Americans, I think, eat breakfast with more an air of importance than any other meal. Of course, a lunch break gets you through the day; and dinner can be fancy. But oh, breakfast. It doesn’t just start your morning, it’s where creativity shines. Think about all of our varieties of breakfast foods, how you might associate one dish with a certain area of the country, how we’ve blended some of those items into one delicious heart-attack-waiting-to-happen (I’m looking at you, The Dahlia from Denver Biscuit Company). (But seriously, click on that link. You won’t regret it.)
For all my love of pancakes and biscuits and waffles and omelettes (the list goes on–I love breakfast), I have to admit though: most days, like, normal days, I skip it. Or when I’m being my responsible self, maybe I’ll cut some fruit over yogurt and honey before reaching for the coffee.
Special breakfast is really just about a special occasion. Maybe your best friend is in town and you’re going to show her the what’s what in your city’s culinary culture. For me, more often, the ridiculous meals are how I treat myself when traveling–it’s how you participate in the heartbeat of a place that’s foreign to you. It’s like this vision of diving into a smorgasbord of French éclairs in Paris, á la SJP. But judging from the fashion, I’m betting most Parisians are not eating éclairs every morning.
Which begs the question: What are people really eating around the world? What does an actual morning in Scotland or Morocco or Australia look like? I did my best to identify the traditional breakfasts of a few places around the world, and this is what I found.
A traditional breakfast in Scotland is heavy and rich, because you want to warm up to start the day. Along side eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, the things that might look different to us are definitely the blood sausage and black pudding. (These pastries are inspired by typical Scottish fare, flaky crust stuffed with sausage and black pudding.)
These unique, fluffy cakes are called idli, and are part of a traditional Indian meal. They can be made with idli rice or idli rawa and are served with chutney or sambar.
Morocco is on my top-ten travel list right now, and so I was super interested in the food. It sounds like simple mornings are the preference there, traditional breakfasts consisting of fresh baguettes topped with pressed olive oil and honey.
Swiss breakfasts are full of most of the things you might expect in a European breakfast–breads and cereals, normally with jams, honey, and fruit. But what I loved was the addition of hot chocolate in all the descriptions I found. I rarely start a morning without coffee; but for hot cocoa I could make an exception.
There was all sorts to read about breakfast in Australia. It seems they incorporate a wide variety of foods into their breakfast menus just like us. Of course, one thing particularly we might immediately associate with Australian dining, however, is Vegemite; and it turns out, it’s a regular start to the day over there, spread right on top of toast.
Next I moved along to South America, where they’re a lot less carb-laden than a lot of the other parts of the world I researched. Their days normally start with light, super-grain cereals, topped with berries and sweet milk. The countries especially close to the equator have really bountiful fruit selections, fruits that I’ve never seen or heard of in the U.S.
Though different from my daily choice, I wasn’t surprised by most of the breakfast menus I encountered—until I started exploring the morning rituals of Asian countries. For example, in Korea, breakfast usually consists of a soup, normally soy-based, a meat dish, and sometimes rice. It’s all savory, and probably what Americans might call “dinner.” But it sounds like a really healthful way to start the day energized.
What are your favorite breakfast foods? What did we miss? And are your favorite breakfasts what you typically start your day with?
Thank you, Sarah! I’ve been wanting to learn more about this for such a long time! It’s one of my favorite things to notice when we’re traveling.Grandbaby Cakes]