The ‘full English’ breakfast – made up of sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, toast and some black pudding, if you’re so inclined – is a firmly established national dish.
Yet, while fried food has been eaten for centuries, the meal wasn’t adopted as ‘English’ until the 20th century. Its name grew as the meal was increasingly seen as an alternative to decidedly healthier ‘Continental’ breakfasts of pastries and fruit juices offered to tourists in Britain.
- How the Tudors invented breakfast
- Showering, teeth brushing and donning underwear: the strange history of our daily routine
But the English aren’t the only ones claiming the fry-up. The ‘full Scottish’ includes potato scones, while the ‘full Welsh’ comes with laverbread cake and the ‘Ulster fry’ with soda bread, or there’s the Canadian ‘Lumberjack Breakfast’, complete with pancakes.
Answered by one of our Q&A experts, historian and author Emily Brand