Today, we wanna write about “How About Americans Eat and Drink.”
Coca-Cola is the best-selling soft (non-alcoholic) drink in the world. 165 million “Cokes” are sold every day, from the equator to the Arctic. But whereas outside the USA Coke tends to be a young person’s drink, inside the USA anybody of any age or income can drink it without embarrassment on any occasion.
Coke is not the only “cola” drink. Pepsi Cola is a well-known rival and has its devotees, for it is not as sweet as Coke. Cola-drinks contain caffeine from the kola nut and are the only soft drinks which are stimulating as well as refreshing.
There are excellent wines produced in California which are praised by European connoisseurs, but some Americans prefer stronger stuff. Well-off Americans consume a lot of alcohol in the form of cocktails –mixtures based on spirits like whisky, gin and vodka.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are perhaps the best known American foods. Hot dogs —sausages between bread rolls —can be bought in snack bars and from hot dog stands on street corners. And from San Francisco to New York, in cheap or medium-priced restaurants, hamburgers will be on all the menus, in company with steaks, fried chicken and seafood. They come with French fries and crisp green salad. In most cases it is certainly good value for money. For dessert you will be offered apple pie, cheese cake, chocolate layer cake, ice cream and ice cream sundae. No ice cream in the world is more delicious than American ice cream.
The American passion for speed has now hit the food business. Many restaurants, in particular the great chain restaurant company, Macdonalds, specialize in “fast food,” food which is served at the counter ready “to go,” or “to take out.” The food, cooked and hot, is packed into cardboard and plastic containers, and hot drinks go into plastic cups with tight-fitting lids. There are also drive-in fast-food restaurants, where the customer does not even have to leave his or her car. They first stop at the board where the menu is displayed, give an order through a microphone and then drive another twenty yards, where a girl hands them the meal, ready cooked and packed. People who prefer to eat at a table in the restaurant also receive their food in cardboard or plastic containers, and the knives, forks and spoons are plastic, too. When they have finished, customers throw everything except the tray into a trash can.
In most cities, large and small, you can eat Mexican or Italian food. And even small towns have a coffee shop serving simple meals, drinks of all kind and excellent, freshly-made coffee. You sit at the counter, or are served at the table. Service in restaurants and coffee shops is efficient and friendly. Waiters and waitresses often introduce themselves: “Hi! I’m Don ( or Debbie ). What can I get you folks?” This friendliness is natural and not entirely influenced by the hope of a high tip. In any case, people usually tip 15% of the check. One of the pleasantest things about waiters and waitresses is that they refill your coffee cup several times for no extra charge!
Many American families pride themselves on their cooking and have deep freezers, where they store food they grow in their gardens or buy in the supermarket. Supermarkets are large self-service stores selling every kind of food — fresh, canned or frozen. So, like the fast-food restaurants, their produce is less expensive and easier to market. There have been supermarkets in the USA since the 1930s, and they have now spread through a large part of the world.