The Story of the Full English Breakfast
History tells us plenty about our eating habits! Breakfast tells us where we live and how we start our day. But what is the origin of the Full English Breakfast?
“Break Fast” probably means exactly that, breaking the fast of the sleep. Here in Northern Europe our breakfast is probably defined by our climate. Our geographical Island position, stuck out in the Atlantic Ocean opens to all the vagaries of the weather of the four seasons is in part the creator of our Full English (Scottish, Welsh, and Irish) Breakfast.
I guess we have to go back, way back to 7000BC when cereals were cultivated in the Middle East, this in turn created Bread, Porridge, Beer, and Spirits. In short, the main staples of our diets today.
Armies on the move certainly eat copious amounts of cereals and in their conquering brought the grains and knowledge of how to cultivate and prepare for human and animal consumption. So the Romans created Porridge! What have the Romans ever given us?
Winter months in Blighty were generally started with porridge, probably made with water then milk or cream with the addition of honey or (later) sugar.
Chomping on the Carbs
Later the addition of Pork or Beef Sausages, Cured Bacon, Eggs in many guises, Black Pudding or Hogs pudding in the West Country, Potato Cakes or Hash Browns or Welsh Cakes added carbohydrates to the basic Breakfast as we now know it.
Life now seems to have changed so much that the Breakfast has become something that is either only consumed when in a hotel or as a treat at the weekend. This seems rather sad to me as we are so lucky here in the WestCountry with tip top Farmhouse and Dairy products just a waiting to be cooked and assembled on a gert big plateful, guaranteeing a first rate start to the day!
Couple this with a steaming Pot of Tea and there you have it! Breakfast as we know it.
About the Author
This is a guest post from Stephen Barrett. Stephen is Chef and Proprietor at Bistro One on Ebrington Street, Plymouth. The Full-On Scoff Breakfast served between Tue to Sat at Bistro One is said to be “The best breakfast either side of the River Tamar”. The only to find out is to try it yourself!