Once upon a time a group of breakfast obsessives got together and decided to write about good and bad places to eat breakfast in London. Their pen names were all cheeky breakfast-y puns – Malcolm Eggs, Seb Emina, Blake Pudding, Poppy Tart; you get the jist. They fearlessly went everywhere in their quest for the most peerless fry up, the lightest pastries, the creamiest scrambled eggs. Together they made breakfasting in public a safer pursuit for everyone, for you knew where to avoid at your peril, and where to reserve ahead. These bacon-and-egg enthusiasts called themselves The London Review of Breakfasts, and the institution is still going strong to this day.
Now they have just published a book called The Breakfast Bible. It contains just about everything you could possibly want to know about breakfast. Boasting recipes from around the world, enabling you to construct the perfect Omelette Arnold Bennett, Israeli Shakshuka or Portuguese Pasteis de Nata at home, it also has some very interesting chapters on the changing trends in breakfast foods throughout history. There is a WHOLE CHAPTER ON TOAST.
My good chum Blake Pudding has written a particularly useful and amusing piece on Breakfast Etiquette, in which he warns: ‘The first rule of breakfast has to be respect the other people’s right to silence. Some people, me included, like to breakfast in complete silence punctuated by occasional grunts about passing the marmalade etc.’ I quite agree, I cannot utter a friendly syllable to anyone before 10am. Also, according to Blake, it is perfectly acceptable to leave half your breakfast unfinished. (I have never done this, I will even eat the burnt crusts of toast).
Blake also states that what you serve at breakfast is a clear indicator of which social class you fall into. When staying with someone you don’t know well, you can tell if they are from the “lower orders” if they served you unsmoked back bacon opposed to smoked streaky. “Are the sauce bottles permanently on the table? Is everything a little too perfect? That’s also a sign of a lack of class.”
Ignore these guidelines at your peril – and go and buy this lovely book!