I am not one of those Americans for whom a familiar breakfast serves as a security blanket. You know what I mean. “I must have fresh ground coffee.” “I have to start the day with a three-minute egg. Don’t those people have an egg timer?”
I welcome that plunge into local culture, as, not quite full conscious, I am confronted with something on a plate or in a bowl that seems, well, foreign.
How to Eat Breakfast around the World
1. New Zealand
Baked beans. Okay, get over it. Beans are a good source of protein, have a touch of sweetness, and the fiber equivalent of stewed prunes. The milk for your tea will be down the hall in the hotel in a small fridge.
Loosen your belt. Several times a day, stop in a café for Austria’s favorite sport—piling schlag (whipped cream) on coffee mit chocolate mit maybe a slurp of rum. But that is not for breakfast. At breakfast time, stack your plate from the tidy buffet with meats, pink and brown rounds, cubes, rectangular slices marbled with white. Beside the meat, platters with neatly arranged stacks of cheeses—hard, soft, pale yellow to pumpkin orange, and hard boiled eggs in egg cups. Appel strudel and amazing breads. Try the sour pickles—honestly they go well with the meat. Be sure to walk a lot between castles and churches.
Same as Austria, but with more cheese. Stuff your pockets with Gruyere and break it out for lunch on a mountainside overlooking a lake.
Ireland cooks up the kind of breakfast that leaves you in a stupor. Three kinds of meat and four kinds of bread (including Irish soda bread and heavy country wheat bread) and butter so good it makes you wonder if calling that yellow stuff wrapped in foil that you eat at home should be prosecuted for false labeling. Pile on some fried potatoes, some eggs, and take a nap before lunch. Only a few cups of strong Irish tea will keep you alert.