Sometimes I’m pretty creative with cooking. Other times, I’m happy to eat the same thing every day. We typically eat scrambled eggs every morning in our household with toast or oatmeal, but when the price of eggs jumped earlier this year, my husband and I began reflecting on what people eat for breakfast around the world. We worked with international students in France for several years and had a lot of friends from around Europe that shared some of their breakfast favorites with us. Some sound delicious, some sound…adventurous! Since much of the Weaver’s Orchard staff has also lived abroad for some amount of time, I got input from a lot of people, encompassing every continent! We had so much great input that we’ll have to break this up into two articles. Stay tuned for part II next week!
In France, the thought of eating an egg dish like quiche for breakfast is appalling! They prefer to eat freshly baked baguettes with jam or Nutella or perhaps a pastry like a croissant filled with chocolate or brioche with chocolate chips.
At the summer camp we’d go to, they put out large bowls for coffee or cappuccino mix and people would dip their baguette into it. Many people live within walking distance of a bakery and by law every bakery has to have a baguette of a certain size for 1 euro (around $1). Processed options are also becoming more common, like cereal or processed breads and pastries.
Crêpes are not traditionally eaten at breakfast, but sweet and savory crêpes are a great snack or dinner from street vendors or cafés. Many French families have a tabletop crêpe maker and host crêpe parties. Common sweet toppings include Nutella, sugar and browned butter or sugar and lemon. Savory options include sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions and meat like Pancetta. When we featured them on our blog, we made a peaches & cream version.
Much like France, the Italians have a sweet tooth when it comes to breakfast foods. They also love anything with chocolate and chocolate hazelnut, such as Nutella filled pastries. The neighborhood cafés fill with locals enjoying an espresso with a pastry and good conversation. While those things sound like a novelty here, eating out for a coffee and pastry at breakfast won’t break the bank in Italy. A coffee and a pastry are typically around $1-2 each at a café.
Nadia Hassani, author of Spoonfuls of Germany, contributed a recipe for German Pancakes to our blog a few years ago, which you can read here. She recalls eating it for dinner or as an after-school snack. She notes that pancakes and waffles are part of German cuisine, but are not eaten at breakfast there. A typical German breakfast, she says, consists of rolls, jam and butter. On the weekends they will add soft boiled eggs. Sliced cheese and cold cuts such as ham and sausage are also common. Cereal isn’t traditional but it’s common today.
Our former teammate, a native of Northern Ireland, gave us the rundown of the two main types of breakfast in Northern Ireland. An everyday breakfast at home will involve black tea, orange juice, cereal with milk and toast with butter and jam. A special breakfast is an Ulster fry which consists of back bacon (similar to what we’d call Canadian Bacon), sausages, fried soda bread and potato farls (fried potato cakes) along with fried eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms and baked beans. While beans for breakfast might sound unusual to Americans, when you realize that baked beans are loaded with bacon and brown sugar it’s not unusual cuisine at all!
Way up in Scandinavia, it gets cold and dark earlier in the year so the growing season is shorter for many things. Rye has a longer growing season in cold climates, so it makes its way into many Scandinavian bread recipes. An excellent Scandinavian bread is rich in grains yet still light and fluffy. I don’t know exactly how they do it, but I suspect sourdough has to do with it. This hearty bread is served with jams like lingonberry jam or blueberry jam or with butter or honey. Hard boiled eggs are also commonplace in many Nordic recipes. Cardamom is also a common flavor in their breads and pastries. Find the recipe we shared on the blog here for Scandinavian Cardamom bread!
According to our Bakery Manager, Neth Castner, who grew up in the Philippines, “Anywhere you go in the Philippines the popular breakfast consists of 3 components of a dish. We called this:
– TAPSILOG- it’s Tapa – which is a cured beef from before the days of refrigeration.
– SINANGAG- it’s rice, leftover from a previous meal and fried in garlic. Rice is our main staple. We eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
– ITLOG- it’s a fried egg more like a sunny side up but not runny.
2. Another breakfast is longsilog, a meal that consists of sweet pork sausage called longanisa , ITLOG fried eggs, and umami garlic rice.
3. Tocilog- The name tosilog was derived from the different components of the meal which are: Tocino (cured pork), Sinangag (Filipino garlic fried rice), and Sunny-side up egg.
Those are the 3 popular breakfasts and we pair it with coffee, fresh juice like pineapple juice and mango juice too. For the light eater, we serve fresh fruit like pineapple and mango. – Neth
Mi-xian is a common breakfast in the part of China where our friends have been. It consists of rice noodles in a spicy soup with ground pork. That’ll wake you up!
Stay tuned for part II of this article, covering Africa and South & Central America next week!