Whether your day begins with a thick stack of syrup-drenched waffles, a plate of hummus and veggies, a bowl of spicy and tangy Choley puri or a steaming mug of coffee, breakfast around the world is personal and unique to each culture and person. It’s a mix of culture, family tradition and one’s taste bud preferences. Travel brings us in touch with the local flavour, including local breakfast traditions. Let’s take a look at some unique breakfasts from around the world.
The first meal of the day on this continent varies region to region. North African breakfast can be heavily influenced by Arab tradition, and can consist of cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, hummus, jam and toast and sometimes a hard-boiled egg. Throughout West and East Africa bread is a popular staple at breakfast. In countries with a heavy French influence, beignets and pastries are usually offered as well as omelettes, while more rural areas of Africa will find porridge or gruel made of millet, rice or corn on the menu, in addition to fresh fruit. In Kenya and Tanzania, common breakfast dishes include mandazi (a deep-fried mix of wheat flour, sugar and egg), beef samosas, chapati (a thin pancake made from wheat flour), hard-boiled eggs and tea. Ugandans enjoy roasted bananas with grilled beef for breakfast. Thin pancakes or homemade bread with jam and tea or coffee are common staples in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Somalia. South Africa — due to the colonial influence — enjoys French- and English-style breakfasts with eggs, croissants and bacon.
Asian breakfast foods vary greatly across regions, but often feature rice, noodles or soup dishes and are based on what foods can be grown in that area. Vietnam is known for its pho soup for breakfast, French bread with butter or jam, and even sticky rice dishes. Mango and dragon fruit are also often served. Chinese breakfast is also heavily influenced by local agriculture. In northern China, wheat is common, so a bowl of hot wheat noodles is a regular breakfast item along with beef wrap rolls, tofu, rice rolls and bean fritters. In southern China rice is a primary food and is a staple at all meals, including breakfast. But it’s a dish called congee (a rice porridge with the consistency of a thick soup) that those who live in this area in China love to dig into.