“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh.
‘Winnie the Pooh’, by A.A. Milne
The traditional English breakfast is a national institution. Sometimes also called a ‘fry-up’, the full English breakfast consists of fried eggs, sausages, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread and often a slice of white or black pudding (similar to bloodwurst). It is accompanied by tea or coffee and hot, buttered toast. These days, breakfast may also include other items such as baked beans and hash browns.
The tradition of breakfast dates back to the Middle Ages. At this time, there were usually only two meals a day; breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was served mid or late morning. They were unhurried, leisurely affairs with plenty of silver and glassware on show to impress the host’s guests. The breakfast table would groan under the weight of the produce from the host’s estate. Newspapers were available for the family and guests to catch up on the day’s news. Indeed, it is still socially acceptable today to read newspapers at the breakfast table (a definite ‘no-no’ at any other meal).
In today’s fitness-crazy world, you may have thought that a full English breakfast was not the healthiest way to start the day, but some experts think that such a meal in the morning boosts the metabolism and needn’t be unhealthy, especially if the food is grilled rather than fried.
Perhaps the full English breakfast remains so popular, not just because it tastes so good but simply because it has been enjoyed for centuries by people from all walks of life. It is served everywhere in Britain: in luxury hotels, country inns, guest houses, B&Bs, cafes and restaurants. Sometimes you will also find an ‘all day breakfast’ on the menu, as this is indeed a meal that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
For many working people, breakfast midweek, if eaten at all, often consists of just a piece of toast and a cup of instant coffee taken on the move. But at weekends, what could be better than a leisurely full English with the morning papers?
Use of English
1. Complete the sentences. Watch the signal words!
Have () you already bought(buy) meat?
Yes, I have. I bought (buy) it yesterday.
Have() you ever tried (try) this new ketchup?
I wanted to but I didn't see (not,see) it the last time.
Have () you thought (think) of the eggs?
Look! I have already taken (already, take) them in the trolley.
Hey. You didn't remember (not, remember) me to get a new toothbrush when we saw that special offer.
Oh my God. I have forgotten (forget) my purse. Can you help me?
No problem. I 've just been (be) to the bank.
- Traditional English Breakfast by Ellen Castelow (abridged; www.historic-uk.com)