Full breakfast

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

A full breakfast is a breakfast meal, usually including bacon, sausages, eggs, and a variety of other cooked foods, with a beverage such as coffee or tea. It is especially popular in the UK and Ireland, to the extent that many cafés and pubs offer the meal at any time of day as an "all-day breakfast". It is also popular in other English-speaking countries.

In England it is usually referred to as a 'full English breakfast' (often shortened to 'full English') or 'fry-up'.[1][2] Other regional names and variants include the 'full Scottish', 'full Welsh', 'full Irish' and the 'Ulster fry'.[3][4][5]

The full breakfast is among the most internationally recognised British dishes, along with such staples as bangers & mash, shepherd's pie, fish and chips and the Christmas dinner.[6] The full breakfast became popular in the British Isles during the Victorian era, and appeared as one among many suggested breakfasts in the home economist Isabella Beeton's The Book of Household Management (1861). A full breakfast is often contrasted (e.g. on hotel menus) with the lighter alternative of a Continental breakfast, traditionally consisting of tea, milk or coffee and fruit juices with bread, croissants, or pastries.

Common foods and dishes

The ingredients of a full breakfast vary according to region and taste. They are often served with condiments such as brown sauce or ketchup.

Regional variants

Britain and Ireland


The traditional Cornish breakfast includes hog's pudding and Cornish potato cakes (made with mashed potatoes mixed with flour and butter and then fried),[7][8] or fried potatoes alongside the usual bacon, sausage, tomato, mushrooms, egg and toast.[8] In the past traditional Cornish breakfasts have included pilchards and herring,[9] or gurty pudding, a Cornish dish similar to haggis, not to be confused with gurty milk, another Cornish breakfast dish made with bread and milk.[10]


A full English breakfast with fried egg, sausage, white and black pudding, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns, toast, and half a tomato

A traditional full English breakfast includes bacon (traditionally back bacon),[11] fried, poached or scrambled eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or toast with butter, sausages, and baked beans.[12] Black pudding, and bubble and squeak are often also included. In the North Midlands, fried or grilled oatcakes sometimes replace fried bread.

The food is traditionally served with a mug of tea; more recently coffee is an alternative.

As nearly everything is fried in this meal, it is commonly called a "fry-up". As some of the items are optional, the phrase 'full English breakfast', 'full English' (or humorously 'Full Monty') often specifically denotes a breakfast including everything on offer.


A full Irish breakfast served in Cork

In Ireland, as elsewhere, the exact constituents of a full breakfast vary, depending on geographical area, personal taste and cultural affiliation. Traditionally, the most common ingredients are bacon rashers, pork sausages, fried eggs, white pudding, black pudding, toast and fried tomato.[13] Sauteed field mushrooms are also sometimes included,[14] as well as baked beans, hash browns, liver, and brown soda bread.[15][16][17] Fried potato farl, boxty or toast is sometimes served as an alternative to brown soda bread.

The "breakfast roll",[18] consisting of elements of the full breakfast served in a French roll, has become popular due to the fact it can be easily eaten on the way to school or work, similar to the breakfast burrito in the United States.[18] The breakfast roll is available from many petrol stations and convenience stores throughout Ireland.[18] In 2006 Irish comedian Pat Shortt released a song called "Jumbo Breakfast Roll".

A full Ulster fry served in Belfast, Northern Ireland

An Ulster fry is a dish similar to the Irish breakfast, and is popular throughout Ulster, where it is eaten not only at breakfast time but throughout the day. Typically it will include soda bread and potato bread as in an Irish breakfast, but omitting the white pudding.

Similarly to the breakfast roll seen in the south of Ireland, in the north they serve "filled sodas", which usually consist of a soda farl shallow-fried on one side and filled with fried sausages, bacon and eggs. Fried onions or mushrooms are usually added upon request. Filled sodas are a popular choice for breakfast from roadside fast-food vendors.

Between 2001 and 2007, the television channel BBC Two Northern Ireland used a station ID during local opt-outs from national UK programming which featured the BBC Two logo eating an Ulster fry.


A similar Scottish alternative

In Scotland, the full breakfast, as with others, contains eggs, back bacon, link sausage, buttered toast, baked beans, and tea or coffee. Distinctively Scottish elements include Scottish style black pudding, Lorne sausage, and tattie scones. It commonly also includes fried or grilled tomato and/or mushrooms and occasionally haggis, white pudding, fruit pudding[19] or oatcakes.[20][21] As with other breakfasts it has become more common, especially within the home, to grill the meats, puddings and tomatoes and to only fry the eggs and tattie scones. Another more historical Scottish breakfast is porridge and may occasionally be served as a starter.

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable refers to a Scotch breakfast as "a substantial breakfast of sundry sorts of good things to eat and drink".[22]


As in the rest of Britain and Ireland, the composition of a Full Welsh Breakfast (Welsh: Brecwast Cymreig llawn) can vary. However, with the new found appreciation of Welsh food and recipes, there have been attempts to establish a broad definition.[23]

The traditional Welsh breakfast reflects the coastal aspect of Welsh cuisine. As such it will typically include Welsh cockles and laverbread (a seaweed purée often mixed with oatmeal and fried). Both delicacies are traditionally served with thick bacon, but a Welsh breakfast may also include Welsh sausages, mushrooms and eggs.[23][24] Full Welsh Breakfasts are accompanied by traditional breakfast drinks, with Welsh tea a ubiquitous choice. Today, as they are often served throughout the day in public houses or inns, an accompanying beer, or Welsh ale is not uncommon.

Modern alternatives to the traditional Full Breakfast will often develop the traditional seafood theme. Smoked fish such as Sea Trout or Sewin may be served accompanied with poached eggs.[23]

North America

Bacon and eggs with pancakes

The style of breakfast has carried over to America and Canada. A full breakfast in these countries often consists of eggs, meat such as bacon, ham, sausage, corned beef hash, or Spam, and grits (predominantly in the Southern US) and very commonly fried potatoes such as hash browns or home fries. In the US, breakfast meats include bacon, pork link sausage, scrapple, pork roll, steak, or country fried steak; in Canada, peameal bacon or cretons.

Accompanying the meal might be toasted white, wheat or rye bread, English muffins, bagels, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, fruit or fruit juice and beverages such as coffee and/or orange juice.

In Canada common variants include, peameal bacon or cretons. In Canada and parts of the American Upper Midwest, the meal may be known as a lumberjack breakfast.

In Quebec, the meal may include such regional variants as pork pie (tourtière), poutine, crêpes, buckwheat galettes, boudin, baked beans and/or cretons.

Food list

Some of the foods that may be included in a full breakfast are:

See also


  1. "Could a fry-up be good for you?". Daily Mail. London. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "The full English". Jamieoliver.com. Retrieved 26 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Traditional Scottish Food". Visit Scotland. Retrieved 26 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Rowland, Paul (25 October 2005). "So what is a 'full Welsh breakfast'?". Wales Online. Retrieved 26 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Bell, James (29 January 2014). "How to... Cook the perfect Ulster Fry". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Spencer, Colin (2003). British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-13110-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Mary Maddock. "Cornish Potato Cake Recipe – Cornish Recipes". Greenchronicle.com. Retrieved 20 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 [1][dead link]
  9. The Ladies' Companion, December 1854, The Mercy of the Winter's Waves, (A Christmas Tale), by Silverpen.
  10. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Culinary & Menu Terms, Rodney Dale, 2000
  11. "The Traditional Full English Breakfast". The English Breakfast Society. Retrieved 20 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "How to make the perfect full English breakfast". 25 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Traditional Irish Breakfast recipe from". Food Ireland. Retrieved 20 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Traditional Irish Breakfast recipe from Barry's Tea
  15. [2]
  16. [3]
  17. Gerald, Paul (12 July 2012). "The Full English". Memphis Flyer. Contemporary Media, Inc. Retrieved 30 July 2012. The Irish might have soda bread, a potato pancake called boxty, white pudding (what you're used to, but with oatmeal in it) or black pudding (the same, but with blood cooked in).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 McDonald, Brian (12 May 2008). "Top breakfast baguette rolls into Irish history". Irish Independent. Retrieved 30 July 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Gerald, Paul (12 July 2012). "The Full English". Memphis Flyer. Contemporary Media, Inc. Retrieved 30 July 2012. The Scots like to have tattie (potato) scones, fruit pudding (actually a sausage made with very little fruit), and, of course, their curse on the earth, haggis.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Elizabeth Foyster, Christopher A. Whatley (2009). A History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1600 to 1800. Edinburgh University Press. p. 139.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Alan Davidson and Tom Jaine (2006). The Oxford companion to food. Oxford University Press. p. 185.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Brewer, E. Cobham. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 812.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 "So what is a 'full Welsh breakfast'?". Wales Online. 25 October 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Welsh Government. "Wales.com – Food". Government of Wales. Retrieved 30 July 2012. Laverbread, not actually bread at all but seaweed, is rolled in oatmeal, fried into crisp patties and served with eggs, bacon and fresh cockles for a traditional Welsh breakfast.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links