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April 21, 2008

Hands off breakfast!

Giles Coren - who subsists on a diet of wheatgrass and self-congratulation - has a go at the traditional English fry up (hat tip to a Celtic Warrior Queen). He cannot agree the outrage that has greeted the news Little Chef is to propose a healthier menu, dismissing the critics as "gastronomic reactionaries".

"Eggs and bacon were made for the breakfast table, not some poncy ice-cream,” roared The Daily Telegraph, no doubt suppressing a florid belch as its morning kippers turned in its stomach.

Hash-browns are dismissed as “ghastly manifestations of American imperialism” (damned uppity colonials), and Sir Winston Churchill himself might as well be playing Elgar in his Union Jack underpants as we read that: “A good English breakfast never lets you down.” No, it kills you. That's what an English breakfast does. The current £7.25 “Olympic” breakfast at Little Chef comprises: “two rashers of crisp backbacon, British outdoor-reared pork sausage, two griddled eggs, whole-cup mushrooms, crispy sauté potatoes, fresh griddled tomato, Heinz baked beans and toasted or fried extra-thick bloomer bread”.

Coren recommends porridge as a sensible alternative. These days they call it health and safety but they used to have a more honest term for the sentiment: Calvinism. But this is the best bit:

I'll tell you what's holding us back from finally getting rid of the fried English breakfast for ever: lack of education. You never see a person with a degree eating a fry-up, do you? Certainly not someone with a 2:1 or better in a humanities subject from a university founded before the invention of the iPod. That's because they are smart enough to know better.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 21, 2008 06:43 AM


You seem to be an educated man Mr. Flea.

Certainly you've had a fry-up or three have you not?

Posted by: dpatten [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 21, 2008 02:29 PM

I have indeed. Though this rite is much more difficult to enact properly in Canada due to the absence of proper sausages and my inability to master the creation of fried bread. Though we do have decent brunch in Toronto which goes some way toward making up for the generalized barbarity.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 21, 2008 02:43 PM

Mmm.... bacon and eggs... (And I prefer sliced or diced fried potatoes to hash browns, which always fall off my fork.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 21, 2008 07:47 PM

How do you make fried bread? That sounds delicious. I saw a picture of this breakfast with the article and it doesn't look like something I would eat every day but what a treat on the weekend! I'm going to have to try cooking a tomato that way too. Yummy.

But I must stand up for the humble hash brown, provided it is made with grated potatoes shaped into patties and fried in a skillet til they are all crispy on the outside. Mmmmmmm.

Posted by: MerryMaven [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 21, 2008 10:36 PM

I just had a few bacon wrapped hot dogs. While not in the same league as the Olympic mentioned, it has been banned in Los Angeles, so you know they're good too.

Posted by: Chad [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2008 04:37 PM