International Breakfasts not just limited to everyday ham and egg variety
When I went to Israel my freshman year of high school, what shocked me most was not the climate, or the soldiers milling around, but the strange concoctions my family members ate for breakfast. Here in the states, we are used to cereal, maybe a bagel or some eggs and bacon, but the breakfast meal varies greatly from culture to culture. Some cultures dine on only sweet foods for breakfast, others savory. For a meal that many of us skip, or take two minutes to eat right before class, breakfast really is valued as the most important meal of some people’s day.
As I saw on a kibbutz, or farming community, in Israel, a typical breakfast involves going to the “salad bar” and picking up a whole tomato, cucumber and pepper, and any other vegetables that were available along with a small container of rich yogurt. Then, at the table, everyone (including my 90-something year-old great aunt) meticulously cut up each vegetable with a glorified butter knife, and mixed them together with the yogurt, some lemon juice, salt and pepper. And as strange as it seemed to be eating that for breakfast, it was delicious. I felt much healthier than when I eat eggs or pancakes for breakfast, and it kept me full until lunchtime. On the kibbutz, farmers go out to work in the early mornings and when the heat becomes overwhelming, return to the communal dining hall for a breakfast of this sort. A kibbutz breakfast also typically includes eggs and fresh cheeses.
A typical Japanese breakfast is also focused on savory foods. It consists of rice, fish, miso soup and green tea. There is also natto, which is fermented soybeans, served over rice. However, now many Japanese eat what we consider to be a typical breakfast: just toast and fruit or eggs.
Mexican breakfasts are savory, not sweet, and usually include beans, eggs or tortillas. An easy Mexican breakfast of Huevos Rancheros involves two fried eggs, beans (refried or not), corn tortillas, salsa and cheese. (Something similar could even be made in Dewick or Carmichael). Menudo is a classic Mexican breakfast and hangover food. Menudo sounds like a delicious, flavorful soup that happens to be made with tripe. Now, I’ve never tried tripe or Menudo, so I cannot vouch for it. Is anyone a fan who can profess the merits of menudo, either as a breakfast food or hangover cure?
In France at breakfast, a typical person eats tartine, bread with butter and/or jam, or a croissant with a large cup of coffee or café au lait. There are two types of croissants : croissant au beurre and croissant nature. A croissant nature is more round, and croissant au beurre is bigger. There is nothing savory on a French breakfast table.
– Rachel Adelsberger