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Describe an Unusual Meal You Had - IELTS Cue Card Sample Answers

Updated on 04 December, 2023

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert

The IELTS speaking test often probes into personal experiences to assess a candidate's English communication skills. Among the many topics, food holds a special place, universally relatable and rich with descriptive potential. An unusual meal, with its surprise elements and new sensations, serves as an ideal subject for showcasing one's linguistic prowess.

A Gourmet Adventure: Sample Answer:

I once had the opportunity to indulge in what I can only describe as a culinary oddity. It was during my travels to Vietnam, a land renowned for its vibrant street food culture. One evening, I found myself seated on a diminutive plastic stool at a bustling corner of Hanoi's Old Quarter, where a street vendor had just served me a steaming bowl of what she proudly proclaimed to be 'Phở Chó' – literally translated as 'Dog Meat Pho'.

The broth's aroma was tantalizing, with hints of star anise and cinnamon, yet the knowledge of what lay within made me hesitate. The meat, thinly sliced and resembling beef, was garnished with a generous sprinkling of fresh herbs and rice noodles. Taking the first tentative bite, I was surprised at the meat's tenderness and the complexity of flavors that danced across my palate.

As I continued, the initial shock gave way to appreciation. The meal was not just about taste; it was about understanding and embracing a culture where such a dish is a delicacy. It was an unusual meal, not merely for its main ingredient but for the thoughts and reflections it stirred within me.


Follow-Up Questions & Answers:

Q1: How does this meal compare to your regular diet?

A1: This meal was a stark departure from my usual diet. It pushed the boundaries of my culinary comfort zone and challenged my preconceptions about acceptable food sources.

Q2: Would you try it again or recommend it to someone?

A2: While I value the experience for its uniqueness and the cultural insight it provided, I am uncertain if I would seek it out again. However, I would encourage the adventurous to try it, as it truly broadens one's gastronomic horizons.

Q3: What did this experience teach you about cultural differences?

A3: It taught me that food preferences are deeply ingrained and culturally relative. What is considered unusual or even taboo in one culture can be perfectly normal in another. It's a testament to the diverse tapestry of global culinary practices.

Q4: Did the experience change your perspective on trying new foods?

A4: Absolutely. It reinforced the idea that being open to new experiences can be rewarding and that taste is but one aspect of eating. The story behind the food, the people who prepare it, and the setting in which it is eaten all contribute to the dining experience.

Tips for Cracking the IELTS Speaking Test:

Tip 1: Engage with the topic deeply and personally to provide a response that is both genuine and rich in detail.

Tip 2: Expand your culinary vocabulary to vividly describe tastes, textures, and smells.

Tip 3: Practice speaking about a variety of foods and meals to become comfortable with the subject matter.

Tip 4: Use descriptive language to bring your narrative to life and to express your reactions and emotions during the meal.

Tip 5: Remember to structure your response clearly, with a beginning, middle, and end.

Tip 6: Be prepared for follow-up questions by considering your experience from different angles.

Tip 7: Stay calm and composed, even if the topic seems challenging or unusual.

Tip 8: Listen carefully to the question and make sure you understand what is being asked before you begin your answer.

Tip 9: Use examples from your own experiences to make your answer more relatable and interesting.

Tip 10: Work on your pronunciation and intonation to ensure your speech is engaging and easy to follow.

Describing an unusual meal you had is an excellent way to demonstrate your command of the English language in the IELTS speaking test. It allows you to explore a wide range of descriptive phrases and share personal insights that can captivate the examiner. By following the tips provided, you can approach your IELTS speaking test with confidence, ready to express yourself clearly and effectively. Remember, the key to success in IELTS is not just fluency but the ability to connect with your audience through your stories.



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Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert

Akansha Semwal is a content marketer at upGrad and has also worked as a social media marketer & sub-editor. Experienced in creating impressive Statement of Purpose, Essays, and LOR, she knows how to captivate the attention of Admissions Committee. Her research-driven;study-abroad articles helps aspirants to make the prudent decision. She holds a bachelor's & master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.