Life & English: Picnics during pandemic

Eating outdoors is not new. People were out hunting ate roasted meat since hundreds of years ago. Rich people loved picnics in the 1800s. They had tables and dishes hauled outside by servants. The meal might include meat pies, several kinds of cake and strawberries. Picnics got simpler when people had cars. A drive and a picnic lunch were considered fun for a Saturday.

Now, picnics are as popular as ever. Worries about the corona virus, or COVID-19, have made outdoor meals a common choice. Eating outdoors is believed to reduce the risk of spreading the illness.

The United Kingdom

Britain Tom Shingler is editor of the website Great British Chefs. In the United Kingdom, a picnic has foods that can be enjoyed cold, he said. "Think sandwiches, Scotch eggs, quiches, pies, and bean or potato salads." A Scotch egg is a hardboiled egg. It is wrapped in sausage and fried.


France has many farmers' markets and grocery stores. They make picnicking easy. Shaheen Peerbhai wrote the cookbook Paris Picnic Club. "Picnic traditions in Paris are simple," she said. "Grab a baguette sandwich and a pastry from the bakery" and go to a riverbank with friends, she said. Picnic sandwiches include ham and butter on bread. It is hard-boiled eggs, vegetables, tuna and oil on bread.

A picnic picture


Australia's Northern Territory has a Picnic Day holiday in August. It is celebrated with a picnic along the Adelaide River. To picnic like an Aussie, get your sky, or cooler. Put in some tucker, or food. For dessert, bake a tray of chocolate or caramel slice. Slices are what Americans might call "bars." They are tray-baked desserts that are cut into squares.


Finding a place to picnic in Turkey is easy. There are many picnic grounds. A Turkish picnic is an all-day event. Rugs are spread on the ground to hold a feast of salads, dips, meatballs and more. You eat, you play games and you make some tea. Then you do it all over again until dark.


In Japan, cherry blossom season is celebrated. People go for cherry blossom viewing at parks. These trips are a time to eat and drink late into the night. Stores sell picnic boxes for the park visits. They are filled with rice, fish, pickles and other treats.

Hong Kong In Hong Kong, groups go to beaches or parks to use grills. They visit seaside shops that sell fish balls, chicken wings, corn, mushrooms and more. The rest Of the day is spent grilling and eating. Dessert is a piece of toast with honey. They take a break to swim or go for a walk. Then, they eat again.


Evenings are cooler for picnics in India, said Peerbhai. A picnic could be "corn on the cob and coconut water" at the beach, she said. Chowpatty Beach is famous for its snack sellers. Snacks include vada pav, which is a fried potato patty on a bun.

Collected & edited by QM

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