Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 109

The myth of the English breakfast

by : 

Since arriving in Italy, I have had many conversations about British food and how different it is from the Italian diet. People here say that British people eat potatoes all the time and make terrible coffee. I explain that in Britain it gets very cold so a meal of meat, hot potatoes and vegetables is just what you need in freezing temperatures. As for the coffee in the UK, it is certainly not as good as Italian espresso but that’s because Brits generally prefer to get their caffeine from cups of tea. According to stereotypes, we are a very unhealthy nation. The English breakfast is perceived as our national dish, closely followed by fish and chips.

The English breakfast is usually made up of fried eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and bread. Sometimes, other ingredients are added, like black pudding, a sausage made from blood, or fried potatoes called hash browns. People from around the world may imagine us getting up and eating all this food every morning before setting off to work or school.
In reality, it would be impossible to eat a full fried breakfast every day without serious consequences on your health. Instead, for most people, the warm and salty breakfast is a treat for rainy Sundays. It is comfort food, to be eaten with family when you get up late and have time to enjoy it. In my family, perhaps around once a month we will eat a fried breakfast, but at lunchtime! Pubs often serve the English breakfast all day long, so you can even have it for dinner if you want.

The English breakfast is typically accompanied by a cup of tea. The British love of tea is not just a stereotype: I don’t like tea very much and I seem to be an exception in my country. British people often drink between 3 and 7 cups of tea a day, with a dash of cold milk. When I try to explain this to Italians, they wrinkle their noses at the thought of a beige drink.

So what do we really eat for breakfast in the UK? Cereal and toast are popular choices, and so is European breakfast food like croissants. British people think that the Italian habit of eating biscuits and cake for breakfast is very strange but I love it! I do sometimes miss a good bacon sandwich though.


 Have you ever tried the English breakfast? What do you like to eat in the morning? 


benjamin's picture
benjamin 27 August, 2018 - 18:45

I also had a different idea of an English breakfast as in other countries (europe, italy, england) but if, as i thought the brits were eating breakfast all the time i thought that he was taking (eggs, bacon, tea) he would be sick. so I think the text can teach us a lot about the British breakfast.

1 user has voted.
alexis_tasillo's picture
alexis_tasillo 16 August, 2017 - 16:46

Yes, I tried the English breakfast when I visited London, but I prefer the Belgium breakfast.
I don’t have time to have breakfast every day, but when I take it I drink a cup of hot chocolate and I eat a chocolate bread or cereals.

12 users have voted.
lenaertsmanon's picture
lenaertsmanon 11 August, 2017 - 10:09

In fact, the real English breakfast is a complete meal with juices, cereals, bacon and eggs, sausage, tomatoes, butter toast with jam or marmalade and they usually take tea .
When I read this text I realized that it's no longer true. In reality, many English people do not eat all these things. They have a breakfast with bread and butter, cereal, yogurt and they drink tea or coffee.

10 users have voted.
Kahina's picture
Kahina 5 July, 2017 - 13:50

No,I haven't.I don't like eating something salty in the morning.For the breakfast I take some cereal,a cup of hot chocolat,a fruit and a glass of watter.

18 users have voted.
iva10's picture
iva10 30 September, 2015 - 20:05

No i've never tried English breakfast.I don't like to eat tomatos but i like checap.I usually don'eat too much in the morning because i go to school.Usually i eat bread with a slice of chesse or jam.I never drink more than one or two cups of tea the whole day.I like tea but not that much.My sister says i'm obssesed with London and the Brits(shorter of British).

29 users have voted.
DOA13's picture
DOA13 4 March, 2014 - 16:00

I have not tried English breakfast but would like to try it. Usually is not enough time to cook a full English breakfast, so I eat porridge and drink tea with cookies)

28 users have voted.
Marmeladka's picture
Marmeladka 4 March, 2014 - 15:50

No. I haven't.I usually drink tea for breakfast, but I would like to eat pancakes with jam and a glass of juice.

28 users have voted.
lyra's picture
lyra 2 March, 2014 - 04:34

Yes, I have. But I don`t like eggs and mushrooms. I don`t like to eat in the morning. I drink tea, but it`s very seldom.

26 users have voted.
SandraB's picture
SandraB 2 December, 2013 - 19:50

I did,but I don't like it.Eggs make me feel sick and mashed with bacon?Not getting up from a bed whole day.I usually don't have breakfast.

37 users have voted.
Hanna's picture
Hanna 28 November, 2013 - 19:01

No, I have not. Actually I didn't eat fried eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatos and bred together) But It sounds tasty. I will try English breakfast if I visit UK. I usually have porridge, meat or fish and some salad for breakfast. Also I drink tea with milk in the mornning. It makes me feel full of energy)

29 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
Natalija 18 November, 2013 - 16:39

No, I haven't. I don't like eggs and bacon, and English breakfast consist it.
I usually eat some pastry, milk and fruits.

29 users have voted.