How the world breaks fast

Not everyone tucks into cornflakes or a bit of toast in the morning. Neil Graham takes a look at breakfast around the world.

When you wake up in the morning, what food do you like to eat to start your day?

Breakfast is widely regarded as the most important meal of the day, because it resets our metabolism after sleeping and gives us the fuel we need to get started in the morning, but what form does it take?

Breakfast might be a quick meal grabbed on the go before work, a fresh fruit delivery, or a long and leisurely brunch on a Sunday morning.

In the UK, the traditional breakfast is the “Full English” which consists of beans, sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hash browns, toast and sometimes black pudding. In reality though, most people won’t eat this every morning and on an average day you might have cereal, toast or porridge with perhaps an orange or banana.

But what do people all over the world eat for breakfast? When the sun rises in other countries, there are many different meals that people use to wake themselves up. Here are a few examples of very different breakfasts from around the world.


The morning meal in Iran usually consists of naan bread with butter and jam. If that is not filling enough, Iranians will eat “halim” which is a mixture of wheat, cinnamon, sugar and butter cooked in a huge pot with shredded meat.


Breakfast in Cuba usually includes a sweet coffee with a little bit of milk and a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness. It will be served with Cuban toasted bread which is buttered and then cut into long strips so that it can be dipped in the coffee.


When you wake up on a cold and dark morning in Iceland you want a warm and comforting breakfast which will fill you up, which is why the traditional morning meal is hearty oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins and nuts. This dish is known as Hafragrautur.


A typical breakfast in Mongolia includes some boiled mutton with plenty of fat and flour, served alongside dairy products and rice. If you are in western Mongolia you might find some horsemeat added to the feast.

The Dominican Republic

If you ever visit this Caribbean island, you must try the Mangu. It is a dish made from mashed and boiled plantains with butter and salami, cheese or eggs. It is usually served with hot chocolate for a tasty and traditional Dominican Republic breakfast.

Newfoundland, Canada

While the traditional breakfast in mainland Canada is pancakes with maple syrup (from the forests of Quebec), bacon, eggs, orange juice and fresh fruit, the people of this remote island off the east coast have their own culinary quirks. A traditional “Newfie” breakfast includes Toutons, which are lumps of fried dough smothered in molasses served alongside a piece of fried bologna. Tea and coffee are also traditionally made with evaporated milk, dating back to the time when fresh milk and fruit delivery was hard to get in some of the remote fishing villages of the island.


Most Italians eat a small breakfast, perhaps because they are saving their appetite for all of the delicious pizza and pasta they will eat during the rest of the day? Italian breakfasts are usually eaten on the run and include a cappuccino and perhaps a croissant.


A German breakfast might consist of sausages and local cheeses served on freshly baked bread, with a cup of coffee. When I visited Germany the locals that I stayed with ate their meals from individual cutting boards rather than plates. They sliced up cheese and sausage to eat on thick and heavy German rye bread.


In Thailand, the morning meal can include rice and noodles and is not much different than what you would eat for lunch and dinner. A traditional breakfast in Thailand might include spicy fish, sweet and spicy pork and rice. If you don’t feel like having a big breakfast, a piece of juicy fresh tropical fruit such as mango or pineapple is also a great way to start your day.


The traditional dish for breakfast in Russia is “oladi” which is somewhat like a cross between a Yorkshire Pudding and a Pancake. They are soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and they are usually eaten with sour cream, jam, berries or honey.

These are just a few examples of the many different breakfast foods which are enjoyed all over the globe. Do you prefer bacon and eggs or oatmeal and fresh fruit? What is your favourite thing to eat in the morning?

Guest writer Neil Graham loves blogging about different types of foods, various cultures and regions. He currently blogs for Milk & More, an online grocery delivery service.

One thought on “How the world breaks fast

  • June 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    You can’t beat a bacon sandwich in my opinion. Honey cured bacon on wholemeal bread with plenty or ketchup, some fresh orange juice and decent coffee.


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