Cue Card # 5: When you tried a food for the first time

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card # 5

Describe an occasion when you tried a kind of food for the first time.

You should say:

  • what food it was
  • what occasion it was
  • whether you enjoyed the food

and explain your experience of trying this food for the first time.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
Thank you sir/madam, for the opportunity to let me talk about an experience when I enjoyed an exotic food item for the very first time in my life. I have some Indian friends here in New York and one of them is Riya who invited me to attend her 21st birthday at her home. On that occasion, I ate tandoori chicken for the first time in my life which I enjoyed and thought quite delicious. I was dubious about trying it, but as soon as I got a glimpse of its taste, I ate my share without any hesitation.

I have heard from Riya that her parents wanted us to be present on the occasion of her 21st birthday. I went to their house with three other classmates of mine and the birthday celebration was quite outstanding. More than a hundred guests were present at the party and they were either Indian-American or native American. The celebration started at 6.00 pm and lasted till midnight.

The number of different food items was quite surprising and I didn’t know the names of many items. On Riya’s request, I ate the tandoori chicken and I must say I liked it. It was a bit exotic for me but quite delicious. Later Riya informed me that it was cooked by an Indian chef and he used chicken, honey, tandoori masala and yoghurt to prepare it. She also mentioned that the version I tried was comparatively less spice and the cook did so intentionally so that the American guests could try it.

This food item looked like a roasted chicken to me but surprisingly it was different. Another item called Naan, which is a flatbread, was served with it and I enjoyed eating this menu for the first time in my life. Interestingly, when I tried a Spanish menu a few years ago for the first time in my life, I didn’t enjoy it. But experimenting with the tandoori chicken and naan was different and I liked it very much.

The music concert at the birthday party was another interesting aspect. A local music band from New York and another one from India performed at that party. The variety of food was a surprise to me. Trying one new item at a time was enough, so I did not dare try other menus that were unfamiliar to me.

Model Answer 2:

What food it was:
I have never been very fond of sweetmeats except for dark chocolates. This is mainly because my father is a doctor who has always tried to limit our sugar intake, and also because of my lack of having a “sweet tooth” or craving for sweet desserts or bakery items. However, when I tried “Jelabi” (or as some people call it ‘jalebi’, ‘pani walalu’, ‘mushabak’ or ‘jilapi’ among other variations), little did I know that foods can taste so exotic and unique.

What occasion it was:
It was during the holiday season when I went to visit India in 2019, I met one of my college buddies. For the past few days, I had noticed people eat this local delicacy with great fervour and interest. I also wanted to try it, and when I met my friend “Anil”, I expressed my interest. He took me to a local shop which was making and selling only this food item and nothing else! It must be a famous item – I presumed. The cooks were making yeast dough which was then fried and dipped in a syrup of sugar and rose water. They looked quite delicious and the aroma was a bit exotic to me.

Whether you enjoyed the food:
My friend bought several of these “Jelabis”, and to me, they looked pretty awesome! But when I took my first big bite, it was so sweet that I could not chew and gulp it. I knew that it was tender, sweet and delicious, but my taste bud was not ready for it! I hardly could finish a single one when my friend ate at least seven or eight of them! Our taste buds are polar opposites – no doubt.

and explain your experience of trying this food for the first time:
As you can understand, I have never tasted anything so sweet in my life and had no idea that a food item could be so dense with sugar before my first encounter with the “Jelabi”. It was an exotic experience that I will never forget.

Useful Vocabulary: 

Some useful words and expressions to describe a food item are given below. You can look at a few words and their use in the sentences so that your speech becomes more relevant and rich for achieving a higher band score in your speaking test.

First, we will list down words that simply describe delicious food:

Palatable: This exotic-looking food was so palatable and delightful that I ate the whole potion that was offered to me.
Tasty: It was so tasty, and I was very delighted to have tasted it.
Yummy: The food was so yummy that it still lingers in my mouth!
Relishing: The food item gave me a relishing experience that I will remember for many days.
Flavoursome: The flavoursome food melted perfectly in my mouth.
Divine: The divine taste of this food delighted me even though it was a bit exotic for my taste buds.
Delicious: I can use only one word to describe this food – “delicious”, and it tasted nothing like what I anticipated.
Satisfactory: It was somewhat satisfactory and I thought it was worth the effort.
Appetizing: The menu was so appetizing that I had to order more.
Delectable: With her little effort, the pie cake became so delectable that I was licking my finger after I tasted it.
Luscious: The juicy texture and heavenly aroma gave the food even more attractiveness and it was indeed a luscious item to eat.
Mouthwatering: I could not believe this ordinary-looking dessert would taste so delicate and it was indeed mouthwatering.

Now we will list down some words that perhaps would be used to describe food that does not taste so good. Here they are –

Bitter: The bitter taste and pungent smell made it a food that I would perhaps never want to try again.
Sour: It was sour and not agreeable to my taste bud.
Unsavoury: Despite its luscious look, it was unsavoury in taste.

Finally, here are some words to describe food ‘taste’, ‘smell’, or ‘texture’:

Bittersweet: A pleasing mix of bitterness and sweetness of a food item.
Acidic: A food that has a sour or sharp taste.
Fiery: A dish or menu that packs a spicy punch in it.
Luscious: A food that has a pleasant and rich taste.
Pungent: A food that has an unpleasantly strong taste or smell.
Treacly: An excessively sweet food item.
Zesty: A food having an invigorating flavour.

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