My good friend, Steve Bass, reminded me (as though I needed a reminder) that one does not go to England for its cuisine. So far I am in agreement with his reminder. Take, for example, the full English breakfast which Sidney Sussex College provides us as part of our “Sidney Sussex Experience.”
If there’s anything that makes a person British, I have to think it’s the full English breakfast. Tea and crumpets? Sure. Fish and chips? Sure. But beyond those culinary delights lives the Full English Breakfast. Consider the featured image in today’s blog (a continuation, by the way, of the events of July 18, 2017). It indicates what the British think are the essential ingredients of a Full English Breakfast. here are some individual preferences, but sausages, hash browns (McDonald’s are better), eggs (served just as depicted), baked beans (likely from a can), and bacon, the rashers of which remind me more of cured ham, sliced thin, than bacon. Of course, I like my bacon done veryveryvery crisp which renders the color dark brown. Fried mushrooms (but not too fried it appears), fried tomatoes, and fried bread (which is not toast; do not call it toast) also make the list, but are deemed by the British Full English Breakfast eating public less essential. Black pudding is high on the list, but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of that here in College Hall at Sidney Sussex College. Other than the lack of black pudding (and maybe I just didn’t see the stuff), the Full English Breakfast here at Sidney Sussex is pretty much the British standard.
Now, one might think that the Full English Breakfast, filling and satisfying if you are British, might not be a health-conscious breakfast. You would be wrong. The sausages can reduce blood pressure and the potential risk of cardiovascular disease because of the niacin in the sausage skin. Niacin is also good for the eyes, skin, and hair.
But wait, there’s more good news. Tomatoes also reduce the chances of a stroke. Baked beans alleviate arthritis and the symptoms of gout because of the folic acid and other good vitamins in the beans. I can’t think of anything good about fried bread, so I urge you to stay away from it.
So, with all due respect for Steve Bass, a man I have know for a half-century and whom I love like a brother, maybe one does come to England for the food…at least for a Full English Breakfast.