For powder made by grinding grain, see flour
Meals have been traditionally prepared by women in a home kitchen (Painting from the circle of Jean-Baptiste de Saive, 1563)
A meal is an eating occasion that takes place at a certain time and includes specific, prepared food, or the food eaten on that occasion. The names used for specific meals in English varies greatly depending on the speaker's culture, the time of day, or the size of the meal.
Meals occur primarily at homes, restaurants, and cafeterias, but may occur anywhere. Regular meals occur on a daily basis, typically several times a day. Special meals are usually held in conjunction with such occasions as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and holidays. A meal is different from a snack in that meals are generally larger, more varied, and more filling than snacks.
The type of meal served or eaten at any given time varies by custom and location. In most modern cultures, three main meals are eaten: in the morning, early afternoon, and evening. Further, the names of meals are often interchangeable by custom as well. Some serve dinner as the main meal at midday, with supper as the late afternoon/early evening meal; while others may call their midday meal lunch and their early evening meal supper. Except for "breakfast", these names can vary from region to region or even from family to family.
- Breakfast is eaten within an hour or two after a person wakes in the morning.
- Lunch or dinner is eaten around mid-day, usually between 11 am and 2 pm. In some areas, the name for this meal depends on its content.
- Supper or dinner or tea is eaten in the evening. In some areas, the name for this meal depends on its content, but many English-speakers use "dinner" for this meal regardless of size.
Other types of meals
- A barbecue is a meal at which food (often meat or fish) is cooked out of doors on an open fire or portable grill.
- A banquet is a large, formal, elaborate meal, with many guests and dishes.
- A blue-plate special is a term used in the United States by restaurants that refers to a specially low-priced meal, usually changing daily.
- Brunch is a late-morning meal, usually larger than a breakfast and usually replacing both breakfast and lunch; it is most common on Sundays. Brunch originated in England in the late 1800s, and in the 1930s became popular in the United States.
- A buffet typically involves diners serving themselves from foods placed in a public area. Buffets are effective for serving large numbers of people at once, and are often seen in institutional settings, such as business conventions or large parties. Some restaurants also offer buffets, such as a lunch buffet, or are specifically buffet restaurants.
- Elevenses, also called "morning tea", is a light snack and drink taken in the late morning after breakfast and before lunch.
- A last meal is a meal served to a prisoner before his execution.
- A multicourse meal is a meal of multiple dishes served in sequence.
- A full course dinner in its simplest form, can consist of three or four courses, such as soup, salad, meat and dessert. In formal dining, a full course dinner can consist of many courses, and in some instances the courses are carefully planned to complement each other gastronomically.
- A main course is the featured or primary dish in a meal consisting of several courses. It usually follows the entrée ("entry") course. In the United States it may in fact be called "entree".
- Meals on Wheels are meals delivered as a service to the homes of people who are unable to prepare their own.
- A Meal train Meal trains are commonly organized after significant life events, including birth, adoption, surgery, illness, death, divorce, new job, or moving to a new community. Caring friends, family, co-workers, congregation members, neighbors, and communities show their excitement or compassion though the organized delivery meals.
- A picnic is an outdoor meal where one brings one's food, such as a sandwich or a prepared meal (sometimes in a picnic basket). It often takes place in a natural or recreational area, such as a park, forest, beach, or lawn. On long drives a picnic may take place at a roadside stop such as a rest area. Picnics are often consumed on a picnic table.
- A potluck is a gathering of people where each person or group of people may contribute a dish of food prepared by the person or the group of people, to be shared among the group.
- Second breakfast is a traditional mid-morning meal served in parts of central Europe, i.e.: Austria, Bavaria (Germany) and Poland.
- Tea can refer to any of several different meals or mealtimes, depending on a country's customs and its history of drinking tea. However, in those countries where the term's use is common, the influences are generally those of the former British Empire (now the Commonwealth of Nations). Tea as a meal can be small or large.
- Afternoon tea is a mid-afternoon meal, typically taken at 4 pm, consisting of light fare such as small sandwiches, individual cakes and scones with tea.
- High tea is a British meal usually eaten in the early evening.
- Tiffin is a second breakfast or light lunch, most commonly in India. "Tiffin" can also refer to boxed or packaged lunches that are delivered by dabbawalas in Mumbai to workers in the city.
- Réveillon is a celebratory long dinner held on Christmas Eve in French-speaking countries.
- Sacred meals, such as the Eucharist, a form of theophagy or symbolic rite.
- Symbolic meals, such as were prepared for or represented in tombs, were designed for consumption by the deceased in the after-life. They are often represented in funerary art.
- A wedding breakfast is a dinner given to the bride, groom, and guests at the wedding reception that follows a wedding in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Austria and Scandinavia.
- Yum cha is a Cantonese morning or afternoon meal where dim sum dishes and tea are served. In the U.S. and U.K., the word dim sum is often used in place of yum cha.
Types of meals
Meal structure in cuisines
Related terms and concepts
- ^ meal noun (FOOD) - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online
- ^ meal - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online
- ^ Wansink, B.; Payne, C. R.; Shimizu, M. (2010). ""Is this a meal or snack?" Situational cues that drive perceptions". Appetite 54 (1): 214–216. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2009.09.016. PMID 19808071.
- ^ "AskOxford: breakfast". Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- ^ "AskOxford: lunch". Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- ^ "Definition of supper". Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- ^ O'Donoghue, Ben (2008), Outdoor: grill your way 'round the world, Prahran, Victoria, Australia: Hardie Grant Books, ISBN 9781740665599
- ^ "Banquet." (definition). Merriam-webster.com. Accessed August 2011.
- ^ Rombauer, Irma S.; Becker, Marion Rombauer; Becker, Ethan (2001). Joy of Cooking: All About Breakfast and Brunch. Simon and Schuster. p. 8. ISBN 0743206428.
- ^ A & C Black Publishers Ltd (2009). Dictionary of Leisure, Travel and Tourism. A & C Black Publishers Ltd. p. 103. ISBN 1408102129.
- ^ (AP) (August 29, 2012). "Study: Death Row inmates pick comfort foods for last meals". CBS News. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- ^ Meals on Wheels Inc. (S. Aust.) (1963), Meals on Wheels : what it is - how it began - what it is now - what it can become!, Meals on Wheels
- ^ a b "AskOxford: tea". Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- ^ "Definition of tiffin in English". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- ^ Narsimhan, Mahtab (2011). Tiffin (abstract). Midpoint Trade Books Incorporated. ISBN 1770860398.
- ^ Sterling, Richard; Chong, Elizabeth; Qin, Lushan Charles (2001). Hong Kong. Lonely Planet. p. 145. ISBN 1864502886.
||Wikiquote has quotations related to: Meal
New York Times
New York Times
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:39:32 -0700
To support the expanded effort, Citymeals-on-Wheels is now turning to wealthy donors to feed entire neighborhoods, or even boroughs. It started an unusual program this spring, called the Guardians, in which individual donors can opt to sponsor meal ...
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 04:44:32 -0700
Rapper and food TV show host Action Bronson just posted an Instagram reportage of a meal in the best restaurant in the world*—Noma, in Copenhagen, Denmark. 24 courses with ingredients that go from flowers and sea urchin to ants and grasshopper.
Williston Daily Herald
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:56:15 -0700
Every Sunday night for about two and a half years, a free meal has been served at First Lutheran Church with the simple slogan “Come-Sit-Eat.” Four churches in the Williston area help put on the dinner — Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Good Shepherd ...
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 04:15:00 -0700
These cozy, warm bowls could be just the ticket for an easy vacation meal. Just remember to pack the polenta and pine nuts. This recipe uses an America's Test Kitchen trick: The baking soda helps soften the cornmeal's endosperm, which cuts cooking time.
Casper Star-Tribune Online
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:11:15 -0700
Whether you pick yours from your garden or a field, buy it at a farmers' market (Tuesday evening and Saturday morning in Casper) or a roadside stand, or pick through the pile at the grocery store, now is the time to find the best prices and best ...
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:03:45 -0700
Fayetteville and Greensboro readers: Smokey Bones is celebrating back to school by offering kids one free meal with the purchase of an adult entree! You can only sign up for the offer today, 8/19, but you have until 8/24 to redeem the coupon. To get ...
Michigan State University Extension
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 07:15:00 -0700
The new rule updates meal patterns and nutrition standards to align with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and requires most schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school ...
Madison Journal TODAY
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 23:56:15 -0700
Madison County's Summer Meal Program is funded by the federal government. About 65-percent of Madison County students qualify for free and reduced lunches. So Madison County receives funding to help meet nutritional needs of children in financially ...
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