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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Breakfast in America

I was at a big conference last year that I'd helped organise. Colleagues from all over Europe, Middle East & Africa were attending. It was fascinating to see everyone's breakfast choices. The lines of "multiculturality" (to quote the wonderful TV comedy Twenty Twelve) are not drawn with the breakfast buffet.

The French stick to their croissants and large hot chocolate or cafe;  (and never cafe au lait: only we Brits say that); the Germans pile up with cold meats and semmel rolls  (if they're Bavarian - the others don't eat semmels), and the Brits either go for cereal or, if someone else is paying, a fry up.
My scrapbook layout celebrating Eggs Benedict!
Last week an article in Marketing Week explored how various manufacturers are trying to introduce other cultures to different foodstuffs for breakfast. In Africa, the concept of cereal with milk is completely alien. To be honest, I can't say I approve of the drive by Weetabix to force their product into markets like Nigeria. It seems patronising and a bit authoritarian.

When Krispy Kreme launched in the UK, they debated trying to convince us to eat doughnuts for breakfast. But they realised this would not work. So instead they presented doughnuts as a sharing experience, to take a box to work, and introduced "office heroes" with a gift card.

This is a much more sympathetic approach.

When I go abroad, I try not to stick to the British breakfast. It's a real black mark for me if a hotel or restaurant offers a British breakfast. I love to gorge on Greek yoghurt, honey and fresh fruit. Cheese and meats in Germany is also perfectly acceptable. And breakfast in America is Eggs Benedict (as a treat) or what they call oatmeal with a side of scrambled egg. What's your favourite breakfast?


2 comments:

Buggles Balham High Road said...

My favourite breakfasts have always been in the Middle East and North Africa, and good coffee, thick creamy yoghurts, fresh figs and their delicious sweet pastries dripping with honey, nuts and dried fruits.

Never cereals, never cold meats and cheese and never the cooked bacon and sausages, though I always keep an eye open for the omelette maker and if they look good I'll have one with some of the lovely bread choicies on offer.

I always have a Full English in UK hotels and judge them by the quality of the sausages.

Bill Blunt said...

Oooh - how about porridge and a handful of juicy raspberries and blueberries, maybe with some creme fraiche thrown in for good measure?

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