Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, keeping us healthy and sharp. But breakfast foods vary wildly from place to place.
In European countries like Spain, France, and Italy, the first meal of the day is a quick piece of bread or pastry and strong coffee. Meanwhile in Korea, breakfast is a sweeping event that crowds the table just as much as dinner.
Below, we take a look at some classic breakfast choices from around the world:
CHINA: Traditional breakfasts vary by region, but the combination of fried dough sticks (or "you tiao") and warm soy milk is beloved by millions. Dim sum and hot soups like congee are also popular.
AUSTRALIA: Australians love Vegemite enough to eat it every day. They also eat a lot of fruit and sometimes indulge in a full English breakfast.
BRAZIL: Strong coffee and milk is enjoyed with a plate of ham, cheese, and bread. Feijoada, a thick soup made with black beans and different meats, is also served in the morning.
COLOMBIA: Breakfast in Colombia revolves around the arepa, a dense, slightly sweet corn cake that's served simply with butter or topped with eggs, meat, or jam.
CUBA: The typical breakfast tostada (grilled, buttered bread) is served alongside or dunked into cafe con leche.
ENGLAND: The fortifying English breakfast includes eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, mushrooms, and cooked tomato.
FRANCE: A traditional breakfast is coffee and either baguette or croissant. Like Cubans, the French often dip their buttered bread into coffee.
GERMANY: Germans dig into an assortment of fresh breads, cold meats, local cheeses, butter, and jam.
INDIA: Breakfasts in India vary by region, but often you'll find a tray like this one, crowded with chutneys, dips, and breads like dosa, roti, or idli.
ITALY: Many Italians begin their day with a cappuccino and brioche slathered with jam or stuffed with chocolate.
MEXICO: The first meal of the day is hearty, with dishes like chilaquiles (below) and huevos rancheros being popular choices. Sweet rolls and coffee are lighter options.
JAPAN: Traditional breakfasts include miso soup, steamed white rice, pickled vegetables, and proteins like fish and Japanese omelet (or "tamagoyaki").
RUSSIA: Griddle cakes are huge in Russia. There's cheese-stuffed syrniki, crepe-like blini made with kefir, and fluffy oladi, which are about the size of a biscuit.
TURKEY: A traditional breakfast consists of bread, cheese, butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, jam, honey, and kaymak. It can also include sucuk, a spicy Turkish sausage, and Turkish tea.
SPAIN: Pan con tomate, or toast with grated tomato spread, is a popular savory breakfast in Spain. For a treat, many restaurants and vendors sell churros.
SOUTH AFRICA: Hot cereal or porridge, often made with corn and called "putu pap," is a common first meal here.
Source: Food By Country
KOREA: A Korean breakfast looks strikingly similar to a Korean dinner. There's rice, soup, the ever-present kimchi, some type of fish or beef, and other leftovers from the previous night's dinner.
JAMAICA: Ackee, a type of fruit that looks like scrambled eggs when it's cooked, is a favorite Jamaican breakfast food. It can be accompanied by fried plantains, salted fish, and fresh fruit.
SWEDEN: A typical breakfast at home is an open-face sandwich layered with either fish or cold cuts, cheese, mayonnaise, and vegetables like cucumber and tomato.
UNITED STATES: Breakfast foods vary widely from place to place, but eggs, potatoes, and bacon or sausage is the common trinity.
Max Rosenberg contributed to an earlier version of this article.
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