Okay, so some of my most favorite things about living in the UK are the ruins, the old cemeteries, the castles and of course, the massive breakfasts. Denny's, IHOP, Waffle House and Village Inn pale in comparison. Sorry, but they do.
Dylan woke up this morning craving a big traditional breakfast so we decided to hit up a cafe before commencing with our daily errands. I love cooked breakfasts because, just like in the US, they are "cheap as chips" but stretching a quid feels better here because practically everything is extortionately priced. I'll take my penny pinching victories in any way I can!
For just under £5 (roughly $7) I received an egg, 2 slices of bacon, 2 "quality" sausages, baked beans, a grilled tomato, 2 slices of toast (not pictured), a slice of black pudding, a hash brown, fried bread, and a cup of tea!
So let's explore this English breakfast in further detail, shall we? Okay, so the baked beans are just that...the cheapo depot "tinned beans in tomato sauce" that people here can't seem to live without. Seriously, there's an entire aisle devoted to them at Tesco. I don't like that they're called baked beans...because when I think baked beans, I think of not those up there in that picture. Those are what my mom eats for Weight Watchers and tries to pass off as "baked beans". Anyway, I can take or leave those baked beans but...that's just a figure of speech. I obviously ate them all because I freaking paid for them, dammit and I needed something to sop up with my toast.
Bacon. When I think bacon, I don't think of what is served as "bacon" here. Bacon, for all intents and purposes, is supposed to be thin, melt in your mouth, meat candy. Bacon here is essentially ham. Don't get me wrong, it's good...but it's not bacon. They sell "streaky" bacon here which is supposed to be like "real" bacon but even that just isn't quite right. The fat doesn't melt away when cooked, it just kinda hangs around and I don't like that. The one good thing about this bacon though, is I don't eat it in under 5 seconds before even unraveling my cutlery from its napkin. One must use an actual knife and fork to cut it. It cannot just be shoved into your mouth. So that's a good thing.
Moving right along we come to those "quality" sausages. I don't know what made them "quality" sausages but that's what the sign said so there we go. Remember how I said in my first blog how sausages here are creamy? Well, they still are. Nothing has changed in British sausage manufacturing over the past 72 hours. I tried to figure out what gave them a "creamy" consistency and I think it's just they're a finer grain or something. I don't know. It's weird. They're good when paired up with a bit of egg, ketchup and toast though. The toast masks the squishy sausage and the flavor is alrite. Cripes, I miss some good ol' American Breakfast sausage!
Next up, we have an egg. It's an egg. Tastes the same the world over, I imagine. Oh, and a grilled tomato. It tastes just like a grilled tomato ought to taste. Not entirely sure why they serve them with breakfasts but that's fine. More for my money, I'll take it. Oh, and I get to think "I am eating a tomato. This evens the score when it comes to my fried everything else. I am so healthy". Ah yes, and a hashbrown. Not a pile of shredded potato that you'd get in the US but it's still oh so tasty and I think there may be onion in them? I don't know. Think McDonald's hashbrown only thicker and better (that's what she said).
There are two things that remain on that plate that I'd never eaten before moving to the UK and those two things are black pudding and fried bread...
According to Wikipedia, "black pudding, blood pudding or blood sausage is a type of sausage made by cooking blood or dried blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled". According to me, "black pudding is fucking awesome". I'll be the first to admit that the thought of black pudding is absolutely abhorrent but omfg. Originally from Philadelphia, I was raised on Scrapple. Scrapple (once again according to Wikipedia) is "typically made of hog offal,
such as the head, heart, liver, and other scraps, which are boiled with
any bones attached (often the entire head), to make a broth. Once
cooked, bones and fat are discarded, the meat is reserved, and (dry)
cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced,
is returned to the pot and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, black pepper, and others, are added. The mush is formed into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until set". On paper, that sounds just as horrifying as black pudding so I guess being in love with Scrapple has opened up my mind to the prospect of black pudding. Black pudding tastes VERY much like Scrapple. It's so savory and is pan fried so it has a nice crisp outside with a delightfully smooth inside. I've had it most often with cooked breakfasts but have also had it with sea scallops and boy howdy, that's a flavor party in this fat kid's mouth.
Lastly, we have fried bread. I'll give you one guess as to what fried bread is. YES. It's essentially a slice of white bread, cut into triangles and then DEEP FRIED. You betcha, it's awesome. As Dylan said, it's basically shrimp toast without the shrimp, hahaha. It's so good and is such a wonderful vehicle for getting the ooey gooey delicious egg yolk from one's plate into one's mouth.
The other option for a cooked breakfast at this particular cafe was "The Belly Buster". 2 eggs, 3 slices of bacon, 3 sausages, fried bread, toast, tomato, beans, mushrooms, black pudding, 2 hashbrowns and a cup of tea for under £7. I was so tempted to order that one but I decided to hold out until NEXT TIME.
Mmm...next time...my belly's gettin' BUSTED.