Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

1115 Buying Meat from a Butcher

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 1,115 – Buying Meat from a Butcher.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 1,115. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Go to our website at ESLPod.com or become a member of ESL Podcast. Why not? If you do, you can download the Learning Guides for this and all of our recent episodes. You can also take a look at our ESL Podcast Store with additional courses in Daily and Business English.

This episode, we’re going to listen to a dialogue between Samantha and a butcher about buying meat. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Butcher: Good morning. What can I get for you?

Samantha: I’d like some lamb chops, pork chops, and some beef, but I’m not sure which cuts I want yet.

Butcher: You’ve come to the right butcher shop. Everything here is fresh. Everything comes straight from the slaughterhouse.

Samantha: Um, I’m glad to hear that.

Butcher: In fact, we got in a shipment of game and poultry just this morning. You can buy them bone-in, boneless, or whole. They’re as fresh as if you got them from your own farm or brought them down with your own shotgun.

Samantha: Uh, that’s great. I see that you sell marinated and stuffed meats, too.

Butcher: Yes, we do. We even make our own sausages. We use only the freshest ingredients. They’re so fresh I wouldn’t be surprised if they got up and walked across the floor.

Samantha: Right. I think I’ll just take the chops for now.

Butcher: Are you sure? I can show you some of the best prime cuts of beef you’ll ever see. They’re so fresh you could . . .

Samantha: No, no, that’s all for now. I suddenly feel like a salad for dinner instead.

[end of dialogue]
Our dialogue begins with the butcher saying to Samantha, “Good morning. What can I get for you?” A “butcher” (butcher) is a person whose job it is to cut meat and usually sell the meat to people who want to buy it. Technically, the butcher is the person who cuts the meat away from the animal or cuts the meat into smaller pieces. Samantha is talking to a butcher who is asking her what she wants, what kind of meat she wants to buy.

Samantha says, “I’d like some lamb chops, pork chops, and some beef, but I’m not sure which cuts I want yet.” “Lamb” (lamb) – notice the “b” is silent when we pronounce the word – is meat that comes from a young sheep. A “sheep” is a kind of animal that you also take to hair from in order to make clothing. The hair is called “wool” (wool). “Lamb,” then, is meat that comes from a young sheep.

When we talk about “chops” (chops), we’re referring to a thick slice of meat, a thick piece of meat that you can cook. Usually, it is made of pork or lamb. We talk about “lamb chops” and “pork chops.” “Pork” is meat that comes from a pig. Samantha says she wants lamb chops, pork chops, and some “beef” (beef). “Beef,” you may already know, is meat that comes from a cow.

Samantha says she’s not sure which “cuts” she wants yet. A “cut” (cut) refers here to a section of an animal’s body that we get meat from. Often we’re talking about specific areas in the animal’s body. An animal such as a cow has many different sections, and there are four different cuts of beef that you can get from it. Samantha isn’t sure which cut she wants yet.

The butcher says, “You’ve come to the right butcher shop.” A “butcher shop” is a store that sells meat and meat products. There aren’t a lot of butcher shops left in the United States. In most cities, you buy your meat from a grocery store that sells all kinds of food, but there are still butcher shops. Here in Los Angeles, there’s a butcher shop about two miles from my house, but most of the people who buy meat nowadays go to a grocery store, and so there are butchers who work in grocery stores.

The butcher says, “Everything here is fresh.” To say food is “fresh” means the meat has recently been cut from the animal or that it isn’t old, it isn’t spoiled. The butcher says, “Everything comes straight from the slaughterhouse.” “To be straight from” means it has come directly from a certain place. It hasn’t been sitting in a warehouse, a storage facility. It has come directly from, in this case, the “slaughterhouse.”

A “slaughterhouse” (slaughterhouse) is a place where animals are killed, animals such as pigs and cows and sheep. I grew up in an agricultural state in the Midwest, in Minnesota, where there are lots of slaughterhouses. In fact, there are slaughterhouses, or at least there used to be, not too far from where I lived in St. Paul. The verb “to slaughter” means to kill an animal, and that’s where you get the word “slaughterhouse.”

Samantha says, “I’m glad to hear that.” She’s glad to hear that the meat is fresh because it comes straight from the slaughterhouse. The butcher continues, “In fact, we got in a shipment of game and poultry just this morning.” “We got in” means we received. A “shipment” is a large collection of something, usually things that are being sold by a store or are being sent to someone who is buying a large number of things.

The butcher is talking about a shipment of “game and poultry” (poultry). “Game” refers to wild animals or birds that are killed either for sport or for food. When I say they’re “wild,” I mean they’re not in a farm – they’re not being raised or brought up to be used as food. They’re animals that are out in the trees and, well, wherever birds go. “Poultry” refers to a couple of different kinds of animals – “chickens,” “turkeys,” “ducks,” and “geese” are all what we call “poultry.” They’re birds that are eaten or whose eggs are eaten.

The butcher continues, “You can buy them bone-in, boneless, or whole.” When you’re buying poultry, sometimes you want the meat to come with the bone still in it – that would be “bone-in.” “Boneless” (boneless) is when you buy meat, especially poultry meat, without the bone. “Whole” (whole) refers to buying a chicken or a turkey or a duck or a goose without it being cut up. In other words, you get the whole bird, the whole animal.

Americans love to eat turkey on the celebration in November of our Thanksgiving Day, and most Americans buy a whole turkey and then cook the whole bird, the whole animal, inside of a large oven. The butcher is giving Samantha different options for buying the poultry. He continues, “They’re as fresh as if you got them from your own farm or brought them down with your own shotgun.” A “shotgun” (shotgun) is the kind of gun that you can use to kill an animal. You can kill a person with a shotgun as well.

Shotguns are used to shoot things at relatively “close range,” or not too far away from you. There’s another kind of gun called a “rifle” (rifle) that would be used to shoot something that’s far away. I myself am not what we would call a “hunter.” I don’t go out and kill animals with guns. I did, however, once fire a shotgun that a friend of mine owned. He was a hunter. Where I grew up in Minnesota, lots of people are into or interested in hunting. I was never one of those people.

Samantha says, “Uh, that’s great. I see that you sell marinated and stuffed meats, too.” “Marinated” (marinated) comes from the verb “to marinate,” which means to put uncooked meat or vegetables into some kind of liquid in order to give it more flavor, to give it a different taste. “Stuffed” (stuffed) comes from the verb “to stuff,” which means to fill a hole or an opening in a substance.

Sometimes people “stuff” their turkeys. They put things inside of the body of the turkey to cook in addition to cooking the actual turkey. That’s very common when people prepare turkeys for Thanksgiving. In fact, we call the food inside “stuffing” (stuffing). We also use that word “stuffing” for a pillow. The things that you stuff inside of the pillow in order to make it soft is called “stuffing” as well.

The butcher says, “Yes, we do” – yes, we do sell marinated and stuffed meats. He continues, “We even make our own sausages.” “Sausage” (sausage) is meat that has been cut up into very small pieces and usually mixed with certain spices and perhaps vegetables and then put inside a skin, what we call a “casing” (casing). Basically it’s a tube-like shape of the meat that you can cook. The butcher is saying that his butcher shop makes its own sausages. “We use only the freshest ingredients.”

An “ingredient” is something you use in preparing food. It is a food that is part of a larger dish. The ingredients for an omelet, for example, would be an egg, cheese, perhaps some kind of meat. The butcher says, “The sausages are so fresh I wouldn’t be surprised if they got up and walked across the floor.” The butcher is saying that the sausages are so fresh it’s almost as if they were alive, as if they could get up and walk. The idea here is that they were killed or the meat that is used in them comes from animals who were killed very recently.

Samantha says, “Right. I think I’ll just take the chops for now.” The butcher says, “Are you sure? I can show you some of the best prime cuts of beef you’ll ever see.” A “prime (prime) cut” of beef, is a top-quality one, a very high-quality cut of beef. Samantha says, “No, that’s all for now. I suddenly feel like a salad for dinner instead.” Apparently Samantha didn’t like the butcher reminding her of where this meat comes from, and she says maybe she’ll have a salad instead of meat for dinner.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Butcher: Good morning. What can I get for you?

Samantha: I’d like some lamb chops, pork chops, and some beef, but I’m not sure which cuts I want yet.

Butcher: You’ve come to the right butcher shop. Everything here is fresh. Everything comes straight from the slaughterhouse.

Samantha: Um, I’m glad to hear that.

Butcher: In fact, we got in a shipment of game and poultry just this morning. You can buy them bone-in, boneless, or whole. They’re as fresh as if you got them from your own farm or brought them down with your own shotgun.

Samantha: Uh, that’s great. I see that you sell marinated and stuffed meats, too.

Butcher: Yes, we do. We even make our own sausages. We use only the freshest ingredients. They’re so fresh I wouldn’t be surprised if they got up and walked across the floor.

Samantha: Right. I think I’ll just take the chops for now.

Butcher: Are you sure? I can show you some of the best prime cuts of beef you’ll ever see. They’re so fresh you could . . .

Samantha: No, no, that’s all for now. I suddenly feel like a salad for dinner instead.

[end of dialogue]

Our dialogues are always fresh here at ESL Podcast, thanks to the wonderful work of our wonderful scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2015 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
lamb – meat that comes from a young sheep

* Don’t overcook the lamb, or it won’t be tender. It should still be pink when you slice it open.


chops – a thick slice of meat, usually of pork or lamb, normally with a rib (chest bone) attached

* Let’s cook some chops on the grill and eat outdoors tonight.

pork – meat that comes from a pig

* Do you prefer pork, chicken, or vegetable dumplings?

beef – meat that comes from a cow

* How much beef is in the deluxe hamburger?

cut – a section of an animal’s body used for meat, especially when talking about specific sections of the body

* Which cut is better for beef stew: a shoulder roast or a rump roast?

butcher shop – a store that sells meat and meat products

* Please go to the butcher shop to buy some chicken breasts and some sausages.

fresh – not old or spoiled; harvested, killed, or made very recently

* The real estate agent put a vase of fresh flowers in the entryway to welcome potential buyers.

slaughterhouse – a facility where many animals are killed for processing, whether for meat or for their skins

* The slaughterhouse inspects all animals for signs of illness before processing them.

game – wild animals or birds that are killed for sport and for food

* If we’re lucky, Kian will hunt enough deer so we’ll have game to eat all winter.

poultry – birds that are eaten, or whose eggs are eaten; chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese

* The recipe calls for chicken, but you can substitute any type of poultry.

bone-in – with the meat attached to a bone or part of a bone

* It takes a little longer to cook bone-in steaks.

boneless – without any bones; meat that is no longer attached to the bones

* They always keep boneless chicken breasts in the freezer, because they can make so many quick and inexpensive dinners with them.

whole – entire; referring to the entire animal, with all bones, meat, and possibly organs, but usually without the fur or feathers

* Does your family cook a whole turkey for Thanksgiving, or just the turkey breasts?

farm – a place where animals are raised and crops are grown; an agricultural piece of land

* Jason grew up on a farm where he had to milk the cows every day and help his father maintain the fences.

shotgun – a gun used to shoot at a close distance, often used to kill birds and small animals

* A shotgun is powerful, but only at short distances. If you want to shoot something farther away, you’ll need a rifle.

to marinate – to soak uncooked meat or vegetables in a flavored liquid for a period of time before cooking it

* Try marinating the chicken in a mixture of yogurt, cumin, curry, and garlic before you broil it in the oven.

to stuff – to fill an opening with a substance

* They served delicious roasted mushrooms that were stuffed with crabmeat, spinach, and parmesan cheese.

sausage – meat that has been cut up into very small pieces mixed with spices and some vegetables and put inside a skin or casing in a tube-like shape so that it can be cooked

* Do you prefer sausage or bacon with your pancakes and eggs?

ingredient – one of many food substances that is used to make another food product

* Wyatt is allergic to peanuts, so his parents have to check the list of ingredients before they buy anything at the grocery store.

prime – top-quality; the best or highest quality

* These are prime eggs from organic, free-range chickens.

Comprehension Questions
1. Which type of meat is most common in sausages?
a) Lamb
b) Pork
c) Beef

2. What does the butcher mean when he says, “Everything here is fresh”?
a) The store is very clean and sanitary.
b) The store has some of the lowest prices.
c) Nothing has been sitting in the store for very long.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
cut

The word “cut,” in this podcast, means a section of an animal’s body used for meat, especially when talking about specific sections of the body: “Tough cuts can become tender if you cook them in a slow cooker for many hours.” A “cut of (something)” refers to one’s portion or share: “If you invest in our business now, you’ll have a cut of the profits when we sell the business in a few years.” A “cut” often means a reduction or decrease in something: “The schools are struggling to deal with another round of budget cuts.” Finally, the phrase “to be a cut above” means to be superior or to be better than someone or something else: “These apartments are a cut above what you’ll find in the downtown area.”

whole

In this podcast, the word “whole” means entire, referring to the intact animal, with all bones, meat, and possibly organs, but probably without the fur or feathers: “A whole deer provides too much meat for a single person, so Paul shared the meat with his friends and neighbors.” When talking about music, a “whole note” is held for an entire measure: “In the 4/4 time measure, a whole note is equal to three quarter notes.” When talking about food, “whole grains” are grains that are complete and have not had a part removed: “Brown breads made with whole grains are healthier and tastier than white breads made from white flour.” Finally, when talking about math, a “whole number” is an integer, or a number that is not a fraction or decimal: “The children are learning how to multiple and divide whole numbers, but they haven’t yet started working with fractions.”

Culture Note
New York City's Meatpacking District

The Meatpacking District in New York City “occupies” (takes up space) a neighborhood in Manhattan. The area grew along with the rest of the New York City, initially as a collection of “residences” (homes) and businesses. In the late 1800s, it became increasingly “industrialized” (with many heavy industries and large businesses, and few homes), and the area became known for its markets, which led to the “establishment” (creation) of several businesses that processed food.

In its “heyday” (the period of time when a person or thing was at its best, very popular, successful, and active), around 1900, the district was home to 250 slaughterhouses and “meatpacking facilities” (places where meats are packaged for selling to stores). Meatpacking continued to be an important part of the neighborhood’s economy until the 1970s, but then the neighborhood “deteriorated” (became worse), and eventually became known “primarily” (mostly) for “drug trafficking” (buying and selling of illegal drugs) and “prostitution” (selling sex).

However, beginning in the late 1990s, the neighborhood experienced another “transformation” (major change) and attracted “high-end” (expensive and luxurious) stores for young professionals. The neighborhood developed a “reputation” (the public image of someone or something) for being “fashionable” (seen as good or desirable by many people, often related to popular clothing, hairstyles, and accessories).

Today, the neighborhood is listed in the national registry of Historic Places and there are efforts to “preserve” (maintain and save for the future) some of the historic buildings, including slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants. But the neighborhood continues to develop and change, and now “attracts” (brings in) many shoppers and tourists.

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - c