And laugh they did, and eat, and drink, often and heartily
January 23, 2015 2:22 PM   Subscribe

In the Middle Ages, the nation that was to give the world the full English widely skipped breakfast. Yet, by 1600, a culinary non-entity had become a key part of our daily routine. Why the change?
Ian Mortimer investigates "How the Tudors (re)Invented Breakfast" for History Extra. See also: Breakfast, lunch and dinner: Have we always eaten them? (BBC, 2012); and Meals of the Day in the early and classical Roman empire, which counters the statement about Romans eating only one meal a day. Extra credit: Merienda - South American-style Afternoon Tea.
posted by filthy light thief (28 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
And for those Middle Earth re-enactments, the seven six daily hobbit meals and their times.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:27 PM on January 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I will be a morning person for as long as there is breakfast and coffee. Best meal of the day, followed by afternoon tea.
posted by peripathetic at 2:54 PM on January 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm a morning person provided I get coffee and don't need to wake up till 10am. Morning is what you make of it.
posted by Braeburn at 3:07 PM on January 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


And for those Middle Earth re-enactments

Yeah, re-enactments. That's what they are.

/looks shifty
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:08 PM on January 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looking forward to reading this! Mortimer's guidebooks have been a huge help on our past two vacations.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:59 PM on January 23, 2015


This post hits so many of my buttons I don't know where to start.

Perhaps with some Eggs Benny. That's usually a good place to start.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:21 PM on January 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Breakfast is a fake meal, likely invented by Big Poultry to offload uneaten eggs.
posted by jpe at 4:31 PM on January 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the meals of the day link:
[Banquets of the vulgar rich] occurred in the alst century of the Republic and the time of the early emperors. Vulgar nobles and newly rich alike would give ostentatious display of furniture, tableware and food. In present day, these would be considered grotesque and revolting. Examples include: 22 courses to a single cena, wine for hand-washing. Lucullus was reported to have spent $10 000 dollars for a dinner.
uh
posted by invitapriore at 5:27 PM on January 23, 2015


Perhaps with some Eggs Benny. That's usually a good place to start.


Overwrought trash. Slap some poorly poached about-to-expire eggs on a stale english muffin w/ "bacon," cover in hollandaise to mask mistakes. You know where else you can get that? It's an egg mcmuffin.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:56 PM on January 23, 2015


You have got to be joking.

Yeah, sure, lots of brunch places do indifferent Benny that is as you describe. Maybe you should come to my place sometime and I'll give you perfectly poached eggs on top of lightly toasted English muffins, with gravlax (my own, homemade, if I've had disposable income and been ambitious) instead of peameal/back bacon (which makes it Eggs Pacifica/Blackstone, but w/e), doused in silky buttery Hollandaise, with maybe a light salad on the side to cut through the richness.

Having only had shitty examples of a thing doesn't mean that the thing itself is bad.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:02 PM on January 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Overwrought trash. Slap some poorly poached about-to-expire eggs on a stale english muffin w/ "bacon," cover in hollandaise to mask mistakes. You know where else you can get that? It's an egg mcmuffin.

Well, I know whose house I won't be having breakfast at.

Cooking for myself, I tend to go for cold cereal or leftovers, which is pretty much the equivalent of monkey chow for humans.

I get intensely jealous when I read books like The Hobbit or Game of Thrones where people have servants who cook them breakfast every day.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:34 PM on January 23, 2015


Bilbo didn't have servants.

Also... all of my boyfriends have had that servant, me. Cook the chef breakfast once in a while eh?

(I kid because I love. Cooking breakfast for someone is probably the least stressful and most joyous cooking in my life)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:51 PM on January 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Perhaps with some Eggs Benny. That's usually a good place to start.

Indeed. As a Brit who finds himself in NY quite often, Eggs Benny and coffee at the local diner is a fine way to start the day indeed.

As is a Full English with a mug of builder's tea at the Regency Cafe in Pimlico (London, for the uninitiated), or a Full Indian when in Mumbai (chole bhature, dal khichdi, masala dosa or something of the sort), or ful medames in Jordan.

I never met a breakfast I didn't like, excepting congee in Shanghai, which really isn't my thing. It is indeed a wonder I am not spherical...

One day I would love to start a cafe that just did Breakfasts Of The World all day.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 7:54 PM on January 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


The Wikipedia article on breakfast is a wondrous thing. One day I'm going to work my way through cooking it all from top to bottom.
posted by lollusc at 9:27 PM on January 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Breakfast of the world is a genius restaurant idea.
posted by Keith Talent at 11:20 PM on January 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's a fantastic idea. There's plenty of breakfast-only restaurants here, and they all have basically the same menu.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:34 AM on January 24, 2015


I rarely eat breakfast, because I'm rarely up before noon ( what am I a farmer?) but a properly made egg and bacon sandwich is one of life's most perfect foods.
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 AM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


define 'properly' because I suspect we may have to engage in fisticuffs
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:23 AM on January 24, 2015


Proper equal ratio of eggs to bacon, bacon crisp but not burnt, eggs runny and buttery soft scrambled like a paste , seeded kaiser roll, toasted, buttered, with a whisper of mustard. Pressed flat, cut in half, served in bed with a Bloody Mary.
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2015


SCRAMBLED? You blasphemous heathen. Fried so the yolk oozes around the bacon like a lover's caress. Where's the mayonnaise? The fresh cracked black pepper? The coy little dabs of HP?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:38 AM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


The only possible solution is to serve both versions to me and let me judge. It may take several tests to decisively choose, though.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:42 AM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kedgeree.

thisthreadmaynowbeclosedthankyou
posted by Devonian at 11:21 AM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Porridge with a pat of salted butter and a sploosh of maple syrup. Some heavy cream if you're nasty.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:28 AM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of the best breakfasts I ever had was with my grandmother when I was, hmm, 14 or 15?

Fresh baked bagels from a nearby bakery. Fresh cream cheese from the farm down the road. Gravlax. Dill from the garden. Thinly sliced red onion. Mimosas.

My sister had been up late with the baby, came downstairs to find us half-potted and eating the last of the gravlax straight from the package. She complained, Nan said "You snooze you lose," and then we played cribbage.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:31 AM on January 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pre heart attack favorite breakfast:
2 egg cheese omelet with hash browns & 4 strips of bacon
Calories 997, Fat 73g, Cholesterol 492mg, Sodium 1966mg

Post heart attack favorite breakfast:
V8 low sodium & Oatmeal
Calories 200, Fat 1.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 370mg
posted by cmdnc0 at 3:09 PM on January 24, 2015


We do not keep mayonnaise in the house. We are not barbarians.
posted by The Whelk at 3:47 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of the 'nots' in your comment is extra.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:37 PM on January 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


While on the topic of breakfasts, I took Son #1 to Shopsin's in NY this morning. We have his cookbook, the one with the yellow cover, and he was interested to see what the place was actually like. If you've never been there, it is quite an experience.

He was quite taken by mac-and-cheese pancakes with eggs, bacon, chili sauce and maple syrup. I had never considered putting mac-and-cheese in pancakes before (and possibly never will again) but, all things considered, it wasn't bad.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 5:36 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


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