Whether you dine ‘al desco’ in the morning or give eating a miss all together, Matt Blackwell takes you around the world in eight breakfasts
It’s widely touted as the most important meal of the day and everyone has heard the old phrase that encourages us to ‘Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper.’
Forgoing breakfast has long been linked with weight gain, although recent studies from both the University of Alabama in the US and the University of Bath in the UK found little tangible evidence to actually support this theory.
But one thing eating first thing does do is fuel your body with essential nutrients and replenish glucose levels, both of which allow for sharper cognitive function.
Traditions differ the world over, but here we have a look at some of our favourite ways in which people break their fasts and the countries they originate from.
England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales all have slight variations, but at the heart of a British breakfast is the fry up, which can include sausage, black pudding, beans, hash browns, mushrooms, eggs and toast. Currently enjoying a renewed surge in popularity, there have been suggestions that a fat-rich breakfast allows your body to transfer energy utilisation between carbohydrate and fat.
Stack up the pancakes! Best served smothered in maple syrup with a side of eggs and other savoury favourites. Which ever way you like them, fresh fruit is also an option. There is something devilishly decadent about having such a sweet treat to start your day! Enjoy with a strong cup of coffee.
A few options spring up here, ranging from the basic but popular thin, round rukhal bread served with Omani honey to the egg and tomato dish of shakshouka. For an extra special breakfast, give the Omani delight of khabeesa a go – a semolina or cream of wheat dish infused with saffron, rosewater and cardamom, cooked to a porridge-like consistency.
India has huge variety when it comes to breakfast and you’ll find different traditions depending on which region you visit. Topping our list are dosas. These are crispy flat breads made of rice batter served with a variety of chutneys and dips. Another great light breakfast snack is dhokla, made from fermented rice and chickpea splits.
Waakye is a nutritious dish, made from a combination of rice and beans that is gaining popularity in other West African nations including Nigeria, Togo and Benin. Traditionally served with a spicy pepper sauce, it can be eaten on its own or with fish, chicken or boiled eggs for either breakfast or lunch.
A traditional Japanese breakfast can be time consuming to prepare, meaning it is often saved for weekends and holidays. It will usually consist of a bowl of traditional miso soup, steamed rice and grilled fish and can be accompanied by a raw egg and nori (dried seaweed), along with Japanese pickles and a cup of green tea.
Australians enjoy a similar breakfast to those in Europe, with commercially prepared cereals, porridge, toast and fresh fruit, along with cooked varieties when time allows. There is one difference, however, the all-time favourite, Vegemite. This salty and slightly sharp paste (a bit like Marmite, but not as smokey) is made from yeast extract and is a popular topping for toast and crumpets.
Breakfast is not the main meal of the day in Brazil and is usually kept relatively light. Readily available fresh tropical fruit and coffee are always popular, as are the famous pão de queijo (cheese rolls) and misto quente (grilled ham and cheese sandwiches). It’s also perfectly acceptable to have cake!