Jim and I have long been amused by the differences in what each of us considers acceptable breakfast food. It’s interesting what people get in their heads. When Jim thinks of breakfast, it looks like this:
Or one of these:
Occasionally, he’ll even throw in these:
Or maybe even this:
But that’s where he draws the line.
While I also typically have traditional breakfast foods for my first meal of the day (usually cereal with fruit on top at an attempt to healthfully fuel my body for whatever I have going that morning), I tend to think of breakfast as exactly that, “break the fast”. So if we have leftover spaghetti in the frig., that’s what I may choose. Or yes, even pie or cake on occasion.
But I draw lines, too. I don’t think I’ve ever had a hamburger for breakfast, and steak with my eggs holds little appeal (but I do love a good steak for dinner).
That got me thinking about what does and doesn’t make a good breakfast food. Donuts are considered a yummy (although not healthy) breakfast. But most people probably wouldn’t have a piece of cake unless it’s pound cake or coffee cake.
Similarly, sausage is a big breakfast staple, but rarely (if ever) have I seen someone eat a hot dog for their morning meal.
Some might eat lox on a bagel with cream cheese, but would be unlikely to eat fried catfish or fried shrimp.
My guess is that it’s purely what we’ve become accustomed to throughout our lifetimes. I think of pie as an OK breakfast, because on special occasions growing up, I was allowed to have a piece of pie first thing in the morning. Likewise with stuffing the morning after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
In fact, if you look around the world, people eat different things at different times of the day. In one province of China, people may eat spicy noodles for breakfast. In another area, a common breakfast is sticky rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. In Australia, many people eat cereal or toast for breakfast, just like here, but what they spread on their toast can be vastly different, including such choices as Vegemite (a paste made from yeast extract) or cheese. Australians may also enjoy eggs, bacon, sausage, and the like — again like us.
The time you eat your first meal of the day may also play a role in what you find appetizing. I do not generally choose Eggs Benedict for a 7:00 a.m. breakfast, but as a brunch food (closer to 11:00 a.m.), it’s one of my favorites. Likewise, I don’t usually eat turkey for an early first food, but for late morning, particularly at a holiday buffet, you’ll usually see it on my plate along with a host of other tasty favorites.
So how traditional are you when it comes to breakfast choices? Do you ever have pizza or whatever is leftover from dinner as your first meal of the day? How about when you travel, do you try the local favorites or do you stick with the closest thing you can find to your usual?