What a typical breakfast plate looks like can tell a lot about a country's general food culture. Here are some glimpses of the fast-breaking meal in different parts of the world.
In European countries like Spain, France and Italy, the first meal of the day is a quick piece of bread or pastry and strong coffee. Meanwhile in Thailand, breakfast is a sweeping event that crowds the table just as much as dinner. Here are some typical breakfasts in countries around the world. Just add coffee or tea.
A typical New Zealand breakfast consists of cereal (especially the iconic Weet-bix for kids) and some toast which is accompanied by a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of juice or milk. A weekend indulgence could include scrambled egg, bacon, cooked tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns and baked beans. It's very easy to want to skip lunch after such a big breakfast.
Best place to have it: Main Street - Kingsland, Auckland is a wonderful spot for great coffee and amazing salads. The courtyard here is a particularly restful spot; there’s a yoga studio upstairs.
Cambodia’s quintessential breakfast dish is num banh chok simply referred as ‘Khmer noodles’. This simple soup bowl is made with of fresh rice noodles with a subtle curry made from locally caught Tonle Sap fish. Another one of Cambodia's most popular breakfasts is a rice porridge known as bobor. It’s often had with fried fish. The Cambodian coffee is bitter and highly caffeinated. To offset the bitterness and cater to the Cambodian sweet tooth, it’s served with sweetened condensed milk or ‘black’ with several heaping spoonfuls of sugar, usually over ice.
Best place to have it: The Khmer breakfast at the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, Siem Reap is humungous and cooked by chefs who bring their family recipes to use. The taste is authentic and the spread hearty.
Breakfast in Bahrain in an elaborate affair with dishes such as Balaleet a sweet vermicelli dish topped with an omelet and Baydh Tomat - eggs scrambled with crushed fresh tomatoes. Bahrainis also love their Nikhee, which is a dish made up of chickpeas fried in a special sauce. Alo Chab or fried potato kababs are a constant as also Khubz Tannoor a traditional Bahraini flat bread. And no breakfast is complete without Chai Haleeb - tea brewed in fresh milk flavored with cardamom.
Best place to have it: Saffron by Jena in Muharraq nestled among traditional houses, old souks and ancient forts offers a lovely atmosphere to tuck in the specialties. Do check out the traditional Bahraini date press or madbasa that has been preserved under the floor of the restaurant.
Thais are serious about food and that includes breakfast. They usually start off the meal with a heavy dish that includes one important ingredient – rice! Joke or rice porridge with marinated minced pork and a soft boiled egg has been a Thai breakfast staple for decades. Kai Krata - pan fried eggs shares the same popularity. This instant energy booster comes topped with peas, sweet sausage and pork. It’s the most favourite Thai way of having eggs in the morning. Patongo a Chinese doughnut is an absolute breakfast must-have. Imagine Churros but not as crispy. It’s dipped in condensed milk or dunked in hot coffee.
Best Place to eat it: You really can’t choose a better location than So Sofitel, Hua hin for a truly soul satisfying breakfast in Thailand. The artistically designed hotel is just a few blocks from the waterfront and the enormous breakfast spread is a microcosm of Thailand’s buzzy food scene.
An Israeli breakfast is a feast made up of a variety of cheeses, salads and breads. Freshly made hummus, baba ghanoush, pickled fish, olives (in various colors and shades of green to black) and flakey bourekas find pride of place on the breakfast table. And no breakfast is complete without shakshouka - eggs cooked in a stewed tomato sauce with plenty of garlic and spices and served in its cast-iron pan. The accompanying side of bread is perfect to wipe up that glorious shakshouka swamp.
Best place to eat it: Benedict in Tel Aviv is a breakfast haven. Popularly known for its signature egg preparations, the outpost serves breakfast 24/7.
Like most European countries, the first meal of the day usually is a quick piece of bread or pastry and strong coffee. In Flanders too things are no different. Various varieties of cheese, bread, muffins and of course Belgian waffles rule the taste buds of the Flemish apart from the delicious cold cuts and sausages available in plenty across cities.
Best place to eat it: The luxurious tearoom at Wittamer Tea room in Brussels comes with not just a stellar breakfast but also stunning view of Sablon. Don’t miss the pepper pralines, delicious cakes, tartlets and ice-creams. Even the royal family of Belgium is a fan of their chocolates.
Breakfast in Italy is not a huge meal like it is elsewhere. Home cooked ones usually include espresso, milk, dunking biscuits or bread, fresh fruit or juice. Breakfast at a neighborhood café is either cappuccino and a croissant, or a simple espresso, fresh squeezed orange juice and perhaps a savory sandwich.
Best place to eat it: If you are in Rome check out La Bottega Del Caffe in Monti overlooking Piazza della Madonna dei Monti. Simply enjoy a cornetto or go for a more wholesome breakfast of fresh fruit with yogurt or an omelet. If you feel like a cup of tea, it will be accompanied by delicious homemade biscuits free of charge.
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Image courtesy: From the outlets