Out of everything I have experienced in England, one single event has consistently blown me away and excited me every night beyond my wildest dreams: breakfast. Breakfast, aside from being the most important meal of the day, is treated religiously in England. You don’t mess with someone’s opportunity to have tea and baked beans before noon. Aside from being adored only slightly less than Winston Churchill and the English National Football Team, breakfast is delicious. For those of you who haven’t had the joys of experiencing an English Breakfast, every breakfast contains the same traditional components.
First, every breakfast has eggs. These eggs can be scrambled, over-easy, poached, or fried, but they exist and they are the item that undoubtedly means you’re eating breakfast. Second, every breakfast will have at least one type of meat. This can come as bacon, sausage, ham, and sometimes turkey. Whatever kind of meat it is, it’s delicious and a crucial component of adding the necessary protein to the meal. Third, every breakfast contains some carb-rich and bready item. Normally this is toast. Not complicated and it may not seem important; however, this toast is the edible sponge used to sop up all the delicious remains left from the meal. At this point, I’ve described a typical breakfast most people would get at IHOP or Denny’s; but this is when the British get crazy. The most important and easily identifiable item on an English Breakfast: baked beans. Most people are initially turned off by the ideas of eating beans for breakfast. I was in those same shoes, but if you give them a chance, the magical fruit will blow you away (pun intended). They add a unique flavor to the meal and crucial juices that make eating the toast and meat worthwhile. These four items make up the crucial components of a traditional English Breakfast; however, these next items are often tacked on top in an effort to make the best meal even better.
On top of the main ingredients, many people will add a grilled tomato or mushroom in a worthless effort to make this meal appear healthier. English Breakfasts are obviously supplemented by breakfast tea or coffee to drink, but fruit juices such as apple juice often make the meal even better. Lastly, some form of breakfast potatoes can be added, but are not required. Potato cakes, and hash browns work to make the breakfast more filling while adding a tool that can be used to push eggs and beans together onto your fork, making the overall consumption of the meal easier.
Beyond just what the meal contains, I really love how readily available the meal is. Most restaurants have breakfast until 1pm and offer the ridiculously massive meal relatively cheap. When a board advertises a “five-pound” breakfast, there is a moment where I have to consider if they are advertising the weight of the meal or how much it costs.
Without a doubt this meal has been the highlight of my day every day. In an effort to be honest and to show you how serious I am about breakfast, this picture of a traditional English Breakfast was actually taken as I was eating the meal for dinner.