Breakfasts around the world vary greatly in my limited experience. There are differences based on eating at home, eating out, eating with friends and on holidays, in my experience. Obviously, everyone eats just a little differently at breakfast based on family, culture, and available foods in season.
I’m American and have lived all over the USA. I’ve found there are regional differences based on family location. Southern families might have grits with their breakfast and norther families might have oatmeal. I’ve had both, but tend towards my norther family/culture a dozen times a year or so. Most of the time breakfast at home is much simpler.
I’d guess over 30% of Americans just have something to drink for breakfast whether it is coffee of milk or juice.
Cereal plus whatever else Mother can get them to eat and drink. Milk and juice and fruit, but only if cut up and put on cereal. The cereal usually has tons of sugar – Captain Crunch was my favorite as a child, but Cocoa Krispies and Life were fine. The bowl was always more than 1 cup, usually 2-3 cups. Raisin Bran became a staple after age 16 thru to my mid-30s.
Coffee, juice, some kind of fruit and a fairly small bowl of grainy cereal.
An alternative is tea/coffee, fruit, and some protein like an egg / bacon / sausage. I’m a protein, fruit, tea guy.
When out with family or friends, going to a restaurant for breakfast usually means a waffle/pancake, eggs, and sausage/bacon ordeal. I usually get an omelet with almost every type of veggie and ham.
For holidays, my family has old German recipes that mix eggs, bacon, bread, and cheese all together and bake it. The sodium level will give anyone a heart attack, but it is sooooo good. About once a year, I’ll make gooey cinnamon rolls. There are also the odd times when donuts are purchased.
I’ve heard the normal Japanese breakfast is a raw egg over a small, cold bowl of rice with green tea. I’ve tried this and found it unsatisfying. I suspect the Egg McMuffin is popular in Tokyo.
On multiple occasions while in China, I’ve eaten breakfast out with the locals. Cantonese breakfast tends to be a hearty bowl of soup with veggies and meat. Of course, a western-style breakfast is available too, but 80% of the diners that I saw were having that big bowl of soup. Even the American chain, KFC, sells the potato + sausage soup in China. Further, it is really tasty.
Of course, if you go to a place known for dim sum, you’ll see that instead. It is definitely popular with a huge list of options on the ordering pad you will be provided with. Just check the boxes and enter the number you’d like for each available type. Ask for the English menu if it isn’t automatically provided.
Varied just like in America – French toast some days, but there’s always, always fresh fruit – papaya, cantaloupe, banana, and varied juices with coffee. Hash brown potatoes or other locally fried starches (banana) were also provided a few times. I’ve never eaten so much and so many varied fruits in a single meal, yet it probably had only 200 calories.
Coffee and a small scone. I don’t know if this is typical, but while in BsAs for a few weeks, every corner had a coffee cafe that provides this. Seeing a Starbucks here is odd since the locals have known excellent coffee for their entire lives and laugh at people going to Starbucks. Starbucks is losing money, big time.
The oddest thing I found here was that carbonated water was often provided with coffee. Agua con gas or agua sin gas_. Interesting. Argentina has some specialized menus that make ordering breakfast a challenge.menus I guess the good news is that you were probably out until 3-4am drinking after eating dinner around 11pm, so breakfast isn’t really that important.
Coffee and croissant. My experience was on my first trip to Tokyo while spending a few weeks in a French hotel. The first week there, the company CEO and I met for breakfast in the main lobby and he loved it. On subsequent trips I stayed in the same hotel, but discovered a different breakfast was available downstairs for the same cost – about US$23. Good thing the client was paying for everything.
I’ve never been to Britain, but I have seen their influence in China and Japan. Thank GOD for the Brits, or I would have starved in Japan. A proper British breakfast was provided in every hotel I’ve stayed at in either place. It was usually buffet style with bangers, bacon, eggs (3 styles), fruit, and pastries.
Eating Bangers and Mash for breakfast in Hong Kong Central while watching an American Football Superbowl at 7am is a trip highlight that I’ll never forget. Since football was on TV and the expat pub, Bulldogs, was full of Americans (overflowing), Budweiser and Coors beer was available too, but paying import prices for bad beer doesn’t make sense when Carlsberg is available cheap.
Away from Home
When I’m away from home, I tend to relish in the differences and take a little of the best things back home. These turn into habits. Breakfast was some of the best experiences that I’ve had every where in the world.
Whether in an MTR station Le Madelene’s in Kowloon eating sausage soup with veggies or on Macau Island having 20 different dim sum portions or a simple home made French toast in a mountain-side home in the Monteverde Rain Forest or a Café Doblo con leche in a Buenos Aires corner Cafe, any of these experiences beats standing in my kitchen chowing on a hard boiled egg and banana as I wait for coffee or tea to steep.
When away from home, breakfast is usually a meal you can find something tasty, yet local, that will get you going for the rest of the busy day. Breakfast doesn’t usually come with the unusual-to-me or you want me to eat what concerns either.
What have been your experiences with breakfast around the world?
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