The most important meal of the day, as we so often profess it to be, breakfasts make for such worthy excuses to get out of bed every morning. Looking forward to a spread of indulgence, even when it might be one very basic and typical and ordinary, might not be your only motive to sleep the night away peacefully but it sure is a desired one. No wonder, breakfast foods from the world over present such an appetising range of the delectables on your table destined to make you drool and also pumping you with the energy that helps you make it through the intense hours of a long day.
Every country of the world inevitably boasts of its own traditional fare specially meant for relishing during the early hours of the day, endowing upon breakfasts a status that is rarely contended for by the many other meals of your life. Here’s taking a breakfast tour around the world to discover with delight some of the most delicious dishes that makes mornings worth looking forward to-
A traditional Mexican breakfast incorporating indeed the standard Mexican dishing of the tortilla, chilaquiles happen to be a rather interesting way to use up leftovers from the night before even when the popularity of them makes them as likely to make use of fresh ones as well. Corn tortillas cut into quarters are lightly fried or even baked to perfect crispness before letting them cook in a pouring of green or red salsa for a classic breakfast staple. Commonly served with toppings of cream and cheese as well as slices of onion and avocado, this is a very indulgent breakfast dish with of course the most classic elements at hand making it an irresistible spread of all things delicious.
Widely considered the national dish of Burma and traditionally a part of the breakfast ritual there is the essentially soupy Mohinga. A noodle soup to be precise that mainly makes use of rice vermicelli and catfish and relies on the flavour of lemongrass, mohinga is indeed the recipe for a hearty, filling breakfast that appeals to the taste buds as well. A melange of flavors ranging from the sweet and the sour to the spicy and the salty curated to wake you up and energise you for the day that lies ahead is what makes mohinga so popular a breakfast dish that has even gone on to dictate all day culinary choices of the present times.
Puttu might be only one regional variant of breakfast partaken of differently by the many different identities that exist within India but this still is a standout delicacy that makes its prominence rather universal. Pertaining to the southern state of Kerala are these immensely healthy and delicious rice cakes that can be served both with sweet and/ or savoury accompaniments as per individual preferences. Steamed cylinders of ground rice layered with coconut shavings, that are often filled also with either sweet or savoury elements, puttu though is native not just to India. Finding expression also in the neighbouring countries of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh albeit with some variations is this dish that makes therefore for a somewhat global breakfast in all its versatility.
Much like soups, it also is the hearty essence of what stews tend to be that finds expression in the breakfast choices of a country as interesting as Egypt. One of the national dishes of the country is this ancient recipe of dried fava beans that are lightly cooked and slightly flavored, served with everything from condiments and spices to veggies and eggs. Olive oil, cumin, chopped parsley, garlic, onion, lemon juice, chili pepper and other vegetable, herb and spice ingredients often spice up further this otherwise simple dish traditionally made and served out of a metal jug. Also popular as a breakfast dish in a host of other countries including Syria, Ethiopia, Somalia and Morocco, perhaps with slight variations here and there, this very common traditional serving of the mornings is a nutritious, filling and really ‘inclusive’ dish of flavors and finesse alike.
Tending to be at least as infamous as it is famous is the somewhat smelly goodness of the Japanese staple of natto that still manages though to be a popular pick for breakfast there. A superfood having its essence in fermented soybeans and making prominent assertion of the goodness through means of its powerful smell, strong flavor, and sticky, slimy texture, natto might not sound like the perfect breakfast for many. And indeed it isn’t. More of an acquired taste even amongst those who find it ingrained in their food culture, natto however is incredibly healthy.
A bowl of rice with this stringy mucus like rendition of soybeans shrouded in an ammonia like smell still comprises the staple first meal of the day for many Japanese. The flavour can of course find complements in servings of sauces and mustard, along with some onions on the side. It is indeed this versatility of natto, whether in regards to its ability to blend really well with other flavours even in standing out of its own or its wholesome embodiment of goodness that makes natto so much prominent a component of traditional Japanese breakfast that it is.
Stamp and Go
A name of rather intriguing prominence that stamps its uniqueness among the array of foods traditionally eaten for breakfast in different parts of the world is the Jamaican invention of Stamp and Go. It though isn’t just the name of it that makes this dish emerge already as a breakfast item we would be more than happy to try out. The premises along which Stamp and Go rests in its identity as a fast food, and in fact one of the original Jamaican ones at that is also what makes it sound more alluring to dig into first thing in the morning.
Essentially a fish fritter made with salt fish, this bite sized piece of crispy delight dipped into some sweet sauce sure would make any breakfast a blissful affair which is why we sought this out over even the Jamaican national dish of ackee and saltfish that indeed is even more traditional a fare making up the first meal of the day over there. Throw into the mix the essence of Stamp and Go as one of those fancied fast foods and you know surely what you would want for breakfast any time you happen to be in Jamaica.
Like most dishes native to the Indian subcontinent, halwa puri is a staple breakfast along the expanses of both India and Pakistan but it is generally the latter with which this extremely decadent dish is more associated. A very simple but immensely rich serving of a perfect sweet and savoury combo with a bowlful of sugary semolina pudding relished with deep fried, hot flaky puris made out of a dough of flour and salt and water, halwa puri is what indulgence should taste like first thing in the morning. Add to the mix a spicy, savoury bowl of potato and chickpeas curry locally known as cholay and you would have the most heartiest of breakfasts in the world making you look forward to all the good things to follow not just over the course of the day but all through the course of life.
Another stemming from the realms of soupy comfort so natural an attribute of all things food that finds expression as a hearty breakfast is the Colombian dishing of the changua. Allowing for incorporation of what is one of the most essential breakfast essential of eggs is this wholesome, zesty serving that manifests also as a hangover cure adding therefore to its seeking as the first thing to find succour in on certain mornings.
A boiling mixture of equal amounts water and milk is salted and sets the base into which an intact yolked egg is allowed to cook under cover for a mere minute or so after which it is ready for serving. Poured into a bowl and garnished with fried or not onions and cilantro and with a piece of stale bread called the calado that softens then and there for a wholesome first meal of the day destined to offset not just your overdrinking woes but also basically all your worries for the day.
A traditional Ugandan delicacy, katogo is amongst the most popular of breakfast items across the entire ranges of the country. Essentially a preparation of the matooke variant of plantains in a sauce of offal, boiled and simmered together as a one post dish, this very simplistic recipe has outgrown its eminence as being the poor man’s food when it was a cassava based meal to emerge as a national favorite today in its current form with the flavours of banana being its exclusive identity.
Scottish Fruit Pudding
Embedded in the very name of this breakfast staple is the identity of origin from where it stems, but in a manner diversive from what any might expect. Despite being a pudding and a fruity one at that, this optional but celebratory component of a Scottish breakfast is in fact a savoury dish to dig into. Made of wheat or oatmeal flour or breadcrumbs mixed with beef suet, brown sugar, currants, raisins, sultanas, salt and cinnamon is this unconventional version of a pudding that is formed into the shape of a large sausage, cut into pieces and then fried before serving as part of a larger full breakfast.
Another diversive item making up the global breakfast menu hails from China and goes by the name jianbing. Famed as China’s most popular street breakfast are these crepe like servings of diverse flavours and textures that has evolved to take on international interpretations as well in all its widespread appeal. Savory in its taste and crisp along its texture, these chewy delicacies stem from a batter of wheat and grain flour, eggs and sauces and topped also with different fillings and even more sauces for fresh servings of customised demands, folded over and over to reveal layers of indulgence with their every bite.
Literally meaning fried pancakes, jianbings however are not a grab and go breakfast, as you might deem to make out of them in their essence as a humble street food and present in fact one of the most scrumptious feasting options in this part of the world that likes their breakfasts spread out across the entire length and breadth of the table.
A breakfast item steeped not just in the culinary experience but encompassing also a significant legacy is a Creole stemming called calas. Dumplings, or rather fritters made out of a batter of cooked rice mixture with eggs, sugar, yeast and flour, this is a New Orleans staple that harbours also a deep importance culturally. As a traditional food most often credited to slaves who came from rice-growing regions of Africa, it were these same slaves that this New Orleans gastronomic tradition helped free by letting them earn money from the sale of these bites of classic hot breakfast fares. Best savoured with a cup of coffee on the side, most specifically a cafe au lait, calas indeed sounds like the best ’empowered’ way to start the day with, with a serving of history on the table.
Café Con Leche and Pan Tostado
Essentially translating as the ubiquitous breakfast staple of milk coffee and toasted bread, this Cuban pick of very obvious tastes though is a much loved treat across the nation. With nothing fancy in tow, what with the offering being just a piece of Cuban bread slathered in butter and pressed flat in an electric grill set to be dipped in the accompanying cup of strongly aromatic, frothy textured and sweet milky flavoured drink, this has to be the most simplest and yet the most satisfying of breakfasts ever. Light and delectable as you want it to be and yet enriching in the mere intoxication emanating from that freshly brewed cup of the cafe con leche, breakfasts in Cuba surely make for an affair worthy of indulging in.