During the time that I was still traveling, which seems an absolute age ago now, I often came across either the English or Continental Breakfast. Mostly these were served in hotels and had such a vast difference, it was easy to see how the ‘continent’ and the ‘island’ remain separated from one another.
For the English, a continental breakfast appears to be a few slices of meat and cheese, some jam and a small selection of bread rolls and a croissant or two. The latter, I hasten to add, mainly in the higher echelons of the hotel business, and with good reason: the English or, as this article in a British newspaper suggests, the British cannot handle the croissant. Is it too foreign for a continental breakfast, or just to early in the morning to wrap your thoughts around a bread roll thing which isn’t straight? At least now I understand why the banana for muesli is already sliced.
Screenshot Source: Rachel Shabi / Twitter
The so-called English breakfast is a challenge for anyone, especially so early in the morning. I am told that the earliest forms of hotel English breakfast began with either cereal or porridge, then fried, boiled or scrambled eggs with sausages, baked beans, black pudding, tomatoes, kippers, bacon, toast and marmalade. So I can understand why some people are more than happy to select the continental version, with its simplicity and ease of handling. How big is a plate for an English breakfast, are you expected to try everything on offer, and can you go back for seconds if the plate is too small or your stomach too big?
Surely, though, a straight croissant is no longer a croissant, it is a mutation of the original. Should it be given a different name? And what about other foods and baked products which are complicated to handle or to eat? Isn’t it about time someone in the British Isles – although I am loath to include Ireland here – took a look at the shape and form of a slice of bread, since tomatoes, onions and sliced cheese do not fit on the standard size and that, for the British, must be a real problem if they cannot figure out how to spread a small, harmless croissant with butter and jam.
- Viktoria Michaelis.