Breakfast Around This World
Starting next Friday, Erik Fantasia, Calorie Count’s co-founder, will be posting a blog from somewhere on the planet. Erik is boldly doing what most of us only dream about: He is taking a year-long trip around the world. Erik has traded his 40+ hour a week desk job for remote half-time work from remote locations. Erik will explore strange new worlds to seek out new life and new civilizations – and then blog about them. He will share his musings about food, culture, travel, health, and all things related. Erik and his girlfriend, Heather, are documenting their journey in their blog, Around This World. Meanwhile....
Breakfast Around This World
I like to look at eating with the eyes of an anthropologist. Humans around this world behave in different (and similar ways) and every way is “right”. For instance, look at breakfast around this word; there isn’t one way to do it. In the United States, TV tells us to eat “a complete breakfast” but what does that mean? To “break one's fast in the morning” means different things in different countries. Look at traditional breakfasts – the condensed version - around this world to see what I mean.
In China, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, and other Asian countries, the same foods may be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Congee, a thin porridge of rice and water is usually eaten, sometimes accompanied by bits of fish or chicken, vegetables - pickled or fried - and some fermented beans. Tea or coffee is usually served. Breakfast is eaten early in the morning or on the way to work.
In East and West Africa, breakfast is uji, a thin porridge made from cassava, millet, rice, or corn. Sometimes ground peanuts or bits of dried meat are included. In Northern Africa, which is more like the Middle East, breakfast is sorghum or millet bread eaten with tea or coffee.
In Argentina, Brazil and other countries, breakfast is simply coffee and milk, sometimes with a slice of bread or sweet bread. Yerba mate or steamed milk with cocoa may replace the coffee. At mid-morning, a light meal of savory meat pastry may be served.
Spain, Portugal, Italy and France
It’s mainly coffee with milk and a roll.
Germany and Scandinavia
Breakfasts are more substantial, consisting of coffee, milk, hot cocoa or tea, along with either bread with butter and jam or cheese and cold meat. Some eat bowl of cereal with fermented milk. Austrians eat an insubstantial “breakfast” followed by a large midmorning snack.
The UK and Ireland
Breakfast is toast, always, along with assorted sweet breads, rolls or cakes with butter and honey or jam. In addition, sausage, bacon or smoked fish can also be served. Regional porridges are eaten too, and tea and coffee accompany the meal.
Australia, Canada and the US
Like in the UK, breakfast is large. There is toast, bacon, eggs, and cereal with milk, served with coffee or tea. There might be pancakes too and baked beans in Canada.
What it all means….
Once again, there is no one way to do it. In some countries breakfast is big and in others it’s small, but the world wakes up to caffeine! Every breakfast includes some carbohydrate. In many places, breakfast doesn’t differ from other meals. In some places a mid-morning meal is more important than breakfast. What matters most is that at the end of the day an entire complement of nutrients is eaten.
Here are three “breakfast” recipes from Calorie Count's Recipe Browser:
Based on your breakfast, what country would you call home?