Friday, December 13, 2019

In Praise of the (Almost) Full English Breakfast

I’ve mentioned in the past, I do enjoy a good breakfast. I usually don’t feel like cooking in the morning, but I’m happy to feast on results of the hard work of others.

Which is one of my favorite parts of travel, eating out. Not every meal is a culinary masterpiece, but I do enjoy trying out different places and maybe checking out the local fare.

Which brings me to the full English breakfast.

As I was preparing for my first trip to the UK, I was intrigued by the idea of the full English breakfast. In looking at a list of British foods “you need to try” it came in third after Fish and Chips and Bangers and Mash.

In case your unfamiliar with the term, a full English breakfast consists of:

Fried, poached or scrambled eggs
Bacon (back bacon not American bacon)
Sausage or “bangers”
Fried or grilled tomatoes
Fried mushrooms
Bubble and squeak (potatoes and cabbage)
Baked beans
Fried bread or buttered toast
Black pudding

The Full English Breakfast at the Beefeater Restaurant in Didcot

Now I‘m sure the Queen doesn’t jump out of bed every morning to have the kitchen staff whip up a full breakfast, but she should.

I wasn’t sure about several aspects of the meal. My first thought was what in the world is “bubbles and squeak.” Turns out it’s not bad. I would prefer good old hash browns, but when in England….

I would have never considered including baked beans with breakfast. In my wife’s New England family, baked beans and hotdogs with buttered bread are strictly a Saturday supper item. Evidently, they had it wrong all these years. As odd as it seems to Americans, I really liked it.

Overall, I really enjoyed the full English breakfast, however there was an exception.

The one thing I can’t wrap my head around is Black Pudding.  It is made from pork blood, pork fat or beef suet and some type of cereal like oatmeal, oat or barley “groats.”

Wanting to give the whole experience a try, I did take a small bite. While it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, it must be an acquired taste. Let’s just say I’m not a fan.

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