The first time I came to Europe in 1978, I lamented the lack of Real Breakfast. Given my small budget and craving for eggs, I was reduced to buying boiled eggs at train stations. When we did splurge once for a B&B, I was appalled by the cold toast triangles accompanied by rock hard frigid butter… and a soft-boiled egg in an egg cup, which I had no idea how to manage to eat.
Fast forward to 2011. Not quite as poor. Still amazed at the complete lack of understanding that the Whole Point of Toast is the melting butter on the hot crispy bread. The fried “tomahto” is a great idea, however – get one serving of vegetables in early in the day! And the mushrooms are simply decadent… sigh. What strikes me now is the immensity of the plate – how could one person ever eat that much and not be miserable all morning? B&B’s and cafes offer “full British breakfast” right and left, but they still don’t get the Toast. In the sketch above, made yesterday from a photo taken of my plate in RamsGate’s Belgian Cafe last week, you see the vegetarian version, a bit heavy on the potatoes, cold toast not pictured. This version substituted “bubble and squeak” (leftover mashed potatoes and cabbage) for “bacon”, which is usually like Canadian bacon or very thin ham. Non-vegetarian versions also include two very plump and delicious sausages… Both versions include the British version of “baked beans”, which is essentially boiled navy beans in watery catsup… no onions, no brown sugar, no actual tomatoe sauce….needs a bit of work in my opinon. But the Belgains also included a half-pint of Stella-Artois and coffee, so ultimately it was a good deal!