10th June 2010, on the menu today...
Bacon, sausages, black pudding, baked beans, eggs (poached, scrambled or fried), bread (toasted or fried), grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, brown sauce, ketchup, relish, chutney, pepper and whatever else your imagination or, more to the point, your stomach can stretch to. Depending on your likes/dislikes or, as in my case where I like everything, whatever you happen to have in your fridge at the time, the English breakfast consists of a variety of ingredients combined on a plate (as above) with a good old cuppa to help everything down. This iconic dish reserved nowadays for the weekends or the B&B is as British as you can get and holds a lot of memories for me so lets take a trip down memory lane...
Taste: I think one of the reasons why the Full English is so beloved is because of all the different taste and texture sensation there are on the plate. From the soft bite of baked beans in their sweet tomato sauce, to meaty plain or flavoured sausage, to salty smoked bacon, to a beautifully oozing poached egg on top of toast with lashings of butter etc...the Full English has so much to offer the taste buds and the eyes.
History (as reported in my 25th Jan 2010 news article 'Full not-so-English Breakfast'):
From what I understand, in the 50's a number of nameless British breakfast dishes, made by combining regional UK breakfast delicacies on one plate, became a big hit with manual workers at 'greasy spoons'. Then in the 60's, tour operators at Mediterranean holiday resorts decided to take the best elements of these dishes and combine them, thus giving birth to the Full English Breakfast.
Trivia (as per article found here):
General Bernard Montgomery requested a full English every day he was planning the Normandy invasions during World War II.
It’s said that Oliver Cromwell became very specific about how his black pudding was to be cooked while he was spear-heading the English Civil War.
When Mary Shelley, John Polidori and Lord Byron retired to their country manor for a weekend of ghost stories (resulting in The Vampyre and Frankenstein), they had culinary chefs prepare a smorgasbord of full English Breakfast trimmings.
Fellow food bloggers: