During the winter, my family loves to spend our weekend mornings at an English pub – in Chicago.
Yes, with the cold weather upon us and English Premier League soccer well under way, an English pub is a fantastic place to spend a morning fueling up and cheering on our favorite teams – even with our young sons.
For us, there’s nothing like joining with our fellow soccer fans, all clad in our respective jerseys, to cheer on our favorite teams.
The pub is like a melting pot of soccer fans of all ages, rubbing elbows, clinking coffee mugs (and pints) together, and slapping “high fives” – all while supporting teams from the English Premier League and beyond.
The atmosphere inside the pub is always jovial and warm – just perfect for taking the edge off of a cold winter’s morning. And, within the cozy, wood-paneled interior of the pub, fan after fan is crammed into table after table, ready to start the day off not just with soccer, but with food, too.
When in an English pub watching English Premier League soccer, it’s only fitting to want to tuck into a traditional full English breakfast. But, as I recently found out, I can hardly name any of the foods included in the dish. And, I was hard pressed to be able to explain what everything was to my sons.
With my husband vowing to try to start most of our weekend mornings cheering on Manchester United in an English pub in Chicago, I need to be prepared to order a full English breakfast of my own – with or without a pint of Guinness to wash it all down.
Foods in a full English breakfast:
According to Cookbook Author Elaine Lemm, the term "full" is used because the English breakfast is "full" of different foods. You also may hear it referred to as a Fry-up, Full Monty or Chub. And, then there are the regional varieties - the full Scottish, full Welsh, full Irish and Ulster Fry.
While the full English breakfast is traditionally served at breakfast time, it also can be eaten later in the day, sometimes replacing lunch, and is typically only eaten on the weekends.
One of my fellow Multicultural Kid Blogs members, Annabelle of The Piri-Piri Lexicon, recently shared an image with me of a poster that currently hangs in her family's kitchen. The poster breaks down the various foods in a "Full English Breakfast," which includes toast, bacon rashers, black pudding, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs, and sausage. And, it shows how that differs from the foods in full Irish, Scottish or Welsh breakfasts.
As another point of reference, the Full English Breakfast served at my favorite English pub in Chicago includes eggs (any style), bangers, rashers, beans, black pudding, white pudding, grilled tomatoes, hash browns and toast.
But, to be honest, I wasn't totally familiar a few of the foods included on Annabelle's poster or on the menu of my favorite English pub.
Bangers are sausages. You may be familiar with the dish "bangers and mash," which is sausages and mashed potatoes. According to Wikipedia, the term "bangers" comes from the fact that sausages, particularly the kind rationed during World War II, were made with water so they were more likely to explode if they were not carefully cooked. Luckily, this is no longer the case with our "modern" sausages.
Rashers are thin slices of bacon.
Black pudding is typically made from pork blood and a "relatively high proportion" of oatmeal. When included in an English breakfast, black pudding is usually served grilled or fried.
White pudding is similar to black pudding, except that it's not made from pork blood. Instead, it's made from pork meat and oatmeal, and formed into a sausage. White pudding is often served whole or cut into slices and fried or grilled.
While the rest of the items on both lists are pretty standard, everyone has their own favorite version of a full English breakfast.
Here is a look at some of the foods a few of my fellow bloggers like to include in their full English breakfast - and whether they even choose (or like) to eat one at all:
Becky of Rue du Belvedere was born in England and now lives in France. For brunch, Becky and her family occasionally enjoy a “full-on” English breakfast. For Becky, that means sitting down to a plate of toast, sausages, bacon, eggs (usually scrambled, fried or poached), baked beans, mushrooms, black pudding and tomatoes.
Claire of Expat Mama recently moved from England to Chicago. For Claire, a true English breakfast should include bacon, fried eggs, baked beans, sausages, hash browns, fried bread and HP sauce (a brown sauce with a malt vinegar base that's blended with tomato, dates, tamarind extract, sweetener and spices) – all washed down with orange juice. But, Claire notes that other people may also include tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding and kidneys.
Umm of Happy Muslim Mama has lived in England her whole life, but has never eaten a traditional English breakfast. But, her sister recently made a halal version of a full English breakfast, which included fried eggs, halal sausages, potato waffles, hash browns, buttered toast, beans and fish fingers. Like Claire, Umm said others may choose to include fried tomatoes, mushrooms and bacon (even turkey bacon for a halal breakfast), too.
Judith of Little Bilingues grew up in France, spent some time in Italy and now lives in England, but she hasn’t been able to embrace the English breakfast. In a post titled, “What do you have for breakfast,” Judith details why she prefers other breakfast options.
After hearing from my fellow bloggers, I feel even better that my favorite local English pub serves up an authentic full English breakfast that my family can enjoy as often as we please. And, I'm glad that I can now further explain some of the foods to my sons - and hope they'll try a little of everything, too.
Are you familiar with all of the foods included in a full English breakfast? What do you typically include in your full English breakfast? Do you also like to eat a full Scottish, Irish or Welsh breakfast? What do you typically eat for breakfast with your family on the weekends? Please share your thoughts and favorites in the comments below.
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