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Breakfast, literally to 'break the fast' that one has undergone during the night, is the first meal of the day.

The traditional breakfast in Anglo-Saxon (Continental) cultures is porridge or (especially at weekends) bacon and eggs, but bread or cake, particularly muffins, with tea or coffee are also extremely popular. Cold cereal has also been popular since the early 20th century.

A full breakfast, is a traditional cooked breakfast, comprising at its heart bacon and eggs, that is popular throughout Britain, Ireland and other parts of the English speaking world. Depending on where it is served, it is called 'bacon and eggs', a 'fry, fry up', 'full English breakfast', 'full Welsh breakfast', 'full Scottish breakfast', 'full Irish breakfast', and 'Ulster fry'. The complement of the breakfast varies depending on the location and which of these descriptions is used. Full cooked breakfasts are no longer an everyday occurrence in many British or Irish households, although they occupy an important place in the concept of the morning meal and are the predominant business of many greasy spoon cafés, as well as generally being offered to tourists as traditional fare in hotels, guest houses and bed-and-breakfasts. Although it has declined as a breakfast it has grown in popularity as an 'all day breakfast' especially at weekends.

The U.S., especially in farming areas, has a similar tradition, with regional variations. For example, in the South, grits are popular, in addition to or rather than potatoes. They may be covered with red-eye gravy, usually made from pouring coffee into the fat in the pan in which breakfast ham steaks have been fried. In some areas, especially near the origin of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia, Coca-Cola may be substituted for coffee.

Many urban Americans skip breakfast, or have a fast-food equivalent such as a sandwich of eggs and meat. It is reputed that the standard breakfast in certain American fraternity houses is cold pizza and beer, with optional aspirin.

In France, bread and coffee with milk (café au lait) is a popular breakfast. The baguette, which means "long stick", is typically dipped in the café au lait repeatedly until there's only a tiny piece of bread left.

Breakfast items vary greatly around the world, bread is ubiquitous, but gruel, soup, noodles and dumplings are also eaten early in the morning.

In India, especially the urban areas, bread with butter, cheese spread, jelly or jam remain the staple food. However, traditional breakfast in north India includes Kachouri, Jalebi, Samosa, Puri with a variety of sabzi, halwa and tea. In south India staple brakfast includes idli, vada, dosa, appam, idiappam, poottu, noorpoottu, pongal with variants of sambhar, chutney and curry made of peas and other lentils, along with coffee.

A Japanese breakfast usually contains rice, toasted nori seaweed sheets, oshinko pickles, and fish, most often salmon.

Rice, beans, and some type of cornmeal-based bread is common in Latin America.