Breakfast is typically considered the most important meal of the day, but it comes in endless variations. Here's a look at some fascinating flavor combinations seen worldwide, from Asia to the Americas.
Britain - Black Pudding
A full English breakfast is not complete without black pudding. A blend of pigs' blood and fat, this traditional dish has become a fan-favorite around England thanks to its superfood status.
Aside from the specifically unique dish, most Brits opt for a typical full English breakfast, also known as a 'fry-up.' If black pudding wasn't striking enough, apparently, beans on toast is the key to a fellow Brit's heart, served with a flavorful combination of fried carbs, protein, and vegetables.
Scotland - White Pudding
Unlike black pudding, the Scottish sensation, white pudding, does not contain any blood. Instead, it is made up of oatmeal and lard - mixed with spices, onions, or leeks. Just pop into the local chip shop to find it, as it's a staple among most Scots.
White pudding would not taste the same without a tattie scone - molded mashed potato made with butter, salt, plain flour, and a lorn sausage (square or sliced). To finish off, Scots add haggis, a special made of sheep's liver, heart, and lungs, minced with beef and oatmeal, and seasoned with spices.
Germany - Raw Pork Mince
For many Germans, there's nothing that quite beats a protein-packed raw minced pork sandwich for breakfast. Served and simply spiced with salt and pepper, the raw pork mince sits nicely on a fresh bread roll. That's certainly one way to be woken up.
Due to a lack of variety in the rural German countryside - dating back to 200 years ago - Germans tend to stick to a stodgy and fatty diet. Famous for Bratwurst and Frankfurter Würstchen sausages, the locals opt for a hearty breakfast: cold cuts, baked goods, boiled eggs, and spreads.
France - Coffee Dunking
The French don't just drink their coffee - and there's no need for sweetener thanks to this hack. Instead, locals grab their perfectly buttered baguette with fresh apricot jam and dunk it, making it easier to eat. Honestly, we wish we thought of this sooner.
Most of us have dreamt of a full French breakfast on a Parisian terrace by the Eiffel Tower. But one thing is for sure: butter is key - especially in croissants! Instead of coffee, one can also drink their leftover cereal-infused milk for a morning boost. A sweet way to start the day!
Sweden - Creamed Smoked Fish Roe
If in need of a rich and nutritious filling breakfast, try Kalles Kaviar, creamed smoked cod on toast. This Swedish classic was first introduced in 1954 and can be found at any supermarket - and even hotel breakfast buffets. That's right. As for what else they start their day with?
Locals also enjoy pancakes, bread, buns, and waffles. But each of these breakfast delicacies has a Swedish twist to it - whether it's thinner waffles, airier pancakes, or cardamom-filled buns. Safe to say, it sounds like Sweden is true to its tradition!
Finland - Coffee, Vodka, and Cigarettes
No time to finish food in Finland! The heart-burning breakfast tradition of coffee, vodka, and cigarettes is seemingly just enough for any local to start their day. This famous trio is locally known as blörö. Of course, though, it's not for everyone.
If they do take time to prepare a full meal, a typical Finnish breakfast is quite the opposite of blörö. Look no further than puuro: a buttery and sugary porridge dish decorated with berries, jam, and milk. Locals apparently love puuro so much, that they would even have it for lunch and dinner!
Netherlands - Sprinkles on Toast
Famous for their warmth and heartiness, it's no surprise the traditional breakfast for Dutch people is literally sugar on toast, also known as 'hagelslag.' The sprinkle dust dish comes in chocolate, vanilla, and fruity flavors. Talk about a sugar rush!
It seems like a simple sandwich and spread is the go-to breakfast for the Dutch - adding appelstroop, cheese, cold meats, jam, honey, and chocolate spread to their list of morning toppings. Alternatively, a broodje bal (meatball on a white bun) and a broodje kroket (deep-fried ragout croquette on a soft bun) are great options!
Norway - Brown Cheese
We know - not the average cheese sandwich. Norway's brown cheese, known as brunost, is the nation's favorite. After boiling whey down to caramelized sugar, some may argue whether this dish is even cheese at all. But hey, still loved by Norwegians!
Norwegians typically opt for small breakfasts. Nonetheless, it seems they would never say no to brunost, no matter how nutty or tangy the taste. But if it's just not one of those mornings, locals enjoy laks og eggerøre, a salmon and eggs benedict specialty. Though we should warn, the open-face sandwich is topped with ansjos (anchovies).
Israel - Boiled Eggs and Tomato Sauce
Perhaps nothing screams Israeli breakfast more than a classic shakshuka. The perfectly boiled egg and tomato sauce dish seems to hit all the taste buds, typically topped with feta or eggplant for a flavorsome morning. As tasty as it is colorful!
Israeli breakfast dates back to the kibbutz culture. After long manual labor, a huge spread of eggs, dips, salad, and fish was enjoyed by locals to share for a fun and enjoyable breakfast. Known to be creative with food and flavors, the combination of eggs and tomato sauce certainly piques our interest.
Mexico - Nachos
Looking for a morning kick? Look no further! Mexicans like to start their day with an all-day nacho dish, otherwise known as 'huevos rancheros.' The tortilla base topped with fried eggs, refried beans, salsa fresca, and potatoes calls for the ultimate morning fiesta.
If nachos aren't filling enough, try 'tetelas oaxaca' - black bean stuffed triangular bread pieces topped with crumbled cheese! Anything spicy and with salsa goes for breakfast here. But it doesn't get more authentic than brewing coffee in a traditional clay pot, for 'café de olla' a.k.a 'coffee in a pot.'
Ghana - Rice, Beans, and Hot Sauce
Affordable, easy, perfect for vegetarians, and the national treasure of breakfasts for Ghanaians: Waakye, from the Hausa language, is the perfect ratio of rice, beans, and hot sauce, prepared separately before blending with vegetables and stews!
Ghanaians tend to keep street food alive and don't play by the rules when creating unique cultural dishes. Take 'tom brown' for example: porridge made from roasted corn, milk, and sugar - or even 'Hausa Koko,' an unusual thick blend of millet, sugar, milk, and peanuts served with Koose, millet balls fried in vegetable oil.
United States - Cereal
Forget the morning rush, it's a sugar rush! Everything in the U.S. is bigger, better, and definitely sweeter. Try taking every chocolate and sweet snack ever made and turning it into a colorful cereal! From Oreo-infused, Reese's stuffed, and marshmallow-fluffed Lucky Charms, there's almost a cereal for every candy on the shelf.
Alternatively, a typical American-style breakfast calls for a hearty plate of eggs (sunny-side up, over-easy, or scrambled), waffles, bacon, bagels, breakfast burritos, and parfaits. A meal that's bound to make us full for hours - that's for sure! Just like our next traditional dish…
Jamaica - Fish and Fruit
When a country's biggest exports are fish and fruit, it almost makes sense to collectively plate fish and fruit for breakfast. So salted cod fish, shredded cabbage, and ackee (the national fruit of Jamaica) are the perfect go-to for breakfast goers on the island.
True to tradition, ackee comes from the Ackee tree, imported from East Africa before the mid-18th century. And if not picked, ripened, and separated properly, the fruit can cause accidental poisoning. To stay on the safer side, other go-to breakfasts include cornmeal porridge - made with corn flour, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.
Malaysia - Fatty Rice, Anchovies, and Egg
The best breakfasts are the ones that take one through the day. Look no further than Malaysia! Locals typically opt for 'nasi lemak' - fatty rice cooked in coconut milk with tamarind juice, fried anchovies, and an egg served on a banana leaf. Lots of flavors going on here!
This high-protein breakfast never gets old and can be satisfying for any meal. Alternatively, wafer-thin crispy popiah preparation varies in every Malaysian home - either filled with bean sauce, egg, shredded yam bean, or shrimp with chili sauce. Skip the morning coffee, and enjoy a frothy hainan tea, a blend of tea, milk, and coffee.
Korea - Ox Bone Broth
No more 'Sunday Scaries!' This traditional Korean breakfast is also dubbed 'hangover soup' (haejank-guk), but might not be the first thing to taste after a heavy night out. A broth accompanied by ox bones, chunks of veg or meat, and coagulated oxblood, this dish is not for any picky eaters.
No hangover, no problem. Breakfast time in Korea is a great time for family to start their day together, eating banchan - small dishes paired with rice centered on the dining table, perfect for sharing. More on the safer side, try gaeren tost-u, an omelet compressed into a sandwich with shredded cabbage and brown sugar to taste!
Japan - Fermented Soybeans
If anything is a sight for sore (morning) eyes, it's natto. High in protein, omega-3, vitamins, and minerals, this sticky paste of fermented soybeans seems to be the first thing many Japanese people want on their plates. And though not everyone enjoys natto, it's incredibly healthy.
Breakfast is Japan's ultimate fuel, packed with protein and carefully crafted. Swap coffee for miso soup with tofu and wakame; unlike in western culture, fish is the traditional spread on the breakfast table. Just try yakizakana, grilled mackerel, or salmon with rice and sake to drink.
Myanmar - Noodle Soup
In Myanmar, it's mohinga all day, every day. This noodle soup made with river catfish, noodles, banana tree stems, ginger, lemon, fish paste, and chili is the no.1 breakfast choice. In a culturally opposite world where western dinners are the go-to breakfast, nan gyi thote is also a preferred choice.
The thick rice noodle salad with chicken curry, garnished with a boiled egg and crispy fritters, calls for quite the fresh start. Finish the meal with a glass of Burmese tea, traditionally made with evaporated or condensed milk due to a lack of fresh milk.
Philippines - Salted Dry Fish
Introducing tuyo: more than just breakfast. This meal is incorporated into Filipino culture and tradition. Served on a bed of rice, tuyo translates to 'salted dry fish,' crisped to perfection. The Filipino culture is highly devoted to taking its food traditions seriously.
Another typical breakfast dish, sinangan at itlog, requires perfect technique. The garlic rice should be a day old for ideal texture and fried to a specific golden brown, salt levels must be precise to enhance - though the meat overpowers the flavor after being cured or marinated.
Nigeria - Cornmeal and Beancakes
Whether it's a sweet or salty morning, choices of moi-moi or akara with custard or pap are excellent sources of morning protein. In simple terms, Nigerians opt for cornmeal and beancakes, fried or steamed. Besides the steamed pudding, street corners are favored for easy and cheap breakfasts in Nigeria.
Expect to find instant noodles and eggs - the first dish children learn to cook. Alternatively, Nigerians take pride in their bread sandwich. Accompanied by an egg of choice, sausage, sardines, corned beef, and mackerel in tomato sauce (geisha), the dish is served with hot tea.
Egypt - Fava Beans
Say hello to the easiest breakfast ever: foul medames. Foul, the fava beans, are mashed together with lemon, cumin, salt, and pepper, finished with a drizzle of olive oil, and spiced up with tahini. Egyptian cuisine makes heavy use of poultry, legumes, and vegetables.
To start the day, fava beans are the favored ingredient - used to craft crunchy yet soft ta'ameya, which are larger versions of falafel. A heavier breakfast can also be 'beid bel basterma,' eggs cooked in ghee with dried beef. Not the healthiest, but award-winning!
Colombia - Bean, Rice, and Egg Soup
Changua, traditional 'breakfast soup,' is a great way to taste Colombian culture. Ready in just 10 minutes, add salt and green onion to milk and water, let it boil before adding eggs, and serve with toast and cilantro! Other Columbian breakfasts include the traditional dish 'calentado.'
Born in the Andean region, calentado translates to 'heated.' The dish calls for re-heating beans and rice from dinner the night before, partnered with egg, arepa, chorizo, chicharrón, and hot chocolate. One can find this dish in any Columbian restaurant on the menu around the world.
Peru - Raw Fish Ceviche Beverage
Peruvians seemingly go crazy for 'leche de tigre.' Considered a 'cure-all' food, aphrodisiac, and hangover cure, raw fish is marinated in citrus fruits for a ceviche beverage, spiced with peppers and onions. Forget finding western-inspired food in Peru.
Peruvian dishes are an essential part of learning about their culture. Committed to on-the-go street food, why not grab some roasted plantain fritters with a side of pork for breakfast? Or maybe one might opt for something fresher, like dishes of fried catfish or piranha served with a tomato and avocado salad.
Cambodia - Pork, Fish, and Chicken Porridge
Not the typical breakfast porridge: traditional Cambodian porridge, bobor, marks longevity in Cambodian history, making it a dining experience. Served with pork, fish, and chicken, most add sugar for a thicker taste. But don't shy away from other incredible Cambodian morning delicacies…
Look no further than 'num banh chok,' a rice noodle soup with pork or beef broth, fish sauce, banana flowers, and topped off with fish balls and chili paste. The skilled chefs behind the nation's favorite reduce the fishy smell and enhance the flavor - an incredible 1-pot breakfast.
Ethiopia - Butter and Red Pepper Porridge
This sticky and solid 'genfo' sits beautifully on the Ethiopian breakfast table. The dish is a blend of water, roasted barley, Niter qibbeh, berbere, mitmita, and a carved-out middle, filled with butter and red peppers. Fatira is also a typical breakfast dish served to sweeten mornings.
As for what that calls for? A crispy pastry shell is filled with scrambled eggs and honey, satisfying both savory and sweet cravings. Another famous wake-up call is a berber-marinated sliced pita - called 'chechebsa.' This dish is typically served with honey and yogurt.
Australia - Vegemite on Toast
When exploring down-under, it is likely to find unique foods, like Vegemite. In 1922, a dark and thick brown sauce developed in Melbourne, made from leftover brewers' yeast extract with various additives. And if one's looking for something satisfying to drink with it, natives recommend a glass of Milo.
What is Milo, exactly? The local beverage is a malt drink with a debatable Milo to milk ratio that has been around since the 1930s. It is also not uncommon for a typical breakfast to include western cultured fry-up or an unbeatable avocado toast. Yum!
China - Tofu Soybean Curd Pudding
Tofu is not just for stir-fry: in China, tofu pudding, otherwise known as 'dou fu nao,' is the breakfast go-to. Rich in nutrients, iron, calcium, and magnesium, the soybean curd is usually sweet and served as a dessert. China also gets adventurous with its breakfasts…
Locals enjoy more of a dunk and eat choice of 'crullers,' deep-fried youtiao dough dipped into warm congee, paired with a sweet or salty soy milk. Almost like dunking a doughnut into a coffee! Savory breakfast options can also include the classic dim sum dish filled with pork or vegetables.
Singapore - Coconut Jam Toast
Imagine French toast, only with a Singapore twist. This brings us 'kaya toast.' This dish consists of bread smothered in coconut jam (kaya), made from coconut milk, sugar, eggs, and topped with a dollop of butter. It's traditionally served with lightly boiled eggs as a side dish.
For those with a more adventurous tastebud, another traditional dish is 'fish ball mee' - a classic noodle broth with fish balls and chili paste. The fish balls add a subtly sweet flavor, one to test and try. More on the flavorsome side, 'lor mee' is a broth of soy sauce and cornstarch-coated noodle.
India - Rice and Lentil Pancakes
India's daily 'dosa' is made with a lot of elbow grease. The pancake-like dish is made from rice and lentils soaked in water for 6 hours, blended into a batter, and fermented overnight. Clearly, the Indian culture is famous for bold blends, especially when creating their morning masterpieces…
Look no further than 'poori,' a deep-fried wheat bread served with urulai kizhangu masala (potato ) or vegetable korma (vegetable in coconut curry). The dish calls for a very filling breakfast and can also be eaten for lunch and dinner. Consider us intrigued...
Iran - Boiled Sheep with Jam and Butter
The traditional 'kaleh pâcheh' is not for everyone: the traditional dish calls for selecting one's favorite part of a sheep, boiling it in water, and garnishing it with onion and garlic. While everything typically pairs well with a warm slice of cultural grain or naan, try adding jam and butter for something sweet and simple.
One can also enjoy an assortment of traditional dips like chutney and spiced potatoes. For something with more of a kick, Iranians opt for 'adasi,' a lentil soup topped with lemon juice - great for vegans and very healthy! But there's more where that came from - keep scrolling.
Russia- Milk Soup with Pasta
Served at breakfast and dinner, an unusual favorite in Russia is 'molochne,' a semi-sweet milk soup with pasta or any preferred grain. Popular within the family and perfect before the school run, perhaps it's no surprise locals opt for this easy dish.
Russian culture seems to prefer fun, sweet and playful breakfast dishes. Look no further than 'syrniki' - a fluffy ball-shaped pancake made with farmers' cheese instead of pancake mix. Despite the cheesy taste, syrniki goes great with jam, honey, syrup, and sweet or sour cream.