die.
Everybody who eats, dies.
Everyone who drinks water, dies.
This means.. This proves that it’s unhealthy.
No! It’s the only way to survive.
Maybe the logic there isn’t quite right, mmm.
I’m sure that listeners will disagree.
And I eat. So we’re perfect for this podcast, Ken. Honestly..
What is a good meal in your view?
Well, I think, you know, something that’s nutritious, definitely. But from time to time I also eat something that’s unhealthy. That will include, of course, the first set of meal: starters, of course, the main course, dessert.
Wow. You’re really getting into this.
But you’re talking about a sit-down meal in a restaurant.
First course, second.. sorry, a starter, and then a main course, and then you have a dessert, and then you have tea and coffee, right?
Do you want to be uncomfortably full? Or just you’re satisfied full?
The second one, of course.
Well, yeah, I guess so. You remind me about… I went to an old all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant, Chinese restaurants are very popular in Northern Ireland, and, oh man,
I never felt so bad in my life. I went home…
No-no, I wasn’t sick or anything. But I went home and I’d eaten so much that I didn’t realize how much I was eating until suddenly it hit me – this feeling of being so uncomfortably full.
No.. Maybe, but that wasn’t an issue.
It wasn’t.. There wasn’t any danger to a toilet here, it was simply that I was so full that I needed to vomit.
But I determined… I know… this was an all-you-can-eat Chinese, I was with some friends, who at that time I shared a house with these guys, and I got a little carried away, let’s say. And since that time I didn’t vomit, I was determined not to vomit, but I felt so bad for a couple of hours.
And I lay down and dared not move, or I would’ve vomited… projectile vomited.
I was.. but I didn’t vomit! But I will never eat too much. I mean I will always be careful not to eat too much.
Yeah, you have to control yourself.
But I do understand you – I would’ve done the same!
But so.. For me a good meal is when you are satisfied and also I was taught at school, I’m gonna be… I’m trying to be one-up you here – I was taught at school that you have to square meal. Do you know what that…? Have you heard of that phrase?
It includes vegetables and a starch, which might be rice, potatoes or a pasta or something like that. And meat. If you’re a vegetarian, you can ignore that part, but maybe protein I suppose you can say.
Sounds like a well-balanced meal.
And that’s four corners. The final corner is sustenance, liquid sustenance – water or.. well, probably water is the best of course.
Sounds like very healthy to me.
Not an alcoholic thing. So, yeah, that was good teaching in school when I was… I was only maybe 12-13.
By the way, I just would like to add that in addition to… I mean, it’s not just the food itself, but I would say that the atmosphere, who are you with when having this meal – it adds to the overall experience.
Do you think it inject you digest better?
Yeah, of course. However though, if I’m with my friends and we tend to, you know, talk a lot, it can sometimes be a problem because it takes us a long time, like a really long time.
But that’s maybe not a bad thing, because your digestive system’s going and maybe it’s the food.
hitting into the acid in your stomach.
You know, it’s being… being, maybe it’s working efficiently, I..
And it’s always an enjoyable experience.
It sounds good. I’m gonna pause before you ask me – that sounds good.
A square meal with friends, yeah
Now, what are you favorite foods? Maybe fruit, vegetable? We’re gonna go down…
We’re gonna kinda go into every category.
So, we wanna think first of fruit.
My favorite fruit, I will say, is orange.
Oranges. But the only… of course the only disadvantage to fruit, to oranges – it can be wrapped up a little bit difficultly.
You can get your hands juicy and sticky when you’re trying to get off the wrapper if you like, the peel, the skin of the orange.
I enjoy the oranges I must say. Also I’m a big fan, and recently I’ve been eating quite a lot of raisins – you know those dry…
Raisins? Yes of course! Oh my god I hate them!
Yeah! Every time, you know…
We can no longer be friends.
Every time a salad has raisins, I ty to remove..
Yeah! Well, in the Philippines…
That’s new to me. Maybe that’s why you don’t like them.
Regardless. It doesn’t have to be a salad, but any kind of food that has raisins. Oh my god! I hate it!
Wow. What’s your favorite fruit?
Anything but raisins. Definitely green mangoes – we have so many varieties of green mangoes in the Philippines and, mind you, it depends on the size. We also have Carabao mangoes – it’s huge, it’s huge. And we have…
Wait wait wait, I’m thinking, trying to imagine. Probably even bigger than a football.
Football? Goodness me, goodness me
Yeah. That’s why we call it carabao – carabao is.. you know this kind of animal? Like…
It’s named after an animal? Wow!
Yeah, and I like it so much because it’s.. there’s a mixture of sweet and sour - and especially when it’s ripe.
You’re really selling this, wow. I want to go and get one. Where can we get one?
Поехали! Let’s go, we’re going to the Philippines!
What’s your favorite vegetable?
Vegetable.. umm.. That’ll have to be…
By the way, are you a vegetarian?
I might consider it one day, but for now I’m happy with meat.
However, my favorite vegetable is broccoli.
Oh don’t tell me you don’t like it.
I hate broccoli. I can’t say that I love broccoli, I mean, I eat it, I don’t hate it – I did when I was a boy, I probably disliked… I probably had too much broccoli, but I wouldn’t… I don’t necessarily enjoy it.
It looks like a little tree though, they look like miniature trees.
Oh and with tomato sauce, and without tomato sauce – and black beans, and white beans, and red beans. And you know the Mexican beans? That you get in…?
Alright. I’m kinda okay with them.
And you what is really strange? Brussel sprouts. They’re amazing.
Okay. I don’t know what to say to that.
I know, I mean.. it’s part of the traditional Christmas dinner in the UK and most people hate them and probably wonder why they’re part of the traditional dinner, but I’m like omnomnomnom – I’m eating them like mad. And I love them. And I don’t know why because I don’t really like cabbage.
I just wanna ask you though – do you think you’ll ever be a vegetarian? In the future? Can you imagine yourself being one?
That’s a burning question for you. I wanted to try it to be a vegetarian for two weeks.
Just to experience what it would be like.
I went at the start of the week to a restaurant and managed to find one vegetarian meal and that was great. And, I mean, it was working – I got to almost three days, or maybe… almost four days.
And I accidentally.. I, unplanned, I decided to go to fast-food restaurant. Chinese, in fact.
How did you end up there?
And I ordered what I normally order, without thinking, because I..
I was very distracted and very busy, and I completely forgot about the fact that I was trying to be a vegetarian. And I ended up ordering sweet and sour chicken.
And when I got home I thought ‘Oh hang on!’
And I just spent five pounds or so, maybe six pounds and I thought ‘No! I’m gonna eat this!’ And I never tried it again.
I didn’t do it. I – so I got four days. I think I could’ve.. I mean, I could’ve done it if I had been just more mindful, more careful. And I could do it again, but…
Not in the nearest future.
No-no, it’s not like I wouldn’t or couldn’t, but.. I’m just not… I don’t think I need to, basically.
At least not at the moment.
I don’t feel the need to, yeah.
So what’s your favorite meat?
Meat? I would say beef and pork – I love bacon to death.
Well it can take you to death.
Although.. it’s all ironic because I always tell other people that I love animals, I love pigs, by the way.
You love pigs. You love pigs!
I mean, they’re intelligent animals, they are! You can train them in fact!
I don’t know if you’ve seen some videos of pigs that, you know, were trained and they do some interesting tricks.
I didn’t know anybody who loved pigs. That’s okay.
I love bats, so I guess it’s not any stranger than that.
We had pigs in our village. When I was a child I used to feed them – it’s all ironic, because I was so fond of them and then at the same time I looked at them like ‘I wonder how you taste like’.
Yeah. You like.. You love pigs in more than one way. Oh dear.
You love pigs, but you also love pigs.
I feel sorry for that. Anyway. I love pigs and I love pork.
I.. I’m a big eater of chicken. I’m sorry to vegetarians who listen to this. I’m a bit eater of chicken, but I do enjoy a delicious steak when I go to a restaurant.
But most of the time chicken. And I do like spicy sausages that you get in Russia – колбаски?
They’re… you get them in a packet of five or six, maybe more, and they’re like normal-ish looking Frankfurter, like a long thin sausage, but they’re spicy.
By the way, how do you like to cook your chicken though?
Well, generally, my wife and I, we’ll cut it into pieces like, you know, chicken breast, chicken fillet. And we will cut it into pieces and maybe mix it with some spices and stuff, maybe a little bit of oil and cook it in the oven.
It’s not.. That’s what we mostly do, but.. I guess we could cook it different ways too, roast.. just pure roast.
Oh yeah, roast chicken! That’s my favorite! Roast chicken!
It’s very… very popular in the UK actually.
… roast chicken dinner or roast beef dinner every Sunday is like a tradition for every.. for at least most families in the UK, so with gravy, this salty ground sauce.
Especially with gravy! Yes! Oh my god, you’re making me hungry!
I haven’t had any meal yet. Anyway. What about herbs and spices?
Oooh! Herbs and spices! Interesting that you choose that pronunciation, because in the UK we say [herbs] and spices.
Does it sounds weird to you?
No, but. Well, at least in the Philippines we say [erbs] and spices, we don’t pronounce the H.
Right-right. I know that Americans do that too.
Because our English is more of American.
So you’ve got bigger American influence historically. Well, I talked with you about this earlier when..
thyme, t-h-y-m-e. Чабрец or something, in Russian – my pronunciation, I’m so sorry, but herb, I like that. I like.. I like pepper, black pepper and red pepper.
I like to add that to my meal. Maybe a little bit too often, but I love to have spicy food, so I add… And what about you?
I would say just, I think, just onions. I love munching onions.
But hang on, that’s a vegetable.
But I guess it’s kind of a garnish, isn’t it.
Okay, I’ll let you away with that.
Let’s go over to desserts.
We can. Where are they? Where are the desserts?
Where are the desserts? I want one, now.
We’ve talked… We’ve only really talked about what our favorite foods are, so… And we’re salivating.
salivating. I’m gonna tell you what my two favorite desserts are, very quickly. Custard with apple tart - that’s for Americans would be apple pie. Or what we call in the UK apple crumble which is like a biscuity top on with stewed apples, apple pieces in sauce, with on top like a biscuit kind of on top of that. Or I love sticky toffee pudding, or something…
Something with cake, toffee, or chocolate, or toffee and chocolate. Or anything of that sort. Which is deeply unhealthy and I should be punished for even thinking about it.
But very tasty. If you’re out, having a meal, I mean, when I… Not too often, when I go to a restaurant and have a meal, and there’s a dessert, I will look for those, I will look for those.
I would say though that I’m not too crazy about desserts, but well, if I could have one, then I’d like to have chocolate cake, that’s it.
You’re a man of simple taste.
Yeah. I just want – for me that is mostly the main course, which is meat, any kind of, you know, beef dish, or, as I already said, pork, but for desserts – it doesn’t even matter. Any kind of maybe sweets.
So you don’t mind too much, but you like it to be a little bit sweet and that’s it.
And snack? Do you like savory or sweet? Salty? Savory? Or sweet?
Nuts, I would say. Crisps.
I mean, well, as Americans would say, chips. Would you say chips more often than crisps?
I mean, I’m used to saying that now.
You understand what I’m saying.
How – I never thought. So, yeah. I occasionally like crisps, and occasionally like sweets. I try to limit how much I eat them, of course. Cause they’re deeply unhealthy.
I used to eat them, oh my god, every night.
But then, I know they’re unhealthy, so I try to cut it down, cut down on eating crisps.
There’s a lot of salt in crisps.
More than you should eat in one day, in one packet of crisps. I don’t know how much more, but a lot more, than what you should.
Oh my god, we’re both coffee-lovers. I love coffee. By the way, by the way.
Shh! I used to drink four to five cups when I was still in the Philippines, but then after, you know, suffering from pancreatitis.
I was told by the doctor to cut down on coffee, so well, for a time there, I stopped drinking coffee, but nowadays, well, I went back to drinking, but just a cup or two.
I have cut down the amount of coffee I’m drinking, because, yeah. There has to be a limit, cause it dehydrates you, you know.
And I tend to aim to drink much more water than I do coffee, but I love coffee, I love the taste.
The smell. I drink it black. I don’t want… black coffee – no milk, no sugar.
No! No! Oh no! I need sugar!
I will occasionally have a little bit of sugar, but you know, if I go to a café, I might get a special coffee, you know, one of those coffees for children, you know. But honestly – black. I got used to drinking black coffee with no sugar. And you know what? It… You don’t spoil it. For me, if I add sugar, I’ve spoiled the taste.
And if I add milk, I’ve diluted the taste.
And I just think – no-no, pure. I mean…
You’re looking at me like I’m in trouble.
You think I might, yeah? I guess… But it wasn’t… I mean, in the past it was a gradual progression, because in the past I would’ve drunk coffee with milk, frothy milk and sugar, and lattes and all those things. But gradually, I mean, my taste has changed.
Thank you. I used to drink coffee from, you know, the instant coffee, that you take out of a jar and water, and milk, and sugar, and everything – and then I cut out sugar. And then I cut out the milk simply because I was too lazy to buy milk every day, you know. And I ended up gradually getting to filtered coffee, pure black, no milk, no sugar.
And that’s how you ended up with black coffee. What is the most popular food in your native country?
If we’re talking traditional, it would be soup, vegetable soup or stew, beef stew generally. And also fast food it would be fish and chips.
Which I know you’ve heard of.
I’ve already mentioned roast chicken or roast beef.
With roast potatoes. So we roast everything in the oven. A little bit of oil over the potatoes, roast them, the roast chicken, covered in foil. And maybe some peas or carrots or even broccoli with that.
And some gravy, so. What about you?
You got me at broccoli. Well, in my country we have several, but I’m just gonna mention two of them. One of them is called Bulalo, it’s made by cooking beef shanks and marrow bones until the collagen and fat has melted into clear broth.
The other one is adobo, which, interestingly, is Spanish. It means ‘marinade’. Adobo can be – you can use chicken or pork, it’s marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. So those are the two most popular.
Of course. And I do miss them! Well, having stayed here in Russia for almost a year now, I can’t help but feel, you know – I wanna cry every time I see photos of those food.
Take out, take them to deliver, no?
What’s your favorite type of restaurant, young man? I’m gonna call you young man again. You called me old earlier, so…
Well, дедушка, my favorite…
Doesn’t.. well… type of restaurant…
Mostly Asian, you know, inspired restaurant. I went to that Asian-themed restaurant and with that said of course...
You and I both, young man.
I have to say specifically though, I love Korean restaurants.
Oooh no, since that Chinese experience I mentioned earlier, all-you-can-eat… I’ve gone off the idea. But.. I don’t think I’ve actually eaten.. Well, no, that’s not true, I have eaten Korean food – I was with a group of Korean people in.. there’s a church here, actually, and I was invited to eat with them, and they have… I can’t quite remember the name, but they have an interesting soup with cabbage and it’s quite spicy, and I had some of that and some other things.
I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it.
Maybe more so, cause I’m not a lover of cabbage per se, but it was spicy and I enjoyed it, yeah.
What about you? What is your favorite type of restaurant?
Back in Northern Ireland my younger brother and I often went to a Chinese restaurant.
You do love Chinese food!
Yes! Because.. Well, mostly because it’s spicy. And traditional Northern Irish food, Irish food is not, so it’s.. it’s not to say you can’t get spicy food anywhere else, but I enjoyed the spicy sauces and stuff, and the rice and everything. It’s quite different from what I would normally eat during the week, so at the weekend on a Saturday my brother and I used to go every… without fail, every Saturday would go to a Chinese.
Well, Chinese.. Not just Chinese, I would say.. I’d like to believe, I’d like to think that Asian food is healthier compared to other, kinds of…
The Northern Irish version of Chinese is probably not.
Here, my wife and I have a few times… went to New Mexico and we enjoy Mexican food. Again, it’s spicy. Although you don’t have to go spicy, right, but again, it’s spicy and it’s got beans and I love them.
Oh my god, your favorite. Now, do you have any special fasts or dietary restrictions in your culture?
So, not so long ago, I actually spoke in a Speaking Club at BigAppleSchool about Easter. We talked about Easter. And for some people Easter is preceded by a fast.
But there’s a 40-day fast.
And it’s called in Russian something like пост. I'm sorry for my pronunciation. In English it’s called lent.
And what I’m gonna tell you - It’s popular in Northern Ireland, but I don’t do it.
We do have the same, you know, tradition. Yes, for 40 days. It’s not… I have to say though that we don’t strictly follow it, but what we do is we try to avoid meat at least.
Right-right. And some people in Northern Ireland will mark this special religious time preceding to the death of Jesus they will mark it by not eating chocolate or cutting out just some things, cause I mean… I don’t know how it works in Russia but don’t just stop eating for 40 days, right? So they cut out the bad stuff, of course. I guess that’s logical for people, so they don’t eat – maybe they’ll cut out crisps and chocolate.
Or maybe they’ll cut out meat or something like that, so… Or maybe they’ll cut out alcohol if they’re alcohol drinkers.
Oh yeah, including alcohol.
So it’s.. yeah.. I’m not, as a rule, drinking alcohol, very-very occasionally and so, but yeah. It’s never been a tradition in my family, although we mark Easter, we celebrate that, the resurrection of Jesus but we don’t, we don’t actually… It’s strange.. I think people might think that’s weird, but we don’t do all the other things connected with… We just eat the chocolate – chocolate eggs and go to church and that’s it. I was telling them I could eat five or six chocolate eggs when I was a boy I mean.
Oh my god, you’re obsessed with it.
It was… It had to be done.
Do people generally eat too much?
I don’t think so, because if you go to the Philippines and I think that for most Asian countries, you don’t see a lot of overweight people. However, we are obsessed with rice, and believe it or not, if you go to restaurants or fast food chains in my country at least, we have unlimited rice.
I don’t know if that’s something…
Umm.. Well I love rice for one, but the thing here is that we are rice-lovers. If I can call it like that.
But when it comes to, you know, like overeating – I don’t think so, because I think it’s the thing about Asian people – we’re not the fatty kind of people, we don’t eat…
You think that’s genetic? Or is it cultural? Or maybe both?
Probably. The thing is that if you go to Asia, especially… at least in my country, you would rarely rarely see somebody who’s overweight. Most of us are slim, young-looking, like me. But no, I don’t think we have this problem at all. Which I don’t think in your country is the same thing, no, I don’t think so.
In the UK it is a problem.
People’s health is suffering and I think it’s true for all of the West… Western world that people generally are eating too much, McDonald’s or other fast foods – not necessarily American, but other fast foods are available. And chocolate and stuff, so it is a problem. Do you believe in the phrase ‘Everything in moderation’?
Have you heard of it? Is it popular in the Philippines?
Of course. It doesn’t only apply to food though – everything in moderation. Of course anything that’s extreme can absolutely ruin your life, whatever it is. You know, any part or aspect of your life, so that doesn’t only apply to food, but any aspect in your life.
So everything in moderation - a little bit of chocolate, but you need to know when to stop, and that’s…
The thing is that you just have to enjoy your life. You have to get a taste of a little bit of everything.
Yeah, you know, I mean, a little bit of everything, not a little bit of something that’s going to really harm you, but a little bit of chocolate is actually not. And if it’s very dark chocolate.. But my problem might be that I eat a little bit too much. Not knowing when to quit.
So you have no control there.
A little bit. I do control, but no… Not enough. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life?
One type of food, one type of food, so maybe we can go like a specific type of cuisine.
Steak? Oh, you see, I mean… I was gonna go like for Mexican food, so then I can… I think there’s enough of variety there and I can maybe avoid having too much of the unhealthy stuff and stick to the beans if I’m, you know.
The toilet will thank me.
So I guess that’s a wrap.
No! What type of food would you…?
I already told you! Steak!
Steak for breakfast, steak for lunch, steak for dinner…
I can live… I could live with that.
Could your veins? Okay. Fair enough. So that was the craic about food. We talked about the fact that we both eat.
Which makes us perfect for podcast. We talked about what we enjoy, we talked a lot about all kinds of our different favorite foods.
Including the type of restaurant.
type of restaurant. We talked about what’s popular in our own countries. And about problems, at least in the UK and the US regarding food. Everything in moderation. And that was the craic about food.