“Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly arranged and well-provisioned breakfast-table.”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables
Pizza for Breakfast?
My friend Myra and I met for Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. at Farm and Craft in Scottsdale. We wanted to be one of the first customers to get a table outside because of COVID19. Anytime after 8:00 a.m. in the Summer in Arizona would fry us like bacon. The waiter wearing his black face covering and black uniform led us to a bench seat close to the exit. He handed us the menus, and we began sloshing our hands with hand sanitizer. I don’t like eggs for Breakfast. I try to stay away from pancakes, waffles, or French toast, I don’t need to add on any extra pounds. I honestly prefer to eat lunch for Breakfast.
The waiter came to take our order. I ordered the BBQ flatbread: pineapple jalapeño BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, black beans, and mozzarella finished with lime crema and fresh cilantro.
“So, you like eating pizza for breakfast?” he asked.
I never thought of flatbread as a pizza. It comes in a rectangular form, not circular. It is not smeared with tomato sauce and covered with pepperoni and peppers and topped off with a thick white blanket of cheese. It is served on toasted bread with sliced or diced tomatoes, fruit or vegetables, and a very thin layer of cheese. I like to think of it as healthier than a pizza.
I grew up eating a breakfast of cereal, Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, scrambled eggs, pancakes on the weekends, and milk. A weekend breakfast included sausage and bacon.
While I was living in Mexico, I ate tortillas, frijoles, soup, and whatever was leftover from the night before. The sweetbread was in the basket on the table, and some of the family members drank coffee and ate bread.
I moved to Japan with my Japanese husband in 1981. The first morning I woke up to fried fish. A smell that reached the fine hairs in my nostrils and failed to tantalize my sensitive American taste buds. Misoshiru, a brown-colored soup made from fermented soybeans, toast, rice, a boiled egg, a small salad, and leftovers from the night before round out the full Japanese Breakfast.
Japan also has a Morning Service, which is offered in coffee shops. It includes a boiled egg, a small salad, a piece of toast, misoshiru, and a cup of tea. This is a “set menu”; there are no substitutes. A quick note if you visit Japan: A coffee shop will include a pastry or a slice of cake with your order of coffee. I made the mistake of ordering coffee and a piece of cake only to receive two slices of cake.
I attended a writer’s workshop in England and stayed in a boarding house for one week, where we made our own breakfast. On the first morning, I opened the cupboard to see what might be available. I was the only American, and I watched my English mates choose their breakfasts. They inserted their dried bread into the toaster and smeared it with jam. Some poured muesli into their bowls and added cold milk before digging in. Most drank tea or coffee. I chose a slice of bread with honey and a cup of instant coffee. Just like home.
After leaving the workshop, I stayed in a Bed and Breakfast. The choice for breakfast was the “English Breakfast”. A thick slice of ham, a fried egg, a form of pork sausage in the shape of a Polish Sausage, sauteed mushrooms, baked beans, toast, grilled tomatoes, accompanied by tea or coffee. The English Breakfast came the closest to an American Breakfast.
In Switzerland, I ate cheese, ham, apples, and canned diced pineapple. This was the same breakfast for five days. In Switzerland, breakfast typically includes bread, butter or margarine, marmalade or honey, maybe some cheese or cereal, milk, cold or hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. Those who are running to work will buy a Pretzel sandwich before they run onto the train. I ate fish pretzel. I thought it was tuna but it turned out to be an unidentified minced fish mixed with mayonnaise.
In Ireland, I ate bacon, sausages, baked beans, eggs (poached or fried), mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, and some cooked leftover potatoes made into a hash or a bubble and squeak. There was also toast, butter, marmalade, and lots of tea to drink.
There were no pancakes or waffles. A breakfast buffet at most American hotels includes waffles, pancakes, yogurt, fruit, toast, and a lot of cold cereal and sometimes hot cereal.
There was a choice of four different kinds of tropical fruit in Costa Rica, mangoes, papaya, berries, yogurt, eggs, coffee, and tea. There were no tortillas or beans. I was disappointed. Gallo Pinto consists of rice mixed with black beans, served with natilla (sour cream), eggs (scrambled), and fried plantain. Costa Ricans usually drink a cup of coffee or fresh fruit juice with it.
My discoveries revealed that breakfasts worldwide can be different from and the same as in the United States.
So yes, I am having pizza for breakfast, and I will take the leftovers home for lunch.