Talk:English breakfast

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 Definition A meal generally consisting of four elements: egg, tomato, baked beans, and bacon or sausage. [d] [e]

Not '"beans", surely, but rather the unpalatable tinned concoction known as "baked beans" (Navy beans?). Are they really baked? Or just boiled in sauce? Aleta Curry 19:37, 29 July 2007 (CDT)

Almost certainly they are slowly baked in the sauce. At least Boston baked beans are, and I've looked at some Brit. recipes, and they seem more or less the same except for the seasonings. "Baking" them in the sauce is essentially the same as "boiling" them in the sauce, except they're simmering slowly instead of boiling rapidly. Hayford Peirce 20:45, 29 July 2007 (CDT)
What happened to the traditional fried bread? And sausages are really quite normal for a British breakfast. Is there a standard definition of this meal, or are you making it up?
THe "baked beans" I know from Arab and Greek cookery, although in those cuisines they are considerably nicer and healthier. The large beans [as opposed to the mangy things that Heinz use] are partially boiled in salted water, then a sauce is prepared by frying chopped onion in olive oil, then adding chopped tomato, garlic, water, a few herbs... and slowly baking the beans. IN greek these are called Gigantes [Large] lol.--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 22:24, 29 July 2007 (CDT)
(a ghost from the past whispers): no I'm not 'making it up' -- sausages are less common than bacon in these breakfasts (see Bangers and mash instead); CZ will be hard put to equal the exhaustive (and exhausting!) Wikipedia entry here. Russell Potter 22:55, 29 July 2007 (CDT)
I lived in London for 8 months in 1968 and my own recollection is that bacon and sausages were about evenly divided. The sausages, compared to Jones Little Links, however, were universally excruciatingly bad. Mostly composed of sawdust, I would say. Hayford Peirce 23:25, 29 July 2007 (CDT)
Oh. I hadn't noticed that this was your contribution, Russell! Well, my feeling is that the ingredients of this breakfast are quite arbitrary [as indeed are the contents of British sausages -- you should be so lucky to have only sawdust, Hayford], but it is possible that some sort of standardization has occurred since I stopped consuming unhealthy food about 25 years ago. So, I will defer to more recent victims of the phenomenon:-) --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 06:01, 30 July 2007 (CDT)


This is always called a "full English breakfast" in the UK. I think this name is far more common; in fact I'd never heard of "British breakfast" until I read this article, and presume this is the North American name for a UK meal. Never heard of "full breakfast" either, except in the meaning of having a substantial meal to start the day. I advise renaming this Full English breakfast. John Stephenson 00:44, 30 July 2007 (CDT)

Actually, I mean Full breakfast, given that on further inquiry I've found various names for this. Argh. John Stephenson 01:27, 30 July 2007 (CDT)

Make the beans optional and add mandatory sausages, and you've got a Full Irish breakfast :-) It may well be best on this artcle to follow the WP example, go for a broad, inclusive title, and then use the article to go into the regional variations - an Ulster Fry, for example, is pretty much the same except it'll include potato bread and soda farls. Anton Sweeney 09:55, 1 August 2007 (CDT)

Breakfast tea

I know that tea buffs use this term; is it American? As a Brit, I have never used such a term and neither does anyone else I know. Perhaps this is because we don't just drink tea for breakfast. :-) John Stephenson 04:58, 2 August 2007 (CDT)

A coffee drinker here - with or without my Full Irish - but yes, I've heard the term used and seen "breakfast tea" blends on sale. [1] [2] and [3] (the latter perversely says their Irish Breakfast Tea blend is the perfect afternoon tea. Though, on reflection, early afternoon *is* a good time for breakfast... ;-) ) Anton Sweeney 05:42, 2 August 2007 (CDT)
No, not haggis for breakfast. The Scots eat lorne sausage for breakfast, which is a slab of pink sausagemeat fried. And white pudding can be eaten, as well as black pudding.

Fried mushrooms are a common part of the breakfast (I agree even here in Scotland it's often called an English breakfast, but never a British breakfast). Toast and marmalade is an essential part.Gareth Leng 11:44, 30 August 2007 (CDT)

Ermmm, may I point out that CZ has an article called "British X" which no Brit here accepts as being called that, but actually as "English X"? Can someone deal with this? Clearly the article title cannot be left as it is, without proper explanation in the text on this matter. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 12:05, 30 August 2007 (CDT)
Outside of the UK, it is a 'British' breakfast. Within the UK, when I was younger, it was always know as a Full English Breakfast. A few hotels in my native Scotland, I have noticed, have started referring to the combination as a Full Scottish Breakfast. The only difference between the two is the branding really. The only truly Scottish addition I have come across is the occasional addition of a Tattie Scone (potato scone). I agree with Gareth that following up with Toast and marmalade (or similar jams) or at least buttered toast and either coffee or tea (both are usually offered). It is import to point out the the tea is consumed after the main course of fried food. The hot food is usually preceded or accompanied by fruit juice.
I note that this talk page is about 100 times longer than the article itself. We need to condense some of this and add it to the article.Derek Harkness 08:37, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
I agree, Derek.--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 09:50, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
You just keep giving me ideas, and I'll keep robbing them (like the marmalade) for my full Irish :P Anton Sweeney 17:04, 31 August 2007 (CDT)

whole tomato

You mean like a *whole* unsliced tomato in all its globuloid glory? Roasted whole? Fried whole? My own recollection from 39 years ago is that the tomatoes were served sliced -- cooked, yes, but sliced. Hayford Peirce 13:45, 31 August 2007 (CDT)

I know them cooked as halves, rather than whole. Never saw them sliced:-)--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 13:58, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
You're right: cut in half and the upper half broiled (grilled) or fried. Hayford Peirce 14:56, 31 August 2007 (CDT)

British breakfast vs. English breakfast

We may have to do some rethinking here. I just did a Google Image search (looking for pictures of the tomato) and found that there are an even 1,000 hits for "British breakfast" but *43,000* for "English breakfast".... ...said Hayford Peirce (talk) (Please sign your talk page posts by simply adding four tildes, ~~~~.)

Depends on whether anybody here has reason to think the Google data is somehow misleading. Otherwise, sure, use the common term for the title. --Larry Sanger 15:37, 31 August 2007 (CDT)

In the UK I often see it advertised at cafes as "English Breakfast", and can't ever recall seeing "British Breakfast" used in practice. That has led to the often used colloquialism: "The Full English" to describe it, so I would most definitely support your re-naming it to English Breakfast Hayford. Would not suggest "Full English Breakfast" though as that is just a popular derivative of the more frequently used root term "English Breakfast". --Ian Johnson 16:05, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
And that nomenclature is what gave rise to the very common name of English Breakfast tea. --Ian Johnson 16:08, 31 August 2007 (CDT)

Well then, like the song says, "move it on over"! I swear, the lack of boldness must be due to all this talk of English tea, or something--altogether too much politeness going on here. --Larry Sanger 16:28, 31 August 2007 (CDT)

Some questions for truly English citizens

What about toast and marmelade?

What about skippered harings? (I remember them of some hotel breakfasts.)

What about porridge? (Scottish? Haggis for breakfast, really?)

Peter Schmitt 00:34, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

A few comments:
  • Yes, we really should include toast and its various spreads (butter, jam, marmalade) as one of the basic components.
  • That's kippered herring. I guess if Keith Haring worked on a boat he'd be a skippered haring.
  • Porridge is known in North America as oatmeal. To a Briton, eating oatmeal would mean eating the uncooked raw ingredient.

-Derek Hodges 00:26, 27 August 2009 (UTC)