We all love a good fry up, and breakfasts can be the best meal of the day. The English breakfast is a traditional meal that has become an all-day phenomenon. But what is the history of the English breakfast and how did it come about? Behind every dish is a recipe, and behind that is a story…

The roots of the English breakfast can be found in the 1800′s, during the Victorian period. They discovered that breakfast was the most valuable meal of the day. The English breakfast has humble roots. It started off with farm workers who needed a good, nutritious meal in the early hours to help them through a long and intensive day. They took whatever was nearby, such as bacon, black pudding and eggs; items which became crucial elements to making a traditional English breakfast.

The Victorians lived through a time where the gap between rich and poor was extremely significant, and the majority of the population would only eat breakfast and dinner. Breakfast and the breakfast table soon became a tool used by the upper class to demonstrate their wealth and status. They would order their cooks to provide a hearty and rich breakfast made up of a wide variety of fresh produce. They considered breakfast to be a relaxing and leisurely time that would ease them into the rest of the day.

However during the reign of Queen Victoria, a middle class began to emerge. Pushed by the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire, they aspired to adopt the practises of the fast declining upper class. They saw symbols such as lavish breakfasts as an opportunity to display their wealth and social class.

Throughout the period of the Industrial Revolution the English breakfast continued to evolve, soon becoming a meal that was enjoyed by the working class who needed sustenance and energy for their hard day of manual labour. Eventually, during the mid 1900′s, the English breakfast transformed from a novelty dish to the national dish. It was prepared and eaten by the general population, predominantly consisting of bacon, sausages, black pudding, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, toast and of course a huge cup of tea!

The Halal version traditionally substitutes the meat items with chicken of beef sausages and turkey bacon or turkey ham. As more of us go hunting for a decent English breakfast, more and more cafe’s and restaurants have started serving their own Halal English breakfasts. Filled with fried fatty foods and calories, the English breakfast has not become the most healthy of dishes, but it sure tastes good so we’re not complaining (but we are hungry though!)

Click here for our guide to Halal breakfasts in London