Often called “the most important meal of the day”, breakfast is an integral part of any holiday. When travelling, breakfast is exactly the start to the day that can set the mood for the entire holiday. It makes sure that you get enough energy to explore the amazing city you are visiting, allows you to relax at a street-side cafe or pool-side lounge and watch the world pass you by, or can even be delivered to you before leaving the soft sheets of your room; you can’t get away from the fact that your first meal has an enormous impact on your time in a destination.
Here in the United Kingdom we get used to our breakfasts, both cooked or not, but what about the rest of the world? After all, one of the best aspects of travel is trying new things!
No other country comes close to the hearty cooked breakfast of England… so much so that it is known around the world as a Full English! Also known as a Cooked Breakfast, a Traditional Breakfast, or even a “Fry Up”, the secret could be that you can tailor it to your liking with different styles of eggs, toast, or leaving the black pudding or tomatoes off if desired.
Although similar to their neighbours from across the Atlantic, The USA often includes more starch in their morning meal. The trinity of eggs, bacon or sausage, and potatoes are common, but pancakes are also often found on the menu.
Japan enjoys a variety of foods for their first meal including steamed rice, miso soup, and pickled vegetables. Served in separate bowls on a tray with green or black tea, this healthy breakfast is perfect for a big day exploring Tokyo!
Although varying from region to region, India’s staple breakfast foods include chutneys and dips of differing spice levels. These are then paired with idli (a steamed lentil and rice cake) or dosa pancake in the south, or roti bread in the northern region around Delhi.
Small bamboo baskets filled with dim sum prepared in several ways are common in Beijing and Shanghai to break their fast. In more regional areas, hot soups and broths such as congee are eaten, while Hong Kong people will have similar foods to other meals including noodles and fried vegetables.
Perhaps most famous of the simple breakfasts are the French, with cafes and many boulangerie offering visitors delicate pastries such as croissants served with coffee.
German citizens take it a step further with heavy grain breads, pungent cheeses, and peppercorn studded salamis as their morning meal. Sometimes paired with fresh fruit and rolls with jam, Germans (along with their Mediterranean neighbours) are the best example of a true Continental Breakfast.
In cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the morning fare is surprising similar to Europeans, with breads, hams, cheeses, and fresh fruit common on household and cafe tables. The main difference is the addition of small cheese rolls and that the coffee is served small, dark and strong… understandable when you realise the phrase used for breakfast in Brazil, café da manhã in Portuguese, literally means “morning coffee”!
The Turkish people treat breakfast very importantly, and are often an impressive sight! With influences of two continents, flavours can be intense as tables are laden with breads, butter, cheese, jams, local honey, olives, fresh cucumber and tomatoes, spicy sausage, and kaymak which is similar to thick clotted cream.