When it comes to choosing what to have for breakfast, most people are pretty set in
their ways. They stick to whatever they normally have (cereal, oatmeal, maybe an egg
sandwich) and go on their merry way without giving the meal much thought.
But have you ever stopped to think about how breakfast differs in other countries?
Although grains, breads and fruit make cameos in many parts of the world, the exact
meals can actually vary quite a bit — not just in the type of foods served, but also in
the quantity. Some countries begin the day with coffee and little else, while others sit
down to a much larger meal. Some nations favor sweet tastes when it comes to the
first meal of the day, while others opt for savory.
Slide 1Overview When it comes to choosing what to have for breakfast, most people are pretty set in their ways. They stick to whatever they normally have (cereal, oatmeal, maybe an egg sandwich) and go on their merry way without giving the meal much thought. But have you ever stopped to think about how breakfast differs in other countries? Although grains, breads and fruit make cameos in many parts of the world, the exact meals can actually vary quite a bit — not just in the type of foods served, but also in the quantity. Some countries begin the day with coffee and little else, while others sit down to a much larger meal. Some nations favor sweet tastes when it comes to the first meal of the day, while others opt for savory. To explore this, here are some delicious breakfast dishes around the world: Brazil Breakfast is not the biggest meal of the day in Brazil. This is reflected in the Portuguese word for breakfast, café da manhã, which literally means “morning coffee”. Strong coffee is usually accompanied with dishes like pão de queijo (cheese flavoured rolls), ham, cheese, pao frances (small loaves of bread eaten with butter), or fruits like papayas. Cambodia A popular Cambodian breakfast is kuy teav. This rice noodle soup is made with pork or beef broth, along with shallots, garlic, and herbs. It is served with pork or fish balls, chilli paste, and half a lime. China Breakfast in China is a lot like lunch or dinner. It can consist of noodles, rice, sticky chicken, fried veggies, dim sums, steamed buns, and hot soups like congee. However, one common feature is fried dough sticks (called you tiao), which are meant to be dipped in warm soy milk. Colombia There are many regional varieties to Colombian breakfasts. However, two popular dishes are arepas (dense, slightly sweet corn cakes) served with butter, or eggs, meat, and jam, and the changua (an egg, cheese, and milk soup). Costa Rica A popular breakfast in Costa Rica is gallo pinto. It is made with rice stir-fried with black beans, red pepper, and onions. It is topped with salsa and sour cream and served with eggs, avocado, cheese, or tortillas. Denmark Breakfast in Denmark, like most Nordic countries, is usually an open-faced sandwich covered with various spreads, sometimes accompanied by a pastry. The base is usually rye bread, which is covered with everything from cheeses, cold cuts, pâté, honey, jam, vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and even chocolate. Egypt An Egyptian breakfast of ful medames is made with fava beans and chickpeas stewed and spiced with cumin, parsley, onion, lemon, and chilli. It is served with hard-boiled eggs, diced veggies, or a piece of pita. France A French breakfast is not usually heavy. It usually consists of coffee or tea along with bread and butter or pastries and croissants. Salty foods (like meat and eggs) are not often eaten, making place for the richer dishes eaten for lunch and dinner. Germany A traditional German breakfast, or frühstuck, is a simple affair. It often consists of an assortment of fresh bread, sausages, cold sliced meats, local cheeses, butter, and jam. This is washed down with coffee. However, in Bavaria, a common breakfast is white veal sausages with sweet mustard, pretzels, and beer. Greece Greek and Mediterranean breakfasts are made up of various dishes. The most popular are savoury pies (such as spanakopita) or kagianas (scrambled eggs with tomatoes and feta). This can be accompanied with yoghurt with honey and walnuts, pastries, bread, and cold cuts. In Crete, a full breakfast has olives, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, yoghurt, bread, paximadia, honey, hard-boiled eggs, orange juice and coffee or tea. Hungary A Hungarian breakfast very often consists of pogácsa, a focaccia-like bread that can be can be stuffed with potatoes, ground beef, or cheese. Different ingredients can also be sprinkled on top before baking. India Breakfast cuisine in India varies hugely depending on the region but South Indian breakfasts commonly consist of idlis (fermented rice and lentils steamed to form a soft cake) or dosas (similar to crepes or pancakes but made with fermented batter usually with rice or black gram) with sambar (a vegetable stew) and chutney. Other common breakfast items are poha (flattened rice) and upma (a savoury dish made from semolina). Israel Israel is known for its kibbutz breakfast of various dishes like breads with a variety of cheeses, omelette, tuna, olives, butter, jams, salad and spreads. However, another popular dish is the Shakshouka (eggs poached in a tomato sauce). Italy An Italian breakfast, much like the French and Spanish is very light. Consisting of a cappuccino e cornetto, or a cappuccino and Italian croissant, or biscotti. Also, like the French, it allows for the more heavy meals eaten for lunch and dinner. Australia Vegemite is a classic Australian product that people tend to either love or loathe. It is a thick, black spread that’s made from brewer’s yeast extract and is traditionally spread in a very thin layer over some buttered toast, sometimes accompanied with a slice of cheese. IfVegemite is too much first thing in the morning, a fry-up consisting of eggs, bacon, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms as well as some sausages, beans or hash browns is an equally Aussie breakfast to enjoy. Bangladesh In Bangladesh, wheat flour flatbreads called chapattis are frequently served for breakfast along with potato curry or scrambled eggs. Canada What would breakfast in Canada be without maple syrup? Disappointing to say the least… As well as pancakes, eggs, bacon and toast are all commonly found on the Canadian breakfast table. Taiwan In Taiwan a kind of crepe called jianbing is a common street food and typical breakfast. The name literally means “fried pancake.” Made from egg and wheat flour, the crepes can be topped with an array of different ingredients from ham and scallions to soybeans, peanuts, eggs or pork as well as hoisin and chili sauce. Eastern Africa In Eastern Africa, one breakfast that is particularly common is mandazi (sometimes called mahamri). These soft, triangular doughnuts, often made with coconut milk and flavored with ground cardamom, are usually enjoyed with a cup of simple tea or spiced chai. Finland A hearty bowl of oat-based porridge, called puuro, is a common breakfast in Finland, often served with milk, fresh or frozen berries, and a bit of butter with sugar. Iran Haleem is a dish popular throughout the Middle East as well as Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. It is a stew similar to farina and is made from wheat, barley, minced beef or mutton, lentil, lots of spices and sometimes rice. The ingredients are all cooked together on a low heat for up to eight hours, which yields a thick puree-like consistency that is garnished with fried onion, chaat masala, chili, ginger, cilantro and lemon. Jamaica Ackee and saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica and ackee — a fruit that belongs to the same family as the lychee — is also the national fruit of Jamaica. To prepare the dish, saltfish (also known as salt cod) gets sautéed with boiled ackee (often canned ackee is used), onions, scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes and spices and is most commonly served with breadfruit, bread and fried plantain. Japan Traditional Japanese breakfasts (known as wafuu breakfast) are made up of many little dishes. These include rice, miso soup, sticky soybeans, nori seaweed, pickled vegetables, and fish or omelettes. Korea Korean breakfasts are very similar to their lunch or dinner, much like in China. There is usually a bowl of rice, vegetable soup, some fish or beef, and a plate of kimchi. Mexico Breakfast in Mexico is a hearty meal which consists of dishes like chilaquiles (fried tortillas topped with green or red salsa, refried beans, and shredded chicken, or even leftovers). Huevos rancheros (traditional Mexican eggs) is another popular choice. Netherlands People in the Netherlands usually eat slices of buttered spiced bread (ontbijtkoeken) topped with various things like ham, cheese, jam or hagelsag (sweet, flavoured sprinkles). Cereals and fry-ups (called een uitsmijter) are also common. Russia A popular Russian breakfast is small girdle cakes. They come in many varieties like the cheese-stuffed syrniki, the crepe-like blini (made with kefir), and the fluffy oladi. These are often served with soured cream, honey, jam or fresh berries. Singapore Singaporean food is inspired by various cuisines, such as Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, and European. So, their breakfast food is a mixture of all of these. However, one of the most popular breakfast foods is kaya toast. This sweet sandwich is made with white bread spread with butter and kaya jam, a Southeast Asian spread made of coconut, egg, and sugar. Spain A popular Spanish breakfast is the Pan a la Catalana, or Pan con Tomate. Originating in the Catalan region they consist of bread rubbed with garlic and tomato drizzled with olive oil. This can be topped with cheese, ham, or sausages if required, and is served with café con leche. Sweden Swedish breakfast also often consists of Nordic open sandwiches covered with cold cuts, fish, cheese, or vegetables (knäckebröd). However, another popular dish is pannkakor. These thin crepe-like cakes are usually topped with sweet fruity fillings made with cloudberries or lingonberries. Conclusion Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. This meal is often heavily connected to a country’s traditions and can tell you much about it. Breakfast around the world offers a window into different cultures and regional variations. While breakfast around the world may not be the rich, heavy meals they once were, they are still an important way of getting your day started off right.
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Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. This meal is often heavily connected to a country’s traditions and can tell you much about it. Breakfast around the world offers a window into different cultures and regional variations. While breakfast around the world may not be the rich, heavy meals they once were, they are still an important way of getting your day started off right.