Chewing the fat of the Full English Breakfast

A famous British culinary tradition is the full English breakfast (or “fry-up”) that is a plate full of fatty and fried food that will give you energy for the day!

Many British cafés and pubs serve the meal at any time as an “all-day breakfast”. This is becoming more and more popular, as many Britons consider the all-day breakfast to be a comfort food, and an alternative to a hamburger or a hotdog. It has long been thought that a good “fry-up” is a good hangover cure, to relieve the pain felt by a night on the ale. The intake of fat and carbohydrates are supposed to give energy and to alleviate headaches.

Sizzling rashers of bacon
Sizzling rashers of bacon

A traditional full English breakfast includes bacon, poached or fried eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread with butter, sausages, and baked beans, usually served with a mug of quintessential English tea. Black pudding or hash browns can be added, and when an English breakfast is ordered with everything available it is often referred to as a “Full Monty”!

Often, the likes of sausage and baked beans are seen as dinner food, and not something to eat first thing in the morning. You normally see them served with pies and mash in the evening. However, for the full English breakfast they are par for the course. More traditional breakfast items like egg and toast (and bacon) often play second fiddle to the fattier items on the plate, or get drowned in the bean juice so that you can’t see them anymore!

Available in tins...
Available in tins…

As well as eating breakfast throughout the day in cafés, Britons now have the option to purchase ready-packaged Full Monty breakfast in tins from the local supermarket or grocery store. These are a quick and often cheap way of enjoying the comforts of the breakfast in your own home, rather than spending more money in a greasy spoon café on the high street.

How's your diet coming along?!
How’s your diet coming along?!

As nearly everything is fried in this meal, it is commonly called a “fry-up”. As you can imagine, it is not exactly the most healthy choice for breakfast, and at over 1000 calories and 75g of fat per full serving of English breakfast (excluding the drinks), it’s not surprising that many health-conscious people prefer a good bowl of muesli for a more balanced diet!

Could you imagine eating over 1000 calories for breakfast as soon as you woke up? I have rarely done so myself, but there’s no doubting that all Britons do enjoy the dirty treat from time to time, especially on special occasions such as Christmas morning or New Year’s Day.

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