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Ham, sausages and baked beans

Ham, sausages and baked beans
Mushrooms, beans, sausages and eggs – and of course toast

Guise Bule is head of the English Breakfast Society, which is celebrating English Breakfast Day today. In order to preserve the real tradition, this “memorial day” was created, as Bule explains. And of course he knows exactly what has to be on the table at the first meal in England: bacon, sausage, baked beans, egg, maybe half a fried mushroom, of course bubble and squeak or even some black pudding, i.e. black pudding. Plus, of course, toast.

It is important to him to emphasize: “We are not dogmatic.” You can also eat hash browns or smoked kippers, smoked herring – but the ingredients should all come from the UK. This breakfast tradition is ancient. Centuries ago, rich Anglo-Saxons used their cuisine and hunting success to impress friends and enemies. The emphasis on English also came about because of the Norman invasion, the invaders brought with them new words and new foods. Later, the nouveau riche adopted the tradition, and as the Industrial Revolution put more money into their pockets, more and more people were able to afford a decent breakfast.

It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that the English breakfast emerged in its current form, which was now offered in a very similar way and was recognizable in bed and breakfasts, hotels, cafés and trains.

In the early 1950s, around half of Brits started their day with a full English. That has changed. If you work at a desk, you would rather avoid the huge amount of calories. Therefore, for many people, the great British breakfast is something for the weekend. For society boss Bule it’s only logical: “The best English breakfast is at home.”

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