Why?:Eat a full English Breakfast

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Bacon-bra

These days breakfast can be enjoyed any time of day & leftovers have a million and one other uses.

Firstly, why eat breakfast at all?

Because your mother told you breakfast was the most important meal of the day. And she was right. Just surviving the night is no guarantee of living through the rest of the day. Eat something now - you may be run over by bus, or eaten by a lion. This may be your last chance.

But what should you eat?

You could just eat toast, of course. But are you really going to waste your last meal on partially cremated bread? You may as well have died in your sleep. Surely the fact that your unconscious body kept you alive while your attention was elsewhere means that it deserves sustenance of a higher order. Show some ambition.

There are only three choices for breakfast and your decision says more about you than your diary, your police record and the witty daily thought you leave on FaceBook combined.

edit Choice 1 - The Continental Breakfast

Continental breakfast

Your mother was in labour for eight hours and you eat this in front of her?

Before we merely dismiss the idea of the Continental breakfast, it is important to first consider which continent we are eating breakfast in.

  • If you're eating fried rice for breakfast - you're probably in Asia. Or stoned.
  • If you're chewing on a llama - good for you. You may live in South America but you're a man's man for all that, despite the girly long hair and sex-pest goatee.
  • If you had to run outside and club a hyena to death to steal its breakfast, that's okay. This may be the closest to a the Full English one can get in sub-Saharan Africa. Don't beat yourself up about it. Go back outside and beat up a warthog, this can easily be made into at least three of the requirements for a real man's breakfast.

To most of the world, however, a continental breakfast follows the Gallic model of a demitasse of strong coffee and a lightly buttered croissant. But this is not breakfast as it is known to the stout-hearted English and those who strive to be like them. A croissant is an admission of guilt for those who have inadvertently consumed several bellyfuls of cheap red wine the previous evening and cannot stomach anything heavier.

While you're recovering from your hangover you'll almost certainly light up a Gitanes and allow the cappuccino to spark your brain back into life. Now you can truly enjoy the misery of your own daily existential crisis. Perhaps a busy morning's cycling, pausing only to sell onions to toothless crones may help. Perhaps you'd like to plant several fields of unusable crops so that foreign tax-payers can subsidise your futile efforts. Perhaps you'd like to become an air-traffic controller, go on strike at peak-periods and use your new-found leisure to unnecessarily blockade channel ports.

In short, a continental breakfast says that you are French (or, worse, Belgian). You do not deserve a better breakfast. In fact, you do not deserve breakfast at all or access to the atmospheric oxygen that members of higher species might otherwise enjoy. Get over yourself or end it all now.

edit Choice 2 - Cereal

Shreddies

Sure, they entice you in by constantly changing the formula but it's still good food ruined.

Why would you wish to eat cereal? Cereal is an abomination, the very thought of which makes the Virgin Mary weep in heaven. How in good conscience can you connive in the desecration of God's good grains? Why would you choose to take perfectly good maize, which might otherwise be popped in a microwave and simply squeeze the vitamins out between two rollers before drying it and sealing it in a cardboard box? Just because a cartoon tiger poured syrup on it and claimed it would be "GRRRR-eat" doesn't make this food, let alone breakfast. Adding ground-up foundry waste to the mix and claiming it's rich in minerals doesn't make it fit for a man. Grow up!

But not all cereal is maize-based, you say, some contains rice. Correct. But rice is the ordained accompaniment of The Full English Dinner, preferably one hot enough to make you cry - in a manly way. Rice is the staple food of three thousand million people and should not be squandered. God did not provide this perfectly packaged gift that it should be heated until all nutrition exploded from it and advertised by onomatopoeically named, gay pixies. Rice Krispies are the creation of a dyslexic devil and should be shunned by all who hold their eternal soul dear. Every "Snap!", each "Crackle!" or "Pop!" pulls another straw from the crib of baby Jesus. How dare you?

Leave oats to the donkeys! Say no to muesli! Abandon Shredded Wheat so it may once more be the roofing material of choice for rustic Cotswold cottages. You were created in God's holy image and must honour him by consuming a breakfast fit for a deity. There is only one choice.

edit The only real choice - Full English

Bacon panties

Women love bacon. When they see you tucking in they'll be overwhelmed with oestrogen and throw themselves at you.

The only choice for the true hero is the Full English. But, God help you, you're not even British, let alone one of the Chosen People. Never fear, you may not have been brought up on Bovril or have grown up on gravy but you can still enjoy 3000 calories of heroism every morning - just drop the English and insert the name of your own paltry nationality. Sure, outsiders may scoff at a "Full Malawian" but the satisfaction of stumbling to work with a stomach full of partly digested animals will overcome any embarrasment.

But just what constitutes a Full {insert your nationality here} Breakfast?

The singlemost important ingredient for any breakfast purporting to be The Full English is Bacon. These greasy slices of hog are the artery hardening heart of any good breakfast and should come from an animal that has only recently been snuffling through straw in a sty somewhere near Copenhagen. Preferably fried for extra oily goodness, bacon is a versatile foodstuff and is still edible when grilled, or made into a sandwich. True heroes like their bacon streaky so that those wavy strips of pig-muscle are set-off perfectly by the parallel accompaniment of pure lard. Hmm, tasty! If you're a little bi-curious you can try back bacon and may even want to cut off the fatty-edges and conceal them beneath a paper napkin. Never mind, at least you made the effort this morning. You might have eaten kippers, but you're not an utter pansy.

Of course, we don't just want to enjoy the backs and bellies of our porcine buddies. We want to enjoy all that they have to offer. In one meaty little package a sausage can offer up the piggy delights that we would otherwise have to chew through trotters, tails, ears, lips and snouts for. And who has time to eat all that? Bacon aside, breakfast provides no finer delights than this cylindrical minced-gristle offering but, as an added bonus, it comes wrapped in delicious hog-intestines for extra porky goodness. And the world calls them swine!

If anything about our/your mighty breakfast represents the blood of our/your fine nation it's Black Pudding. You've already enjoyed 90% of the pig, how could you even conceive of letting all that lovely thick blood go to waste? Mixed with yet more lard and blended with oats it makes a gory porridge which releases those all-important complex carbohydrates throughout the morning. All this and it comes wrapped in yet more hog-intestine!

Diet coke bacon

The correct beverage to accompany the full English is Earl Grey but, if you're of the American persuasion, you may have other ideas.

Margarine is a French invention. Enough said. Those of us who do not spend our weekends in high heels and fishnets prefer full fat butter and know that spreading this manna from heaven on mere toast is a waste of the most obscene kind. If you're a real man then you'll want to have your staff of life fried in purest lard for extra piggy goodness and concealed beneath an inch thick layer of congealed milk-fat. Versatile and tasty, fried bread is the perfect accompaniment for any breakfast. Use it to mop up any greasy residue that might otherwise go to waste, or (if you're man enough for two slices) construct a challengingly slippery bacon butty. It's the greatest invention since un-fried bread.

What could anyone do to make the mighty spud mightier still? Simple, just grate one large potato and deep fry! Wet foods like potatoes aren't good at soaking up delicious oils but, shredded until their surface area has expanded exponentially, they become a veritable suety sponge. Is it really a Full English without a Hash Brown?

Let's face it, no one likes grilled tomatoes. So why bother? Well, Mother said you had to eat vegetables or you'd never get hairs on your chest. Your chest looks like a bear-skin rug these days and you're desperately trying to stop the hairs growing down your back. How do you reconcile these two positions? Simple, you don't! You're not just eating this mighty meal for yourself. This is an act of national self-worship - do it for England, St George and your mother! A grilled tomato will not only provide the eye-popping moment of surprise when it releases super-heated seeds onto your tongue, but it'll make Mum proud to see you eating it. She'll be so pleased she may even give you an extra sausage - just don't tell her tomatoes are fruit.

What can one say about mushrooms - a food-stuff related to Athlete's Foot and Ringworm? Fried for extra clarity of purpose just what do these spore-bearing, fungal fruiting bodies represent? Never forget that England is half a small island bobbing gently in the North Atlantic and yet its people have populated the world (those bits that count, anyway). Mushrooms may well be slimy, tasteless and unpleasant but they remind us of our own fecundity and spur us on to greater efforts in the trouser department. Alternatively, if you're not actually English, for shame - but at least your mother thinks that mushrooms are vegetables too.

And it's just not breakfast without eggs. But what type of eggs should you eat? There are so many alternatives. It is possible to poach eggs. But it is also possible to gouge out ones own eyes with a fish-knife. Poached eggs are simply fried eggs without the benefit of lard. DO NOT EAT POACHED EGGS - you've come so far already, why spoil it now?

It is permissible to eat scrambled eggs. But only until you are seven years old. When you were a child you ate childish things, but now you are a man. You can do so much better. An unfried egg is a waste of several potential chicken burgers. But how should you fry it? To crown this magnificent repast you MUST take your egg sunnyside-up, extra runny. The albumen provides rubbery protein to compliment the oily carbs of the hash browns. The yolk should slowly spread across your plate, allowing you to wipe it clean with your fried bread. The silky soft texture provides contrast for the masculine rough texture of the bacon.

There is simply NO alternative.

edit Eating the Full Monty

Bacon and Eggs

It does your heart good just to look at it, though eating it may reverse the effect.

Having assembled a plate with at least one (fried) sausage, two pieces of black pudding (also fried), four rashers of fried bacon, fried bread, fried mushrooms and hash browns (fried), you may feel that the grilled tomatoes are letting you down. But don't worry, no one will think less of you for this, it's not your fault. Most cafes now fry the grilled tomatoes for the sake of consistency anyway. You are almost ready to pick up the knife and fork. But first you must make the last and most important decisions: condiments.

It's not absolutely necessary to add more salt to the saline delights of this swine-based feast, but it shows admirable ambition. And a light dusting of pepper shows a suitable disdain for neighbouring diners without your stomach for the fight. But it is your choice of sauce that marks you out as a true Englishman. If you're American, Ketchup is acceptable. Living in New England is the closest you'll ever come to heaven - go ahead, down your meaty treats with red sauce and think what it could have been like had your mother had the sense to give birth several thousand miles to the east. Meanwhile, the true Briton knows that the sauce of choice is brown, its vinegary aftertaste helping you to picture the photograph of the Houses of Parliament on the bottle even after you have left the cafe.

Now, sit back, stir three sugars into your tea and think of England as you chew.

Why Featured Why? Article Featured on the 29th of May 2010
  This Why? has been featured on the Why? namespace.   Why?   Because it's good, that's Why?  
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