full English breakfast UK

England is known for many things: from the weather to history to the red phone boxes to its breakfast. But, like anything there are always going to be things you didn’t know. Often referred to as a “fry-up” or a full monty it is so much of a staple in the country that it is even part of National Breakfast Day on 8th March.

With this in mind, it’s about time you got used to it. First created and popularised in the 1800s it is a mainstay of British culture that is a piece of the history. The Victorians were the ones who brought it to the table – literally – and it was initially just for affluent families. So, what don’t you know about this British institution that has perfected breakfast?

  • It’s for everyone – The greasy spoon has made some think of the full English breakfast as a meal for the working class. But, as mentioned above, this isn’t how it first came about. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this means it is ideal for any home in the country. Originally a high society affair, it is the simplicity that brought it to the masses.
  • The Germans – The old foe brought one of the most integral parts of this breakfast – the black pudding. Brought over by monks from Germany under the name “bloodwurst” it was the Lancastrians that renamed it to how we know and love it today.
  • PR! – Love it or hate it, PR has come up with some great inventions over the years. This is one of them. Don’t hate it, but love that “bacon and eggs” became a popular saying in the 1920s thanks to Edward Bernays. Taken from survey results, the “father of spin” used it to boost bacon sales.
  • Bigger and bigger – Popularity saw it become an all day option at some places and this means that the size continues to grow as people have it for brunch and lunch. The Guinness book of World Records records the biggest at 10 eggs, 10 sausages, 10 bacon rashers, 10 pieces of toast, five slices of black pudding, tomatoes, baked beans and mushrooms!
  • Popularity – You might think that something so tasty can be in decline, but it is. Everyday is perhaps excessive for this hearty breakfast and just one percent eat it each morning. Time is precious in the modern age and from half of all British families eating full English in the 1950s the figure has fallen. Part of the reason is health so this means it is luxury or a treat for people who just regularly stick bread in a toaster most mornings.

If you want to be traditionally English, be sure to do your bit to bring it back onto tables across the country. A high quality breakfast should be back and continue to be an iconic tradition. Do your bit by supporting the English Breakfast Society and getting it back in our minds on a daily basis!

This post was written by David Williams.

Image by philcampbell via Flickr