Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Full English breakfast
A full English breakfast – or traditional fry-up – is a traditional breakfast dish of England. Although fry-ups are offered to tourists as traditional fare in hotels, guest houses and cafés, they occupy an important place in the English concept of the morning meal.
Whilst weekday breakfasts in England often consist of a brief meal of cereal and/or toast, the fry-up is commonly eaten in a leisurely fashion on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Being reasonably oily and fatty, it is regarded by the increasing number of health-conscious Britons as a treat, but such is the passion for a good fry-up that it has among many been the prime reason for declaring the importance of having "everything in moderation."
Whether the fry-up is accompanied by orange juice and usually a superabundant supply of coffee or tea, or only bacon, eggs, and toast, it is regarded as a ritual comfort and a wholely satisfying start to a day of leisure.
The only way to eat well in England is to have breakfast three times a day.
—W. Somerset Maugham
The ingredients of a fry-up vary according to region and taste, and it is not entirely unique to England; Scottish, Welsh and Irish breakfasts share some characteristics and ingredients. At its heart it consists of fried bacon and fried eggs, but to earn the title of a "Full English" a number of other ingredients would be expected.
The bacon is traditionally fried, but grilled bacon or poached or scrambled eggs may be offered as alternatives. Some of the additional ingredients that might be offered as part of a Full English breakfast include:
- pork sausages
- black pudding
- fried or grilled tomatoes
- fried bread
- baked beans
- possibly sauté potatoes, chips, hash browns or bubble and squeak
- condiments such as ketchup and brown sauce
- and bread and butter on the side.
In British hotels and bed and breakfast establishments, the term "Full English" is used to differentiate between the larger multiple course breakfast, which may include a cereal or smoked kipper from the simpler "continental breakfast" of coffee (or tea) and croissants. One would expect to be served with fruit juices in addition to the coffee or tea.
A Full English breakfast served at a hotel might offer additional courses consisting of a choice of cereal, porridge, kippers; toast and jam or marmalade; kedgeree or devilled kidneys. Orange juice and dry cereal were added to the English breakfast after 1950. Coffee at breakfast is a Continental tradition introduced through hotel fare.
There are many traditional cafés in Britain that specialise in serving breakfast meals throughout the day. The full English breakfast may therefore be listed as the "all day breakfast". Such cafés ("caffs" or "greasy spoons") are typically frequented by construction workers working in the local area, or passing truck drivers. As a consequence the very strong tea that is often served in such establishments is colloquially known as "builder's tea".
Other breakfasts in the British Isles differ somewhat. In Scotland you might be served "square sausage" in the form of a patty slice, haggis and potato scones ; in Ulster - soda farls and potato farls; while elsewhere in Ireland you might get white pudding and soda bread. Traditional Welsh breakfasts include laverbread.
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