Breakfasts are supposed to be for champions.
The first meal of the day is the most important.
Children who eat breakfast perform better in school.Yeah, we’ve hear all of those things.
But who gets to decide what’s for breakfast? Much of the world eats beans for breakfast!
I looked up Dutch breakfasts this week and fell down the research rabbit hole. I'm going to share some the European countries' favorite breakfasts here. That means beans, plantains, and tofu won't make the list--even though they are used several other places on the globe.
Take a look at these countries and tell me your first and last choices.
anijsmelk, warm milk flavored with aniseed. Bread and butter with hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) groene haring (green herring). Little herring lightly pickled in brine eaten by picking one up by the tail, holding it up over the head, and dropping it into the mouth. (Until I hit these. I decided Dutch breakfasts sounded great. Now I can’t figure out how my heroine would ever kiss this hero!)
Hafragrautur, or oatmeal topped with brown sugar and raisins or nuts on top. (It sounds like what I had on rainy days when I was little. In fact, Starbucks sells it this way, too!)
A Swedish pancake, known as a Pannkakor that is made of a thin batter and fried on both sides like a crepe. It’s usually served with a sweet, fruity filling. The other favorite is Filmjölk (a sour-milk watery yogurt) with muesli and banana slices
Smørbrød are small open-faced sandwiches topped with nothing more than a piece of herring. (I don’t think I’d be willing to get out of bed for those.)
rye bread, cheeses, salami, ham, pâté, honey, jam and sometimes even thin ‘plates’ of chocolate. (Climbing out of bed now…)
extensive selections of wursts, local cheeses and freshly baked bread and eggs (usually soft-boiled)
This is the country of three breakfasts—a light breakfast very early, a substantial “Fork breakfast” (Gabelfruhstuck) and finally a trip to a coffee house for coffee and pastries.
(unless you start the day stepping on the scale)
A traditional English breakfast is huge: beans, sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hash browns and toast. Tea is expected, and black pudding might also be offered. Marmite!
Welsh Rarebit aka cheese bubbled on toast.
Similar to a full English breakfast, but a slab of haggis served alongside every fat-fried egg. (Haggis is sheep’s heart, liver and lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt and stock all ground up and made in the sheep stomach like a sausage. Grilled kippers (smoked herring) and poached eggs are another favorite combo. (Man, it’s a good thing these heroes have great accents and wear kilts. Clearly, they’ve overcome their odd diet.)
Huge full English type breakfast but features white pudding and soda bread.
A croissant or toast with butter or jam, and coffee or tea are about it. They call this, “Le petit déjeuner,” or the small breakfast. (No wonder the French are famed for being thin.)
Stuffed croissants and plenty of coffee
Pan a la Catalana, or Pan con Tomate, Bread rubbed with fresh garlic and plenty of ripe tomato, then drizzled with olive oil and salt. This can be topped with cheese, ham or sausage. (Sounds a lot like pizza, doesn’t it?) __OR___chocolate con churros; thick hot chocolate served with deep-fried tubular doughnut coated with cinnamon sugar. Dunking and drinking is the order of the morning. (I’m packing my bags!)
‘cappuccino e cornetto’ aka a cappuccino and croissant.
Nutella on bread. (They must be saving their calories for lunch and supper.)
known locally as Jajecznica, the traditional Polish breakfast consists of two potato pancakes and scrambled eggs covered with slices of custom-made kielbasa.
oladi are a cross between pancakes and Yorkshire pudding, hot, just fried, soft inside and with a crispy edge. Top with soured cream, honey, jam or fresh berries.
Kasha, a porridge made from grains such as buckwheat, oats, and wheat
curd cheese on a wheat bloomer – known locally as ‘cheese on toast’. The creamy topping can be supplemented with ricotta or fromage fraiche instead.
Pogácsa, a scone-like bread which varies in recipe by region. (These are supposedly good, they have festivals just to celebrate them!)
So are you hungry? Did you grow up eating any of these? As the "Melting Pot" nation, most of these are available here in the US. Doing this research sent me scrounging through my kitchen. If you were planning to travel just based on breakfast, where do you want to go?
*passing our cyber napkins*