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Talk about Food You Tried but didn’t Like - IELTS Speaking Cue Card Band 9 Model Answer

Talk about food you tried but didn’t like.

Please tell me:

  • what it was

  • why you didn’t like it

  • whether you will try it again


Talk about Food You Tried but didn’t Like - IELTS Speaking Cue Card Band 9 Model Answer

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Model Answer 1

Recently, I ventured to try something outside my culinary comfort zone, a dish called nattō, which is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. I encountered it during a Japanese cultural festival in my city, and its unique appearance and cultural significance piqued my curiosity.


The experience, however, was far from what I anticipated. Nattō's texture was the first aspect that struck me as off-putting. It was sticky and stringy, unlike anything I had ever eaten before. This unusual texture, combined with a potent, somewhat pungent aroma, made it challenging for me to appreciate the dish. Additionally, the flavor, which I can best describe as a cross between aged cheese and soy, was intensely strong and lingered on my palate longer than I would have liked.


But the experience wasn't entirely negative. It broadened my culinary horizons and gave me a deeper appreciation for the diversity of global cuisines. Despite my initial reaction, I haven't entirely closed the door on nattō. Food preferences can evolve, and I believe in giving dishes multiple chances before forming a definitive opinion. Perhaps in a different setting, or prepared in a unique way, I might find a newfound appreciation for it. This openness to retry foods I initially didn’t enjoy is part of my broader philosophy of continually exploring and understanding diverse cultures and tastes.


In conclusion, while my first encounter with nattō wasn't pleasant, it was an enlightening experience. It taught me the importance of stepping out of my culinary comfort zone and the value of maintaining an open mind. Who knows, maybe one day I'll find myself enjoying a bowl of nattō as part of my breakfast routine!

 

Why this is a High Scoring Answer

This response excellently addresses the topic "Talk about food you tried but didn’t like" by weaving a personal narrative around the experience of trying nattō, a traditional Japanese dish. The answer's high scoring potential in an IELTS Speaking test can be attributed to several key aspects:


1.    Comprehensive Coverage of the Topic: The speaker thoroughly explores the subject, delving into the specifics of nattō — its texture, aroma, and taste. This depth of description demonstrates an ability to engage with a topic in a detailed and thoughtful manner, a skill highly valued in the IELTS Speaking test.


2.    Use of Descriptive Language: The vivid descriptions of nattō's texture as "sticky and stringy" and its flavor as a "cross between aged cheese and soy" showcase the speaker's proficiency in using descriptive English. This ability to paint a picture with words is indicative of a high level of language proficiency.


3.    Personal Reflection and Critical Thinking: The response goes beyond mere description by reflecting on the personal impact of the experience. Statements like "It broadened my culinary horizons" and "Food preferences can evolve" demonstrate the speaker's capacity for reflection and critical thinking, crucial for scoring well in the IELTS Speaking section.


4.    Fluency and Coherence: The response flows smoothly, transitioning naturally from one point to the next. This coherence and fluency in speech indicate a strong command of the English language.


5.    Cultural Awareness and Open-mindedness: Discussing the cultural significance of nattō and the speaker's openness to retry the dish illustrates an understanding and appreciation of different cultures, a quality that enriches the response.


As you prepare for your IELTS exam, enhancing your speaking skills with such narratives can be incredibly beneficial. To further support your preparation, consider exploring our exclusive IELTS books (pdf download). These resources, tailored for you, offer in-depth strategies and practice materials to refine your language skills and boost your confidence for the exam. Remember, mastering the art of storytelling and personal reflection in your responses can significantly enhance your performance in the IELTS Speaking test.


Get your personalised IELTS Essay Feedback from a former examiner


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Model Answer 2

Embarking on a culinary adventure often leads to unexpected experiences, and mine was no exception when I tried durian for the first time. Renowned as the 'King of Fruits' in Southeast Asia, durian's reputation for its divisive taste had always intrigued me.


Upon my first encounter with this exotic fruit, the immediate challenge was its overpowering aroma. Often likened to a blend of onions and ripe cheese, the smell was overwhelmingly intense and unlike any fruit I had previously encountered. Bracing myself, I tasted it, and the flavor was equally complex. It had a creamy, custard-like texture but was coupled with a taste that fluctuated between sweet, almond-like flavors and a pungent, savory depth that I found disconcerting. This juxtaposition of flavors and the lingering aftertaste left me both bewildered and slightly repelled.


Reflecting on this experience, I realize that durian isn't just about the taste; it's an immersive experience that challenges your sensory perceptions. It's a reminder of the vast diversity in global food cultures and how taste preferences can be deeply subjective and culturally influenced.


While my initial trial with durian was less than favorable, I'm not averse to giving it another try. Tastes evolve, and I appreciate that a single experience shouldn't define my entire perception of a food. Who knows, with time and perhaps a different variety or preparation, I might come to enjoy what many consider a delicacy.


In conclusion, my durian adventure was a significant step out of my culinary comfort zone. It was a vivid reminder of the rich tapestry of global flavors and the importance of approaching new experiences with an open mind. Even if I never acquire a taste for durian, I value the insight it provided into the complexities of taste and cultural diversity.

 

Why this is a High Scoring Answer

This sample answer, discussing the experience with durian, is a quintessential high-scoring response for an IELTS Speaking section for several reasons:


1.    Rich Descriptive Language: The answer vividly describes durian, using phrases like "overpowering aroma" and "creamy, custard-like texture." Such detailed descriptions demonstrate the speaker's proficiency in English, a critical factor in achieving a high score.


2.    Engagement with the Topic: The speaker effectively addresses the topic of discussing a food they tried but didn’t like. This is evident in statements like "Upon my first encounter with this exotic fruit" and "my initial trial with durian was less than favorable." Engaging directly and fully with the topic is essential for a high score.


3.    Personal Reflection and Depth: The answer goes beyond surface-level description, offering insights into the speaker's thoughts and feelings. Phrases like "it's an immersive experience that challenges your sensory perceptions" and "a vivid reminder of the rich tapestry of global flavors" reflect deep engagement with the topic.


4.    Fluency and Coherence: The narrative flows smoothly, showcasing the speaker's ability to construct a well-organized and coherent story. This is crucial for scoring well in the IELTS Speaking test.


5.    Cultural Awareness: The response exhibits an understanding of durian's cultural significance, illustrating the speaker's awareness of global diversity in cuisine. This adds depth to the answer and is indicative of a well-rounded speaker.


6.    Openness to New Experiences: By expressing a willingness to retry durian, the speaker shows an open-minded attitude, a quality that adds richness to the response.


To further enhance your preparation for the IELTS Speaking test, exploring our exclusive IELTS books (pdf download) can be incredibly beneficial. These resources, designed for you, offer comprehensive guidance and strategies, ensuring you're well-equipped to tackle the challenges of the test. Remember, practicing responses like this, which demonstrate a blend of descriptive language, personal reflection, and fluency, will significantly boost your chances of achieving a high score in your IELTS Speaking exam.


Download IELTS eBooks, get everything you need to achieve a high band score

 


Model Answer 3

Embarking on a journey to expand my culinary experiences, I recently decided to try a dish that's quite popular in Scandinavian cuisine: lutefisk. This traditional dish, made from aged whitefish and lye, has a storied history and is often associated with heritage celebrations.


As someone who appreciates the intricacies of global cuisines, I was eager to explore this unique aspect of Scandinavian culinary tradition. The first thing I noticed about lutefisk was its texture. It was jelly-like, quite different from the firmness of most fish I'm accustomed to. This was my initial hurdle; the texture was so unusual that it made it challenging to focus on the taste.


Speaking of taste, lutefisk has a mild, somewhat bland flavor, which is often complemented by strong seasonings or sauces. However, in my case, the lack of a distinct, flavorful profile combined with the gelatinous texture didn't quite hit the mark for my palate. I found myself more engaged in the experience of trying something culturally significant rather than enjoying the dish itself.


Despite my lukewarm reaction to lutefisk, I view this experience as an integral part of my culinary exploration. It's fascinating how traditional dishes like lutefisk can offer a glimpse into a region's history and cultural practices. While it might not have earned a spot on my list of favorite foods, I appreciate its cultural significance and the way it connects people to their heritage.


I believe in keeping an open mind, and I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of giving lutefisk another try, perhaps prepared in a different style or as part of a different recipe. Culinary tastes are ever-evolving, and what may not appeal to me now could become an acquired taste in the future.


In brief, my experience with lutefisk was a valuable lesson in culinary diversity and cultural appreciation. It's a testament to the rich, varied tapestry of global cuisines and the endless possibilities they present for exploration and understanding.

 

Why this is a High Scoring Answer

This sample answer about the experience with lutefisk is a high-scoring response in the context of an IELTS Speaking test due to several key elements:


1.    Direct Engagement with the Topic: The speaker successfully addresses the subject of "food you tried but didn’t like." This is evident from the onset, where they state their intention to expand their culinary experiences and their choice to try lutefisk, a Scandinavian dish.


2.    Descriptive Language and Sensory Details: The detailed description of lutefisk's texture as "jelly-like" and its flavor as "mild" and "somewhat bland" showcases the speaker's ability to use descriptive language effectively. These vivid details help in painting a clear picture for the listener, a skill highly valued in IELTS Speaking.


3.    Personal Reflection and Insight: The speaker reflects on their experience, stating, "I found myself more engaged in the experience of trying something culturally significant rather than enjoying the dish itself." This demonstrates an ability to think critically and reflect personally, which is crucial for a high score.


4.    Cultural Awareness and Open-Mindedness: By acknowledging lutefisk's cultural significance and expressing a willingness to try it again, the speaker shows an appreciation for cultural diversity and an open-minded attitude. This level of cultural awareness is a positive trait in the IELTS Speaking test.


5.    Cohesive and Fluent Narrative: The response is well-structured and coherent, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. This fluency and coherence are essential for a high score.


To further your preparation for such a nuanced and effective speaking performance, our exclusive IELTS books (pdf download), available for download, are an invaluable resource. They're designed with you in mind, offering comprehensive insights and strategies to enhance your speaking skills for the IELTS. Remember, practicing with thoughtful, well-structured narratives like this one can significantly improve your performance in the test.

Get your personalised IELTS Essay Feedback from a former examiner


Download IELTS eBooks, get everything you need to achieve a high band score

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