Ever wondered what you could expect for breakfast in the the country you are visiting? While travellers may plan whole trips around their culinary experiences during lunch and dinner, most people don’t really give too much thought about breakfast.
What you eat depends on where you are … and, if you’re travelling in exotic lands, what you’re offered might be too much of a wake up call. So what do you need to know about breakfast?
Most of you are probably familiar with that “full English breakfast” of juice, cereal, eggs, tomatoes, beans, sausages, toast and marmalade, which you’ll also find in similar versions in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and even in the U.S. and Canada. In Scotland they’re apt to add haggis or kippers.
In “hotel talk,” a “Continental Breakfast” usually means croissants, rolls or bread, some butter, jam and marmalade and coffee or tea, sometimes juice, sometimes cereal and yogurt. But not usually cooked dishes. The term comes from the belief that most “continental Europeans” have this type of breakfast.
What you get for that first meal of the day depends on what country you’re in.
In the southern part of Europe, breakfasts tend to be lighter style, a la Continental. In Turkey, they’ll probably add olives, cucumbers, fresh tomatoes and feta cheese.
In the northern countries of Europe, you’ll also find salamis and cold cuts of meat, cheese, yogurt, prepared fruits and boiled eggs. Specific items will vary from country to country and hotel to hotel.
In Scandinavia you’re apt to find open faced sandwiches (smorbrod) topped with fish, like herring, for breakfast.
Sausages accompany the cold cuts and cheeses in Germany and Poland. In Munich, Germany, you’ll hopefully be sampling a Weisswurst (white sausage), while in Poland it will be a kilbasa.
Spaniards love coffee or chocolate and churros (donut-like fritters).
Head to Latin America, and you’ll find more tortillas than bread. Try the fried plantains and black beans.
In the Middle East you may get flat breads (pita or naan) with hummus or yogurt or olive oil and za’atar.
In much of Southeast Asia you can expect to get some sort of noodle soup with Asian vegetables added. Maybe spring rolls on the side. In China, at least around Beijing, it’s apt to be hot soup (like congee) and steamed pork buns (bao zi). Or how about Indonesia where you might get chili and garlic fried rice and left over curries.
In Japan a traditional breakfast will have rice, seafood and pickled vegetables and natto, a kind of pungent fermented soybean condiment.
Whew, you didn’t realize there was so much to know about breakfast did you?