The first meal of the day
The traditional breakfast in Britain is called the full English breakfast. It's a big, cooked meal, made up of several different parts. Because lots of these parts are fried, it's also sometimes called a fry-up.
A traditional fry-up will contain some or all of these things:
- eggs (fried or scrambled)
- fried tomatoes
- fried mushrooms
- toast or fried bread
- hash browns (fried grated potato)
- baked beans.
There are variations of the full breakfast in different parts of the UK. In Scotland, for example, you might find some extra items in your full Scottish breakfast. But like the English breakfast, it will be a big meal with a lot of fried food.
Why is an English breakfast such a big meal?
Hundreds of years ago, most people in Britain only ate two meals a day – breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was a simple meal, such as bread with dripping (fat from roasted meat, eaten cold) or cheese.
In the 1700s, a full English breakfast was how the rich upper classes showed their wealth at social occasions, like weddings.
Then, in the 1800s, the working classes began to eat a hearty breakfast too, to prepare them for the long working day ahead. Breakfast time moved to early morning so that people could eat at home before work.
These days, you'll find a full English, Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish breakfast on the menu in hotels and cafés throughout the UK. In the next step we'll find out how often most people eat a full English breakfast.
Traditional breakfasts in different parts of the UK
What do you think?
- Does this kind of breakfast look nice to you? Would you like to try it?
- Do you think people in the UK eat this every day?
Tell us what you think in the comments below.