Breakfast, the meal of the day, is the most important of all. All experts say that everyone should have an extensive breakfast before facing the day’s problems and rewards included.
Yet, these days in most industrial and developed western countries and possibly Japan, breakfast, at least for young people, consists of a cup of coffee or tea or a prepared snack of sorts.
Nutritional experts have determined that school children need a substantial breakfast if they are to concentrate so that they can learn.
Of all breakfasts I have experienced to date, the most extensive were in England, and Scotland. I could tolerate three English breakfasts a day. On the other hand, breakfast in Italy, except in tourist hotels, in an abysmal affair of an espresso or at beat a cappuccino along with a large biscuit.
French do a little better with a rich croissant, and jam made from ripe, flavourful Mediterranean fruit. But still, the French breakfast as compared to that of the English, is a skimpy affair.
In different countries of the world, people have developed preferences that require study.
More than any other meal, breakfast defines who we are. For some, it is an on-the-go- affair, to others, a celebration and indulgence, especially a Sunday brunch (combination of lunch and breakfast).
Although many breakfast items are common throughout the world – breads and/or eggs, others reflect regional tastes and availability.
In the U.S.A some ranchers enjoy a sunny-side up breakfast atop a small steak, plus fried potatoes, and several cups of coffee. In cities, at least according to some researchers, nearly 40 per cent of the people use leftover pizza, and occasionally wash it down with a bottle or two beers.
Some like toast and a vegetable omelette, or simply a few muffins.
In Canada, breakfast habits are almost the same as in the U.S.A, except maybe brunch that could contain: assorted breads, croissants, butter, assortment of jams, orange juice or other fruit juices, scrambled eggs or any other preparation, baked ham, or roast leg of lamb, chicken livers in Madeira sauce, cheese board, a variety of salads, occasionally deep fried breaded scallops, or shrimps, sometimes even sushi, freshly shucked oysters, steamed mussels, pies, tortes, mignardises, coffee or tea. A meal like this can satisfy an individual for a day.
Japanese restaurant or hotel breakfasts are elaborate. You can have cold omelettes, steamed rice with natto, grated daikon, hot mustard sauce or soy sauce, green tea, a thin soup with dried flaked tuna. The sky is the limit for the imagination of the cook.
In Singapore, breakfast may consist of stir-fried Chinese noodles with fried eggs. Plantains, dried fish, braised pork belly, pickles green chillies, raw fish slices in rice porridge, vegetables and bean curd pieces with fish paste simmered in stock, and coffee.
In Germany, breakfast
consists of freshly baked rolls, butter, jam, orange juice, 3-minute boiled egg, and slices of sausage and cheese, coffee or tea. In Bavaria labourers generally have a second breakfast (aka zweites fruhstuck or jause or gabelfruhstuck) that consists of beer, fried fresh sausages or goulasch, even a slice of leberkase (liverwurst except that it has no liver in it) or white sausage served with mild mustard.
In Australia, generally English style breakfast is favoured along with Weet Bix (whole wheat biscuits).
In Norway, often smØre brØd topped with nothing more than a sardine, or much more elaborate combinations, plus all the north European breakfast items, i.e bread, butter, jam, coffee or tea, occasionally an egg may be served.
In India chai (sweetened tea and milk occasionally also with cardamom) is the preferred breakfast beverage, lentil flour cakes (idli), the uppama (semolina porridge) are common items for breakfast.
In Peru, a bowl of chicken soup enriched with potatoes and noodles is rational, plus a range of starches. Occasionally even spicy vegetable stews; including potatoes may be served for breakfast. In Peru and elsewhere in the world cooks prepares potatoes in a variety of ways – hash brown, home fries, spiced, cottage fries, bubble and squeak, mashed, boiled, French fried, baked, waffled, O’Brien, etc. The French alone have invented more than 110 types of preparations when it comes to potatoes. Surprisingly, French eat their breakfast very messily.
Indonesians like to mix sweet and spicy. You may find people eating chilli-and-garlic fried rice, plus buttered white bread sprinkled with chopped chocolate, a wedge of papaya, or left over curries and jasmine tea.
In Mexico, some people fry left over tortilla, and add to spicy salsa. This is then topped with whatever protein is around i.e shredded chicken or beef topped with a sunny side up egg.
In Jamaica, ackee (the gratis food) and salt fish is a common breakfast dish, and in Venezuela, arepas accompanied with a cup of coffee count for the first meal of the day.
In Vietnam, people are happy with a steaming bowl of aromatic noodle soup known as pho.
Russians like kasha (a porridge of buckwheat, oats and wheat) for breakfast and strong tea.
Chinese are happy with a bowl of soup and basket of buns stuffed with savoury, minced pork.
In the Middle East, breakfast is always an imaginative combination of bead (toasted or not), butter, jam, may be a slice of feta-like cheese and a few cured olives along with dark sweet eat.
On the other hand, Philippinos like to eat garlic-fried rice, salted fish, and drink a few cups of eat.
As you can see, there is no such thing as world wide accepted standard breakfast items except in international hotels catering to an international clientele. Even then a hotel catering to mainly Japanese tourists or businessmen will feature many items that Japanese like to eat for breakfast. Wherever you are, you will have to decide yourself which pleases you most but generally the local specialties taste best and please people with palates that appreciate variety.