Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Breakfast is a meal, often light, usually taken in the morning. The name derives from the concept that you have not eaten whilst sleeping, i.e., you are fasting during that time, and break that fast with the meal. It is therefore a calque of the French déjeuner or petit déjeuner and the Spanish desayuno. The German Frühstück, the Danish morgenmad, the Esperanto matenmanĝo, and the Chinese 早餐 mean "morning meal."
Many nutritionists promote breakfast as a very important meal which provides important nourishment and energy to begin the day. Studies have indicated that food eaten early in the day is less likely to contribute to fat gain than food eaten in the evening. Nevertheless, many people in the west tend to neglect breakfast, eating only corn flakes or even only coffee.
Traditional North American breakfasts may feature such foods as toast, cold breakfast cereals, hot oat porridge, eggs, bacon, ham, sausages, pancakes, waffles, French toast, pastries such as croissants, doughnuts, and muffins, and fruit. Fashionable hotel breakfast buffets also may include bagels with cream cheese and lox, sweetened flavored yoghurt in packaged cups, and fruit salad regardless of the season.
Breakfast for many North American workers consists of coffee and a breakfast pastry purchased on their way to work. Alternative food items that fit into this "eat-on-the-go" or "eat-at-the-job" breakfast strategy are packaged yogurt, fast food breakfast items, fresh fruit (either purchased on the go or brought from home), fruit cups, toaster pastries such as Pop-Tarts and instant "just-pour-hot-water" oatmeal.
British imperial experience in India introduced kedgeree to the breakfast buffet in grander households.
English speakers tend to eat more for breakfast than continental Europeans, whose breakfast is scarcely more than a snack to tide one over until lunch — commonly called a "Continental breakfast." On the other hand, Europeans consider anglosaxon breakfast to be either tasteless or too heavy for the time of the day. (West-)European breakfast is simple and classical, as it is based on bread, butter and milk.
In France a typical domestic breakfast will consist of bowls (rather than cups or mugs) of coffee, often café au lait, or hot chocolate with tartines - slices of baguette spread with jam - to be dunked. Croissants are also traditional.
The typical German Breakfast consists of bread rolls or toast with butter, honey, jam, ham or sausage, a soft boiled egg, and coffee. However, cereals have become popular, and regional variation is significant.
A typical breakfast in Denmark, similar to its southern neighbor Germany, consists of bread rolls or toast with butter and Danish skćreost (slicing cheese), a buttery creamy white cheese (often Danish havarti or Danish tilsit), strawberry jam and a lot of coffee. A bigger and fancier spread would include ham or sausages, soft boiled eggs, muesli and sweet rolls of all types. Danish workers typically start their Friday mornings with "breakfast meetings".
Hotels and other types of lodging in Europe typically include breakfast in their rates, and in many cases, especially in larger hotels, it consists of a breakfast buffet. Specific items will vary from country to country, depending on local breakfast tastes and habits. In Switzerland, for example, "luncheon meats", cheese, yoghurt, prepared fruit, butter, croissants, breads and rolls are served. Regardless of location the standard requirements for a British breakfast (eggs, potatoes, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms) are often a part of the buffet.
South American breakfasts feature many items seen in North American and Continental European breakfasts, as well as local foods. Tamales with fresh bread is a common breakfast in many countries. Coffee and tea are usually taken with milk.
In Korea breakfast has not existed as a distinct concept. Food eaten in the morning does differ substantially from the other meals of the day. Kimchi (a mixture of fermented vegetables) and rice are staples of the morning meal.
In most of South India, the most popular breakfast includes a variety of possible dishes, such as idlis, vadas, dosas and chapatis. They are usually served with hot sambar and at least one kind of chutney (usually coconut chutney). Breakfast is usually followed by a glass of tea or coffee, both with milk and sugar. Pongal is a common breakfast item in Tamil Nadu, while uppittu and kesaribath are the common items in Karnataka.
In Israel, a typical Israeli breakfast will include egg (hard-boiled, soft-boiled, fried or omelette), fresh bread, cheese (usually some kind of soft white cheese, most often fine Israeli cottage cheese), sliced vegetables or Israeli salad and olives. Preferred drinks include coffee or tea and orange juice. While this is the traditional breakfast (and is served in many restaurants in the morning), nowadays most people will have a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee before rushing off to work.
Some restaurants devote themselves to breakfast or have special breakfast menus. The field is dominated on one hand by greasy spoons, diners, cafés, cafeterias, and fast food places, and on the other hand by hotels. However, some breakfast places resemble standard restaurants in procedure, selection, and price.
Breakfast is occasionally served as an entertainment meal. More popular than breakfast in this regard, however, is brunch.
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