BRITISH TRADITIONS (PART 1)
THE ENGLISH BREAKFAST
We are going to write about a few British traditions and their lesser known origins. Our first article is about the traditional English breakfast, mainly because it can’t be said to be really British and its true origins are not truly English. It appears to be an American invention. The English, indeed, gave the word to the meal, that according to the writer Somerset Maugham, should be eaten by a real Englishman three times a day when in England.
However, Englishmen and Englishwomen have very little time to spend nowadays on the preparation and consumption on such a hearty meal. Most just grab a piece of toast and a quick coffee before starting off for work or school. Still, these vast meals haunt the collective unconscious of the English, even though for most it remains a delicacy seldom eaten except at weekends or special occasions.
What is exactly the traditional breakfast so yearned for by the English? Most will whet their taste buds at the sight of an overflowing plate of double eggs, bacon, tomatoes, kidneys, mushrooms, fried bread, a sausage or two and a dollop of HP or tomato ketchup. (There are vegetarian breakfasts nowadays). Enough to get the average European miss lunch or mid-morning sandwich.
If you happen to catch an early morning train to Edinburgh or Exeter, you will surely see most of the restaurant car full of hungry Limeys attacking a huge plate of egg, bacon, sausages and the like, despite the fact that it seems to escalate in price every week. Of course, for most mortals it is enough to lay one out for the rest of the morning, but they continue to survive without any obvious evidence of dyspepsia or a quick dash to the loo.
It is a meal designed to be eaten in silence. You will see few English people indulging in passionate conversation as they fill up on this greasy concoction. Modern times have brought the television into kitchens, which is interrupting this early morning ritual. Nothing seems to be sacred…
Happy English learning!!