The traditional english breakfast, the full english, the full monty and fry up ... whatever you call it, this is the hearty cooked breakfast dish that has fuelled a nation for several centuries, as British playright Somerset Maugham was famously quoted: "to eat well in Britain you should eat breakfast thrice daily."
While the heart of a traditional english breakfast is generally defined by a fried egg, bacon, and sausage combo, there are plenty of other variants on a theme, although some may be deemed controversial.
Baked beans, hash browns, fried potatoes, tinned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, and black pudding are all good bedfellows, but essentially it's all a matter of personal preference. What gets put in the breakfast mix is down to how fragile or hungry you're feeling and probably what you have in the fridge at that specific moment.
There are plenty of riffs to be found on the classic. In eponymous British greasy spoons, belly busting breakfasts can be found with lashings of brown sauce or ketchup on the side and washed down with endless cups of builder's tea.
While, British institutions like The Wolseley in London put "The English" firmly at the centre of their refined breakfast service served with fresh coffee and orange juice. The fry up even holds a special place in a three Michelin star chef's home - watch Gordon Ramsay get nostalgic as he and his daughter cook up a storm at home in the film below.
First, here's a simple guide to the must-have vs nice to have in any traditional english breakfast:
The full english even has a special place in 3 Michelin star Gordon Ramsay's household:
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