The Great British Breakfast…

is probably kippers or kedgeree for kayak fishermen like these, but what did you have for breakfast this morning?  Did you have anything at all?  Are you a cooked or cold lover?  Healthy or heart attack?

I know from my links to education just how important this meal is in given brain and body the fuel to get the day off to a good start yet I fear that an area where we once were world beaters is falling into a sad decline.  It may be called “the full English” but how many of us partake of it, other than when your trying to extract maximum value from your accommodation costs in a hotel with a good buffet option?

The morning fry up was an Edwardian innovation; an opportunity for landowners with a few pigs and chickens to demonstrate the quality of his produce to overnight visitors.  With the household staff otherwise occupied with chores it was designed to be eaten without domestic servants waiting on diners, leading to the “help yourself according to what you fancy” approach that continues in larger hotels now.  What probably began as bacon, sausage, eggs and mushrooms has grown to include beans, tomatoes, black pudding, white pudding, haggis, saute potatoes, hash browns, and more.  I’ve eaten most, but have never really been drawn to devilled kidneys!  Got to have HP sauce though.

Over the years, this morning repast was claimed by the working classes and became the staple fayre of any greasy spoon worth its salt!

So what started the decline?  I blame our transatlantic cousins, and in particular the Kellogg family.  John Harvey Kellogg, a doctor and theologian was a keen advocate of vegetarianism, and a strong believer in abstinence.  He gave momentum to those hard-core porridge and muesli lovers who believe that if it tastes of anything pleasant it is to be spurned!  John Harvey invented the cornflake.

His brother Will Keith Kellogg, who was having none of this restraint, took his brother’s invention, liberally added salt and sugar and founded what we now know as Kelloggs.  Millions of dollars of advertising, and brightly coloured boxes later and I grew up to be a cereal eater, and I still am, though appalled at the food industries insatiable appetite(!) for adding to chocolate to everything cereal now.  What is that doing to the diets of our children who are lured by the cartoon characters that adorn every tooth rotting box?

Today’s portrait subject John would have to opt for “other” if this morning is representative of his normal start the day routine.  He had cheese on toast.