Breakfasts Around The World

Breakfast is traditionally thought of as the most important meal of the day. For most of us in the UK, breakfast tends to be toast or cereal, perhaps porridge if we're being good (or a fry-up if we're not!) You can easily get western-style breakfasts wherever in the world you go on holiday, but what exotic delights could you have if you went for the traditional breakfast option instead? Whether it's soup and salad in Turkey or salted fish in Japan, here's five of our favourite global breakfast treats...

full2 - breakfasts around the world


turki - breakfasts around the world

Van, in the east of Turkey, is famous for its breakfast culture. You can get a Van-style breakfast throughout the country, but for the best, go straight to the source! Van has many ‘kahvalti salonu’ - breakfast salons - which serve Van breakfasts all day long. This multi-plate feast starts with cucumbers and tomatoes, served with olives. There's fresh pastries a-plenty, and a variety of cheeses. Next up, ‘kaymak’ - a Turkish-style clotted cream, along with ‘cacik’, a thick yoghurt, mixed with parsley, and honey on the comb. This is all washed down with endless cups of tea. In the winter you might also be offered a hot bowl of tarhana soup, made from cracked wheat, yoghurt and vegetable which are fermented, dried and then re-hydrated with either milk or water. Mmmm!

japan - breakfasts around the world

For Western taste-buds accustomed to starting the day with nothing more challenging than a Pop Tart, the traditional Japanese breakfast can be quite a rude awakening. Rice is a staple at all Japanese meals, and breakfast is no exception. It's traditional to 'dress' your rice by making a hollow in the centre, then adding raw egg which you mix with soy sauce, pour in and stir in until the rice is golden. Typically you’ll have this alongside a bowl of miso soup, a savoury broth made from soy beans, and might embellish things with salted fish, rolled omelette, pickled vegetables or dried seaweed, along with ‘natto’ - fermented soy beans. You mix your natto with soy sauce and mustard, and serve with green tea for the perfect first-thing-in-the-morning kick.

egypt6 - breakfasts around the world

At first glance, a traditional Egyptian brekkie might not look too different to a traditional British one. Fried eggs accompanied by pita bread - so far, so normal. But those 'baked beans' won't be what you're expecting: British baked beans are made from haricot beans in a sweetened tomato sauce, while ‘ful medames’, as the Egyptian breakfast bean dish is called, is made with slow-cooked fava beans, sometimes with lentils which are tossed in a zingy mixture of olive oil, garlic, chopped parsley and lemon juice. ‘Ful medames’ are certainly healthier than our sugar-and-salt packed baked beans, but garlic at breakfast?! Black tea is the order of the day too, always from tea leaves, never a bag, and served tooth-meltingly sweet - undoing much of the healthy bean dish’s benefits!

n6799 - breakfasts around the world

In Baja California, the state that reaches down from the USA’s west coast like a finger into the top left-side of Mexico, breakfast comes fresh from the ocean. Baja invented ‘tacos de pescados’ - the fish taco - a lip-smacking blend of grilled or fried goujons of fish, served on a freshly-made corn or flour tortilla, and always puffy, smoky and salty from the grill. Fish favourites include local mahi-mahi or prawns. It's essentially post-pub food... dished out at breakfast time. The perfect additions to the basic fish taco are a good dollop of sour cream, guacamole and ‘pico de gallo’ - which roughly translates as 'rooster's beak'! (That's salsa to you and me). On the drinks menu, it's freshly-squeezed juice and a cup of Nescafe.

Sri Lanka
1758 - breakfasts around the world

The land of exotic spices, breakfast in Sri Lanka is guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling. ‘Kiribath’ - milk rice - is a coconut milky rice dish, sometimes made with red rice, served cut into diamonds. The cooling coconut is a perfect foil for the fiery hot ‘lunu miris’ that it's served with. This is a blend of red chili, onion, Maldive fish (smoked and sun-dried Tuna) and spices - strictly for those who like it hot! Hoppers are another breakfast favourite, made from fermented rice flour batter which is fried or steamed. There's huge variety in the way these are prepared, from string hoppers which are served like spaghetti, to egg and honey versions that come out more like pancakes. Chicken, fish or vegetable curries are breakfast staples here too, washed down with endless cups of tea - as you’d expect, with Sri Lanka being one of the world's biggest tea producers!

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  • 6


    mcgriddle - breakfasts around the world

    I don't like what's on the right, I only eat what's on the left.
    - xlivewire7x March 13, 2011, 11:48 am
    - tyduran13 March 13, 2011, 12:04 pm
  • 4

    what it suppose to look like

    20080504 fruehstueck deutschland small

    what it really looks like

    frhstck - breakfasts around the world

    • Vans
    • October 23, 2010, 8:42 am
  • 2

    with the exeption of the UK, most of europe has a "Continental Breakfast", which tends to vary depending on local foods etc. a continental breakfast normally includes a bread, cheese, meat (usually salami, sausage or similar) some fruit and yoghurt. the variations are things like, in france you would have a croissant as the bread, but in germany you have some sort of bread roll.

    in the Uk we have the good old english breakfast. what i normally have, but without some bits.
    I dont like mushrooms or black pudding, so never have that,
    i normally have either bacon or sausage, or if im lucky, then both, and normally tomatoes.

    Little tip aswell for us english here... it may sound disgusting and "back up" the fact im chubby, but if you crush an "OXO beef Gravy Cube" and mix it into the tomatoes before you heat them, you get some mega tasting tomatoes!!

    Hell im glad to live in england!
    - Roflcopter October 23, 2010, 11:51 pm
    *internet high five*
    - SkinnyBill October 24, 2010, 9:01 am
    Right back at ya man! *chews a mouthful of bacon* Want some?
    - Roflcopter October 24, 2010, 9:20 am
    - SkinnyBill October 24, 2010, 9:27 am
    - ZjWalker December 7, 2010, 7:31 am
    assuming you mean proper bacon, not that fatty streaky shit those americans call bacon?
    - SkinnyBill March 13, 2011, 7:14 am
    The very same my British brother!
    - Roflcopter March 16, 2011, 12:51 pm
  • 1

    Full English breakfast has got to be the best. Just thinking about it now is making my mouth water!

  • 1

    I don't eat breakfast.

    • ember
    • March 13, 2011, 2:10 pm
    WTF ember. how can you miss a meal there the best parts of the day
    - eman94 March 16, 2011, 12:56 pm
    - ember March 17, 2011, 11:05 am
    im not telling you what to do. im just saying how can you miss a meal
    - eman94 March 17, 2011, 11:32 am
    Abuse! Abuse! Someone help me! *crys*
    - ember March 17, 2011, 12:26 pm
    how is that abuse?? get a life please.
    - OMG101 December 23, 2011, 5:23 am
    You're not from around here are you?
    - Omen December 23, 2011, 5:49 am
  • 1

    I spy...BACON!!!!!!!!!!

  • 1

    Damn it, why was I born in the States. I mean, America rocks, but we are seriously lacking in the breakfast department.

    • Ertrov
    • December 23, 2011, 5:41 am
  • 1

    Sri Lanka breakfast loooks mighty fine

  • 1

    Is it me or does the Mexican one look like regurgitated intestines?

  • 1

    The Turkish breakfast sounds heavenly! My breakfast (here in 'Merika) is usually a bowl of oatmeal or cereal, and a hard-boiled egg. BUT Saturday is bagel day! And Sunday is pancake day, courtesy of my awesome fiance. :)

    • TexBex
    • January 2, 2012, 12:34 pm
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