Learn English – a southern American food

Everyone likes food. And every area has its specialities.  Maria describes a popular dish in southern Alabama. May the video prompt some good sharing among you and your learners about favorite foods!

49 – Southern American Food – 17 Sep 2019

Hey there. This is Maria from ENGLISH without Fear. Are you hungry? Well, you might be after today’s story, so sit back, relax, listen, and just try to understand as much as you can.

(Intro: ENGLISH without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

Every area, every region of a country has special food. Today’s story is about some food here in Alabama, down south, near the coast, near the water, the Gulf Coast. It’s a story about a food called ‘gumbo’. What is gumbo?

If I say ‘gumbo’ to the average American, they think ‘soup’. A kind of fish soup. This gumbo is not a soup. In fact, this gumbo is served for breakfast at a gas station. Yes, you heard me correctly. This gumbo, this breakfast gumbo is prepared, is cooked at a gas station.

What is gumbo exactly? Some people think of gumbo as a soup, a fish soup. But the real definition of gumbo is a mixture, a collection of three or four different food items. Sometimes it has fish and sausage and other things. But the breakfast gumbo that is prepared, cooked and sold at this gas station is different.

So, what goes into breakfast gumbo?  If you stop at this Chevron gas station and walk in, you will have to wait in line, in a long line. Every morning from 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM there are two long lines of hungry customers, waiting to order breakfast gumbo. What do you get in breakfast gumbo?

The first layer, the first ingredient is something called ‘grits’. What are grits? Grits are a hot cereal made out of corn. And often grits are served with butter and salt. So, number one ingredient in this breakfast gumbo are grits, with butter and salt.

On top of the grits go some scrambled eggs. Next come three types of pork, of pig. There is chunk sausage, sausage chunks. There are sausage patties. Now, a patty looks like this. Think hamburger, only made out of pork. And there is some smoked bacon. All that pork product is mixed up and seasoned, that goes on top of the scrambled eggs.

Next come some green onions sliced. Finally, a little bit of hot sauce.

If you’re really hungry you can also order one or two homemade biscuits and a drink like coffee, tea or juice.

And just the breakfast Gumbo, the price is really low. It’s really reasonable. For less than $5 you can get this hearty, which means it will satisfy you, this hearty breakfast gumbo.

Every morning at this gas station there is a breakfast manager. And he supervises the preparation, so that all the breakfast foods are ready to go at 5:00 AM. You can order breakfast until 11:00 AM. And then a woman takes over and she prepares and cooks a hearty lunch. Hearty means you will feel like you ate a lot and are satisfied.

Well, how long has this gas station been serving breakfast and lunch foods, along with gas? Twenty-two years (22)! Bill Beasley built the gas station to serve gas and food in this small, small little town called Satsuma.

How many people live in Satsuma, Alabama? Fewer than 3000. It’s just off the interstate, but people come from all over. In fact, Bill Beasley and his group of workers, serve six to seven hundred (600-700) breakfasts every morning, seven days a week.

You know, good food does not have to cost a lot. I bet you have some good food where you come from. Do you have a favorite little restaurant, a favorite snack shop on the street, a food truck? That’s the source of some good food for not very much money. Tell me about it. Leave me a comment below this video.

And if you’re a teacher of some English language learners and you would like the transcript from today’s episode and for all the episodes, then go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com Enter your email address for the newsletter. And when I have your email address added to the list, then every episode, you’ll get an email notifying you, plus the link to the video and the transcript. You can also get past newsletters and some helpful tips. 

Well, that’s it for this episode. I’m Maria from ENGLISH without Fear. Talk to you next time.

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)




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