https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVNz98Uayro

5 idioms about food with example +video

What are the most common idioms about food that can help us speak like natives? Should we use them in our routine speaking? Yes of course! Stay with POC English to learn these interesting idioms!

If you want to reach an advanced level of English, you must learn idioms. So, in this lesson, we are going to learn some idioms about food that only advanced students of English know and can use.

At the end of this lesson, you are going to have a small quiz just to see if you have learned the food idioms. So, read carefully!

1- The fist Food idiom: The icing on the cake!

Let’s have a closer look at this idiom about food:

“Icing” means a sugary substance to cover the cake. It’s sweet and delicious. The cake itself is very delicious. So, having icing on the cake means you are making the cake even better!

So, the icing on the cake means something extra that makes a good thing even better. For example:

  • Traveling on its own is a very exciting experience. Meeting new people on your trip is the icing on the cake.

the icing on the cake

 

Be careful! Idioms are fixed expressions and you can’t change any details of them. So, if you say “the icing of the cake” or “the icing in the cake”, they are all wrong.

2-to have a lot on your plate

This is another example of food idioms. but what does it means?

Imagine that you have a plate full of food and someone offers you more food. Will you take it? obviously no! because you have no space on your plate to put it. So, you would say “sorry! I have a lot on my plate right now.”

To have a lot on your plate means to have a lot of important things to do and you are completely busy and you don’t have time for other things. For instance:

  • He has a lot on his plate right now, especially during the holiday season.

to have a lot on your plate

 

Be careful not to use these wrong forms!
❌ To have a lot in your plate
❌To have a lot out of your plate

 

3- To put all your eggs in one basket!

This is of most common idioms about food that is used in many situations.

Imagine that you have ten eggs and two baskets. If you put all of your eggs in one basket and you fall down, all of your eggs will break and you will lose everything you had. But if you put half of the eggs in one basket and the other half in the other one, even if you fall down and break the eggs in one basket, you will only lose half of them.

To put all your eggs in one basket means to put all your effort, trust, and hope into one person and/or activity, and if it turns out not successful, you will lose everything! As an example, look at this piece of advice :

  • Always try to learn new skills. If your company goes bankrupt, you can easily find another job! You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.

to put all your eggs in one basket

 

So, basically “to put all your eggs in one basket” means to risk it all!

4- Idioms about food: To have bigger fish to fry 

Imagine that you have a fish and a frying pan and you are frying your big fish. Suddenly, someone with a smaller fish comes and says “hey! Do you want to fry this fish?” in this situation, you will probably say “hey, I have bigger fish to fry!”

To have bigger fish to fry means to have more important things to do! For example:

  • the police didn’t get involved with the fight, probably they had bigger fish to fry! (they had more important things to do)

 

Learn more: idioms about health

5- Idioms about food: To sweeten the pill!

You know that pill is something that is bitter and it tastes very bad but you need it for your health. Imagine that you want to give a pill to a child. Will the child take it? Normally no because it tastes bad. So, what you have to do is to offer the child a candy and say “if you take the pill I will give you a candy”. In this situation, you have sweetened the pill.

To sweeten the pill means to make something unpleasant seem less bad! For example:

  • this government is increasing the taxes but to sweeten the pill, they are bringing in additional benefits for employees.

6- Something is not my cup of tea

If something is not your cup of tea, it means that you don’t like it and you are not interested in it. This idiom about food is usually used negatively to say that I don’t like something. So, it’s usually in its negative form (not my cup of tea). For example:

  • Do you want to go skiing this weekend?
  • No! Not really. Skiing is not my cup of tea! (I don’t like skiing and I’m not interested in it)

 

cup of tea as an idiom

Here’s another example:

  • Cool guitar! You must love music, don’t you?
  • Not really. My roommate plays the guitar. In fact, music is not really my cup of tea. (I don’t like music and I’m not into it.)

 

Learn more: What are the idioms about money in English?

 

7- To cry over spilled milk

Anther example of idioms about food is about milk! To cry over spilled milk means to get upset over something that has happened and that you cannot change it! this idiom is also usually used negatively (don’t cry over spilled milk). This item of advanced idioms in English means there is no point in being sad over something that has happened that cannot be changed and you cannot do anything about it.

 

to cry over spilled milk

  • Oh, man! If only I had studied harder.
  • Well, you can’t go back in time, can you?
  • Oh, no! Of course not!
  • So, don’t cry over spilled milk! Focus on the future.

8-  A hard nut / a tough nut (to crack)

You can use this idiom to talk about people and to say that someone is difficult to deal with or difficult to understand. For example:

  • Do you think you can get him to agree to the contract?
  • I don’t know! I’ll do my best. He is a hard nut to crack. (he is a difficult person to deal with and it’s not easy to understand him)

 

a hard nut to crack

 

You can also use this idiom to talk about things and objects. For example:

  • Well, what do you think we should do?
  • I don’t know! This problem is a hard nut to crack! (It’s a very difficult problem to deal with and it’s tricky)

 

Learn more: English has many idioms that are used in different situations. There are some interesting and funny idioms in English that we recommend you learn about and try to use them correctly in your sentences.

 

9- Something is a piece of cake

When something is a piece of cake, it means that it’s very easy to do!

  • Learning English is a piece of cake (it’s very easy to do).

 

piece of cake idiom in English

Another example:

  • I have a job interview tomorrow and I’m very nervous!
  • Don’t worry! I’m sure the job interview will be a piece of cake. (I’m sure the job interview will be something really easy to do.)

10- Idioms about food: Bread and butter

Are we talking about breakfast? No! we are talking about money!

Break and butter means somebody’s main source of income. For example:

  • What does he do for a living?
  • He does many things! But acting is his bread and butter! (acting is his main source of income and he earns his salary through acting.)

 

bread and butter

Here is another example:

  • Tell me about your job.
  • These days I’m working for a company. But before that, my bread and butter was teaching! (my main source of income was teaching)

 

Watch the video below and review the idioms mentioned in this lesson

👇

 

Learn more: What are the idioms with colors in English?

 

Quiz time

Are you ready to test your knowledge? Fill in the gaps to make the idiom.

  1. …… all your ….. in one……
  2. The …… on the …….
  3. Have a …… on your …….
  4. ……. The pill
  5. Have bigger …….. to………

Summary of the lesson

✅ The icing on the cake: something that makes a good situation or a good thing even better.

✅ To put all your eggs in one basket: put all your effort, trust, and hope into one person and / or activity

✅ To have a lot on your plate: to be very busy and have lots of important responsibilities.

✅ To have bigger fish to fry: to have more important things to do

✅ To sweeten the pill: to make something bad seem less bad.

✅  Something is not my cup of tea you don’t like it and you are not interested in it.

✅ To cry over spilled milk to get upset over something that has happened and that you cannot change it.

✅ A hard nut / a tough nut (to crack) someone / something is difficult to deal with ‎

✅ Something is a piece of cake it’s very easy to do

✅ Bread and butter somebody’s main source of income

In this article, we learned 10 idioms about food. The best way to remember them and use them in our daily conversations in to practice! If you are looking for a great English course which helps you learn and practice English phrasal verbs, idioms, vocabulary, grammar and speaking, our online general English course is perfect for you. And if you want to get a high IELTS score and are looking for a great course, the POC English online IELTS course will also be perfect for you

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