Which country cooks the best breakfast? Jane Shilling made the case for Britain in The Telegraph, arguing that “only the Brits really understand how to break a fast in style”.
This was in comparison to American breakfasts, which Shilling found to consist of “soggy bacon, anaemic eggs, microwaved hash browns and lashings of undrinkably weak coffee”
Telegraph readers shared their own favourite variations on the full English breakfast, as well as other possible contenders for the best British dishes. Meanwhile, some readers came to the defence of other countries' breakfast offerings, including the perhaps unfairly maligned American breakfast.
Read on for the best comments on Britain’s breakfast traditions, and share your own perfect breakfast in the comments at the bottom of this article.
'It's the thing I most look forward to during a hotel stay'
"The thing I most look forward to during a hotel stay is the full English breakfast – an excuse not to have my usual OJ and bran flakes – and since it usually comes when visiting places with a long day and lots of exercise ahead it sets you up very well, so I feel no shame."
'The Ulster Fry still beats all-comers'
"While a full English is pretty good, the Ulster Fry still beats all-comers for the best start to the day!
"Just make sure the soda and potato breads are fried, not toasted – a futile attempt to make this movable feast healthy!"
'Every country I visit has good breakfast options'
"I could not eat a full English breakfast anymore. I love fresh fruit, nuts, dates and coffee – that suits me fine. Bacon and sausage is so horrid these days, both full of chemicals."
"Every country I visit has good breakfast options."
'Compared with the full English, every other choice is 'health pellets''
"The quote from Saki reminds me of an advert on American TV back in the 1990s that showed a brightly coloured scene where happy people were enjoying whatever breakfast product was being advertised, followed by a black and white scene of a miserable looking person with a bowl of a product labelled 'health pellets'.
"Compared with the full English, almost every other choice is 'health pellets'."
'We have much to celebrate in our culinary history'
"I love a traditional English breakfast, the best meal of the day! But don’t forget the main meal: steak and kidney pudding or pie, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Lancashire hotpot, and the best takeaway ever: good old fish and chips."
"We have much to celebrate in our culinary history, you can keep your snails and frog’s legs!"
'Bread and dripping was the only thing my Dad could cook'
"Ah, bread and dripping. I remember it as a child. It was the only thing my Dad could cook.
"He kept a huge frying pan of dripping (lard) on the cooker which was duly heated to near combustion each morning and slices of white bread were fried in it to perfection. I haven't seen it in years."
'For the best breakfasts it must be a good home-style bubble and squeak'
"For the best breakfasts, it must be a good home-style bubble and squeak (preferably prepared from genuine leftovers from the Sunday roast dinner) that ties it together, with local butcher's prepared bulbous and tasty sausages."
"Add other elements as desired, a selection from variously baked beans, scrambled egg, bacon, black or white pudding, mushrooms and freshly baked bread."
'The first time I had properly cooked bacon was in the UK'
"Of all the many pleasures this US traveler enjoys in Britain, chief among them is the 'full English' or 'full Scottish' breakfast.
"Have one of those and a few pints over the course of the rest of the day and possibly a sandwich from Tesco or a fish and chip take-away in the evening and you, my friend, have had good day of traveling and eating.
"Also, the first time I had properly cooked bacon, i.e. not rendered into a dry hard near-charcoal state (as at home), but a pleasant flexible still-looking-like meat state, was in the UK in 1971 when I was 19-years-old. Lesson learned."
'In my experience American breakfast are excellent'
"I think Jane Shilling is unfair on American breakfasts; in my experience they are excellent (and the bacon is always crisp) except for one thing – the drink.
"Coffee in the USA is usually dreadful, weak and insipid, and they cannot make a pot of tea to save their lives."
'Exactly what is wrong with grits?'
"It sounds as though your only American breakfast experience has been the tired offerings of the motel or hotel breakfast bar.
"Over here enjoy your choice of cereals, a glass of real Florida orange juice, bacon, sausage, eggs any which way (and exactly what is wrong with grits?), hash browns, waffles and maple syrup, iced water, as much coffee (real coffee not instant) as you can drink – and a choice of Danish pastries or blueberry muffins if you are still hungry."
'Crispy smoked bacon, the smell alone is worth getting up for'
"Crispy smoked bacon, the smell alone is worth getting up for. Wild mushrooms. The cultured ones lack a lot. Overcooked tomatoes – cooked until the flavour and texture resemble sun dried. Black pudding – so unctuous and tasty."
"Toast with oodles of melting butter. Fried eggs with cooked whites but still liquid yolk. Wonderful."
'People take breakfast seriously in America'
"America is the place where a good breakfast is celebrated now.
"In the UK, a bowl of Coco Pops is the most people will usually have with a cup of instant coffee.
"In the US, pancakes, waffles, 'girdle' scones, with maple syrup, 'French bread', ham and eggs easy-over. There are restaurants in the Bay Area which only open for breakfast. People take breakfast seriously in America."
'The worst breakfast I ever had? Boiled calves head'
"The best breakfast? Two fried eggs, two rashers of bacon (not too crisp), two good fat sausages, fried mushrooms, buttered toast, grilled tomatoes and baked beans. Not a fan of black pudding but each to their own on that item. Washed down with good coffee or, if not working, a pint of Old Speckled Hen.
"The worst breakfast I've ever had? In France, at six o'clock in the morning, boiled calves head which wobbled on the plate like some sort of satanic pink blancmange and, because they knew we were British as an effort to make us feel at home, topped with a rather runny fried egg.
"And then, dear reader, on top of that imagine that I only had about three hours sleep and (to my shame) been terribly, terribly drunk the night before."