How the Tudors invented breakfast
In the Middle Ages, the nation that was to give the world the full English widely skipped breakfast. Yet, by 1600, a culinary non-entity had become a key part of our daily routine. Why the change? Ian Mortimer investigates
Few of us in the 21st century would dream of embarking upon our days on an empty stomach, but in historical terms, breakfast is hardly noticeable. Whole books have been written about feasts and banquets, dinners and suppers. Even teatime has its place on the shelves of our social history. But breakfast? Cornflakes, muesli, bacon and eggs, continental or full English – they are almost all ignored. And they are all features of the modern breakfast, which is far more often studied than breakfasts before 1600.