Breakfast is often regarded as the most important meal of the day. As the proverb goes, morning shows the day, the first meal of the day in the morning can really make or break the rest of the day. Both the American and the English have developed their traditional breakfast meals based on centuries of culture, culinary experiments, taste, and preferences.
Although some of the items are common and the overall theme of starting the day with a nutritious easy-to-prepare meal remains the same for the American and the English, there are also considerable differences between their breakfast.
In this article, we will discuss in detail all the individual ingredients of both the American breakfast and the English breakfast and their similarities as well as their differences. Comparison aside, both of these meals taste amazingly delicious when cooked properly and every day bring joy to millions of people not just in America and England but throughout the entire world.
What Is American Breakfast?
American breakfast has developed over many centuries. Ever since its inception as a colony of the British Empire, immigrants have been entering this country and they brought their culture and culinary expertise with them.
Before the industrial era, breakfast consisted of eggs, bread, and the leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. Cereals like porridge or oatmeal were also famous because of their easy and quick preparation.
Over time, as the Industrial Revolution lifted millions out of poverty, breakfast started to get more and more attention and became filled with more items full of nutrition and energy. Items like bacon, pancakes, sausages, hashbrowns, etc. found their place on the plates of many Americans.
Many modern cereal brands also became a staple for many Americans during the post world war era as women started to enter the workforce en masse and kids needed to have nutritional easy-to-prepare meals in the morning.
What Are the American Breakfast Dishes?
There is no standardized American breakfast like the English breakfast and the meal varies widely based on not only the location but also the class and taste preferences. However, there are still some items that are common across all of the American households. These are described in the following passages.
Eggs are arguably the most common breakfast item in America. Eggs are easy to prepare and full of protein, fat, and other necessary nutrients. Eggs are high in calories which makes them an ideal breakfast meal.
Americans enjoy scrambled eggs, omelets, and sunny-side-up or poached eggs for breakfast. Scrambled eggs are the easiest to make among these egg dishes but still taste delicious. A standard American breakfast usually contains two eggs but this varies depending on individual preferences.
Bacon is one of America’s most favorite breakfast items and is loved by people of all ages. Bacon strips are very easy to cook on a pan, iron skillet, or even in ovens. Bacons are full of fat and do not need extra oil to fry. The salty and savory taste of bacon along with its crispiness make it the perfect addition to the American breakfast.
Although bacon often gets shunned for being rich in transfats, bacon contains high-quality protein as well as vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12, and minerals like phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
Toast is also a common breakfast dish in America as it is in the rest of the world. Americans usually put jelly or jam on their toast but the more health-conscious citizens may spread ripened avocado on their toast.
Butter is another classic item that goes well with toast. Sometimes Americans put American cheese slices between the toasts and fry it on the pan to make a grilled cheese sandwich which also makes an energy-dense breakfast meal.
Pancake is also a popular breakfast item among Americans, especially American kids. What makes pancakes to be an ideal breakfast item is the ease of preparation. Pancake batter only consists of a few items such as eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, vanilla essence, and butter.
Buttermilk pancake is made with thick buttermilk and baking soda is added instead of baking powder as the acidity of the buttermilk is enough to react with the baking soda. The fluffy pancakes are served with maple syrup, chocolate syrup, or butter to enhance the flavor.
Chicken and Waffle
Chicken and waffle is the most popular among Southerners and it is served with crispy waffles, fried boneless chicken, and maple syrup. The sweet flavor of the waffle gets balanced well with the heat and spice of the chicken and makes this a flavorful and appetizing breakfast meal.
Sausages are also on the list of most popular breakfast items in America. American sausage is usually made from uncooked ground beef or pork, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, sage, and other spices. American sausages have a higher meat content in them compared to English sausages.
Americans prepare sausage by boiling, frying, and grilling them but as breakfast, they usually serve it after frying it. Sausages contain high protein and are rich in calories. Sausages are also wrapped in bacon and served as pigs in blankets which make a delicious breakfast.
Hashbrowns are made with shredded starchy potatoes, onions, eggs, flour, peppers, and other necessary spices. It is relatively easy to make which makes it a perfect dish for Americans who are in a hurry to leave for work in the morning.
Hashbrowns are fried on non-stick frypans or iron skillet with vegetable oil or butter until they are golden brown and crispy and served hot and fresh off the stove. Other vegetables can also be added to the hashbrowns to enhance flavor and nutritional value. Overall, hashbrowns make a great breakfast to start the day.
What Is English Breakfast?
A full English Breakfast is a much beloved English tradition that has a century-old history and culture related to it. Many consider the Full English Breakfast to be a pillar of modern British cuisine.
The Full English Breakfast that we know and love today started to take shape back in the 14th and 15th centuries in England. By the time of King Edward, the Full English Breakfast was not only a custom for the nobility but rather a popular meal found across all classes and sections of society.
After the world wars, the Full English Breakfast gained much popularity in other countries as well because they tried to emulate the poshness along with the dining style of the British. Today, Full English Breakfast is served across the whole world from fancy hotels to cafes.
What Are the English Breakfast Dishes?
Unlike the American Breakfast, a Full English Breakfast has some established standards and fixed items. Although the items vary slightly from location to location, a classic English Breakfast includes eggs, beans, sausages, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, black pudding, bubble and squeak, toast, and bacon.
A Full English Breakfast always includes eggs in the meal. English people enjoy their eggs as soft scrambled, soft-boiled, poached, sunny-side-up, and omelets. Soft scrambled is the most popular among the English.
Baked beans are very popular among the British people and it is almost impossible for them to imagine a Full English Breakfast without having some beans. Baked beans are found readymade in cans that can be served after being heated on the stove or microwave oven.
Baked beans contain a lot of fiber as well as vitamin B, iron, and zinc. It is relatively low in calories and fat which makes it a healthy choice for breakfast to begin the day.
British breakfast also includes sausages in the meal. British sausages are made from pork, venison, beef, or other meat mixtures, herbs, spices, and cereals. British sausages differ from American sausages in terms of the overall meat quantity in the sausage. British sausages tend to have more cereals in them compared to the American sausages.
British cook the sausages on the pans for about 15-20 minutes to cook the meat well and bring out the flavors by frying the skins of the sausages. Sausages are an inseparable part of British breakfast.
Grilled Tomatoes and Mushrooms
A proper English Breakfast remains incomplete without some grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. Grilled tomatoes are prepared by slicing tomatoes and grilling them in the pan with vegetable oil. The sweet and sour flavor of the tomato brings balance to the meal.
British breakfast also has grilled mushrooms. Typically the British eat button mushrooms and they prepare it by slicing the mushrooms and frying it in the pan with salt and pepper. Other mushrooms such as enoki mushroom, oyster mushroom, and portabella mushroom also make a good addition to breakfast.
Black pudding is a very distinctive food that has been a part of British cuisine for centuries. Black pudding is a type of blood sausage that is made from pork blood, pork fat, beef suet, and cereals like oatmeal, oat groats, or barley groats.
Black pudding might seem a bit unappetizing to many because of the usage of blood but it is enjoyed by millions of British as they consume it for the meaty, nutty, and chewy texture with a strong earthy flavor. Black pudding, according to many, is an inseparable part of British Breakfast.
Bubble and Squeak
Bubble and squeak is made from leftover vegetables, sliced onions, mashed potatoes, salt, pepper, and other spices. Bubble and squeak is a great item to cook if you have leftover vegetables from last night.
Bubble and squeak is full of nutrition as it contains various vegetables and it tastes crispy on the outside and soft on the inside as it is fried in oil. Many British would argue that Bubble and Squeak is better than American hashbrowns.
The British also enjoy toast during breakfast. Toast goes well with beans or some jam and you can even spread some butter and sugar on top of it. Toast is a good source of carbs to balance out the protein of eggs and sausages in the meal.
Although not as popular as it is in America, the British also enjoy having some crispy bacon along with their breakfast. Bacon is cooked in the pan or the oven to bring it to a crisp and served hot and fresh off the griddle.
What Are the Differences Between American Breakfast and English Breakfast?
Some of the key differences between American breakfast and English breakfast are described below.
A Full British Breakfast is usually served in a large portion size which is considerably bigger than most American Breakfast meals. This is partly due to tradition and partly because English Breakfast is served sometimes later in the day to be considered as brunch.
American Breakfasts can have large portions as well but generally, the portion size of British Breakfast is larger. British breakfast also includes more items than American Breakfast which is another reason behind the larger size.
Pancakes and Waffles
Pancakes and waffles are very common dishes included in American Breakfast meals as they are easy to make, full of flavor, and fill up the appetite. But British Breakfast does not include any items like pancakes or waffles. Pancakes are an inseparable part of American Breakfast but do not enjoy the same popularity among the British.
Black Pudding is a traditional sausage of the British and a must-have for many British during breakfast. Black pudding is not common among Americans and most Americans will probably fail to even describe this food upon hearing.
A Full British Breakfast will remain incomplete without some baked beans but the Americans would recoil at the thought of having baked beans during breakfast. Baked Beans are exclusively enjoyed by the British and are not a part of American Breakfast.
American Breakfasts typically do not contain any vegetables which does not bring much joy to health-conscious people around the world. On the other hand, British Breakfast includes baked beans, tomatoes, and mushrooms. All of these vegetables are not only nutritious but they also taste delicious when cooked properly.
British Breakfast has an unofficial standard set by the British but the American Breakfast does not have any standard form. English Breakfast may vary slightly from location to location in England but will not become a completely different meal. On the other hand, American Breakfasts can be completely different from location to location where one place might enjoy chicken and waffles for breakfast and another place might enjoy cereals.
What Are the Similarities Between American Breakfast and English Breakfast?
There are some notable similarities between American Breakfast and British Breakfast. They are discussed below.
Eggs are common for both American and British breakfast meals. Eggs enjoy a global status on the breakfast menu and both the American and the British enjoy eggs in the breakfast meal. Be it scrambled, poached, boiled, or sunny-side-up, eggs make great breakfast items across all cultures.
American sausages and British sausages differ slightly in construction and taste but sausages still have a permanent place in the breakfast meal for both the English and the American.
Toast is also another common item between American Breakfast and English Breakfast. Toast goes great with eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, butter, jam, etc., and is enjoyed by almost everyone including the Americans and the English.
Richness in Flavor
The items may vary between American Breakfast and British Breakfast meals but the richness in flavor is found in both of them. Both of these breakfasts are formulated over decades with different experiments, additions, and modifications to make some of the most delicious, appetizing, and flavorful breakfast meals found around the entire world.