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English breakfast


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how a nation continued to perpetuate its existence by contributing to the gene pool after consuming a breakfast with fried eggs, fried bacon, blood pudding, smoked kippers(does anyone else remember the smoked kipper episode in fawlty towers?) AND devilled kidneys is beyond me. apparently, its great after a particularly indulgent evening at the bar. this was demonstrated by a very puzzled french chef at school. the full english breakfast, that is..

i mention this to a friend of mine whom i assumed was english(apparently not. "i am SCOTTISH", he objected)...and i found out that there is such a thing as a 'full scottish' which includes haggis. *cough* then i get thumped on the back and he casually mentions..or just a "bowl of porridge with salt". pause. "splash of scotch, optional"

what do the english *really* have for breakfast?

Edited by Lalitha (log)
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Growing up in a traditional middle class English family, breakfast was two-course. It might be bacon and fried egg or scrambled egg, or bacon and kidneys, or bacon and sausage, or bacon and tomatoes, or bacon/sausage and fried potatoes, or kippers, or poached smoked haddock, or porridge with sugar and cream. Never all. Followed by toast, butter and home-made marmalade.

The big buffet spreads were for the upper class, probably when there were lots of guests.

The beans on toast were post WWII and (dare I say it?) for breakfast probably one step down the social scale. Even though Heathrow and Gatwick both serve them. Yuk,

Rachel

Rachel Caroline Laudan

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For me just a mug of coffee or the full thing, especially on a Sunday

(Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Black Pudding, Tomato, Mushroom, Fried Potato, Fried bread Beans, then toast marmelade etc). Porridge or cereal, Fruit juice.

Occaisionally a croissant, or Kedgeree. Quite often leftovers from the night before, especially cold sausages, eaten while clearing up

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Cereal/toast with tea/coffee is fairly standard these days.

The full English spread is restricted to high days and holidays and is often available in hotels and also in the dreaded motorway service area - that's not a recommendation you understand :wink:

David

Edited by daw (log)
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Cereal/toast with tea/coffee is fairly standard these days. 

The full English spread is restricted to high days and holidays and is often available in hotels and also in the dreaded motorway service area -

I would agree with this. Undoubtedly while there are some people who enjoy a 'fry up' every day, my guess would be that they are of a slightly older generation. 'Fry ups' on a daily basis simply aren't practical for a number of reasons:

1. Most working people don't have the time or inclination in the morning to cook themselves a massive breakfast

2. health consciousness - (yes, we do have it here) - dictates that a daily fry up is not so good if you plan on living past retirement age

3. Unless you are going to be walking the peaks of Derbyshire or attempting to overcome a hang-over, lining your stomach with such a large meal tends to be rather superfluous and uncomfortable so early in the morning (in my opinion at least...)

The whole thing about devilled kidneys (which I have never been served), black pudding and kippers is that you don't usually find them all on the same plate at the same time. Your average fry up generally features: eggs, 1 or 2 rashers of bacon, 1 or 2 sausages and possibly a selection of one or more of the following: grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, beans, fried bread.

There are also regional variations. I noticed while I was living in Yorkshire that black pudding did feature (as did white pudding...don't even get me started on that or I might be sick...). In Northern Ireland they have a slightly different version where the fried bread becomes fried soda farls.

Having said all of that, I think that you'll find the majority of us stick to one or more of the following: cereal, porridge, yogurt, fruit, toast, eggs, coffee or tea on any average morning.

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Mug of Tea and a fag, breakfast of champions :raz: !

Really enjoy a good fry up, but not at breakfast, later in the day.

My wife does a nice warm salad of bacon ,black pudding and poached egg, the salad leaves make you think its healthy than it is

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I envy anyone who can get good kippers. In the States all I can find are the wretched canned ones and some that are far too salty and stiff as shoe leather.

Edited by bobmac (log)

"Last week Uncle Vinnie came over from Sicily and we took him to the Olive Garden. The next day the family car exploded."

--Nick DePaolo

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I should add that there are at least two, if not three traditions.

Working people, blue collar and northerners eat a substantial breakfast early, start work at 8am (farmers earlier), break for half an hour |"breakfast"0 at 10am, lunch 12.30-1pm, stop work at 4pm, go home for 5pm High Tea and maybe a snack before bed at 10pm. Second breakfast at 10am is sacrosant, for example to the people doing building work on my house.

White collar workers, soft southerners and the like take a light breakfast at 8am, maybe have coffee at 11am, working lunch at 1pm, tea and biscuits at 4pm, at dinner at 7pm.

Those with leisure and country houses may breakfast well at 10, lunch at 2, and dine at 8

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I grew up in my grandfather's home, on a farm in western Kentucky. However my grandfather, born in 1875 and his mother, born in 1844, emigrated from England in 1919. Things were done the way my great grandmother wanted them done and that included a typical "country" breakfast. "Breakfast is the foundation of the day." was her motto.

There were few late sleepers in the family because the food was set out for a certain period of time and if one did not make it downstairs to the breakfast room before it was taken away, too bad.

This was a huge extended family and a lot of food was served because there were so many. If you were late, the sausages were usually gone. Only a few liked kippers, but except for during the war, my grandfather used to get regular shipments (in an odoriforus wood box) of real kippers from England. I remember that they had to be soaked for some time before cooking.

I did not get to have breakfast downstairs until I was about 6 and was considered old enough to behave myself in company.

I loved getting to look into the serving dishes ranged along the sideboard to see the differnt things I could choose. I wasn't allowed to serve myself because I tended to take more than I could eat, but it was fun to be able to pick. One of the grownups would serve us kids but we had to clean our plates, even if we chose something we found we didn't care for. Otherwise we got the standard lecture about the starving children in Europe....

There was a lot of food consumed but for some reason no one was ever overweight.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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thanks!...altho' wondering why a 'fry-up' is a particularly appealing cure for a hang over.

on another note....was doing some research on that breakfast haggis reference...found a book..actually...make it a booklet..on scottish fish and game recipes. fascinating. oatmeal makes a lot of appearances. especially in fish recipes.

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Basildog is of course referring to a healthy option version of the full Blackpool breakfast: 20 cigarettes and a pot of tea. :laugh:

For the mainstream, the full English breakfast is definitely relegated to a holiday breakfast. That said, if you look near any bus garage, milk depot, postal sorting office or working market, you still find examples of those exceptionally good greasy spoon cafes serving full breakfasts for 3 or 4 pounds.

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I'm a fan of the Full English Breakfast and dive in at least once a trip to the UK. But there is just one think I don't get. The beans. Even at a place reputed for its breakfast, like Simpsons-in-the-Strand, the beans appear to be straight out of a No. 10 sized institutional can with no effort taken to make them interesting.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I'm a fan of the Full English Breakfast and dive in at least once a trip to the UK.  But there is just one think I don't get.  The beans.  Even at a place reputed for its breakfast, like Simpsons-in-the-Strand, the beans appear to be straight out of a No. 10 sized institutional can with no effort taken to make them interesting.

Yes, the beans. I've traveled the continent trying to avoid them, and wondering why they keep trying to serve Americans British-style breakfasts. Is it because we speak English? The tomatoes I can do, but those beans? And where are my potatoes? It's not breakfast without potatoes!

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The Full English arose out of necessity, to provide whatever energy was needed for the day's work - fields, mines, factories, whatever. Same rationale as the Americans' ' "lumberjack" or "cowboy" breakfast of more or less all of the above minus the beans and stewed tomatoes/saute'ed shrooms/black pudding - plus pancakes, French toast, etc. Who's been to I-Hop or similar - puts the Full English or Scottish (haggis 'n' all) to shame.

Sadly this girl had to give up her traditional New York breakfast - cold pizza out of the box or leftover Chinese food (en containeur). I'm almost -but not quite - over my withdrawal.

Edited by magnolia (log)
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I'm a fan of the Full English Breakfast and dive in at least once a trip to the UK.  But there is just one think I don't get.  The beans.  Even at a place reputed for its breakfast, like Simpsons-in-the-Strand, the beans appear to be straight out of a No. 10 sized institutional can with no effort taken to make them interesting.

Anyway, aren't those beans AMerican!!?? Aren't they 'Heinz Boston Baked beans'?

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Anyway, aren't those beans AMerican!!?? Aren't they 'Heinz Boston Baked beans'?

They do indeed appear to be American. Not our proudest export. And if that is the case why are Brits allowing them to muck up such a grand tradition as the Full English Breakfast?

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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They do indeed appear to be American.  Not our proudest export.  And if that is the case why are Brits allowing them to muck up such a grand tradition as the Full English Breakfast?

I'd *never* eat them under any other circumstances. But I have to say there's something perversely yummy about toast that has been sogged up with beans in molasses or whatever they swimming in. Plus there must be at least three food groups in there: protein, carbs and...molasses.

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My wife favors the traditional English breakfast because of the view.

Let me explain...

During a visit to the south of England two years ago we stayed overnight at a lovely hotel in the New Forest (the Forest Park), complete with forest ponies hanging about by the front door.

The hotel featured a full English breakfast in a very pleasant dining room overlooking the gardens. From the dining room one could see a wing of the hotel, where the rooms included a small balcony. As we breakfasted, one guest in that wing greeted the new morn by strolling onto the balcony in his altogether -- until he noticed the presence of the occupied dining room with picture windows, and my wife enjoying the view.

Breakfast back home in Philadelphia has never been as eye-opening.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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what the brits really eat?

toasted bacon sandwich

or sausage sandwich

just two bits of buttered toasted filled with sausage or bacon, maybe an egg, but no cheese

i love sausage rolls - buttered crusty roll with sausage and black pepper

fish for breakfast is delicious

kippers with a knob of butter and some fresh crusty bread, buttered of course

for me, a full breakfast is sausage, egg, bacon, tomatoes, black pudding, two fried slice, cup of a tea and some toast and jam/marmalade - visit any cafe and order it just like that and you'll have blended right in.

also a big favourite is bubble and squeek, has anybody mentioned this? bit like home fries but not as fried and has some kind of greens in it, no peppers though, best made with leftovers from sunday roast dinner

Edited by intraining (log)
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I noticed that Leon, the new "fast" food place that a number of the critics have been championing, does a very yummy sounding bacon sandwich. I reckon a poll would suggest this is the modern day Brit's fave fat boy breakfast.

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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As a teenager, engaging in the small-boat gillnet fishery in northern Newfoundland, breakfast was a half-dozen fishcakes, a large plateful of homemade baked beans, half a loaf of bread, and a large quantity of hot, sweet tea.

You needed to fuel up pretty well for 20 hours in a 25-foot boat.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Re beans: Does no one else remember the cover of "The Who Sell Out?" Of course they're just plain old Heinz Baked Beans. I love them at breakfast, with the bacon and eggs and grilled tomatoes.

The "Full English Breakfast" allowed a friend and me to actually stay in London for three weeks back in the day when "Europe on Five Dollars a Day" was feasible. We stayed at the Galpert Hotel on Tavistock Square, where the charming Galpert Bros. threw in the FEB . We chowed heartily in the morning, ate in a pub at lunch, and saved a Scotch Egg for dinner, along with a chocolate digestive. Five bucks a day.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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The Full English Breakfast - AKA the 10 Deadly Sins - as served at Simpsons-In-The-Strand. Note the Heinz-like beans. Also appearing in supporting roles: Cumberland sausage, fried egg, streaky and back bacon, black pudding, lamb's kidneys, fried bread, grilled tomato, bubble and squeak, and grilled mushrooms.

Simpsons-Breakfast.jpg

I assume the single egg is to limit cholesterol.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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