When you think of breakfast, what comes to mind? North Americans tend towards pancakes or plates of bacon and eggs. Elsewhere, meanwhile, breakfast means fruit, fish, or fun twists on quintessential breakfast ingredients. Today, we’re exploring six unique breakfasts from across the globe. Give them a try, and you might wind up with a new favourite way to start your day.
Ackee and Saltfish: Jamaica
Jamaica’s favorite breakfast just so happens to be its national dish. On top of that, it proudly features its national fruit. How much more Jamaican can you get? Cooking begins with ripe ackee, either fresh or canned, which is boiled until tender. From there, the fruit is sautéed alongside salted codfish, onions, tomatoes, and scotch bonnet peppers. The final product is seasoned with pepper and paprika before serving. Popular sides include breadfruit, dumplings, and boiled green bananas.
Some folks love to start their day with a hearty bowl of porridge. Take the Finnish, for example; to them, breakfast means cereal stewed in hot milk, which they know as “puuro.” Puuro comes in multiple varieties, from oat-based kaurapuuro to mannapuuro made with semolina flour. Like the oatmeal that North Americans know, puuro tastes best with a few flavor boosters. Common additives include butter, sugar, and fresh or frozen berries.
When the sun rises over Turkey, that means it’s time for scrambled eggs. Menemen isn’t your traditional scrambled eggs, though; the dish calls for a host of additives: tomatoes, peppers, an array of spices, and plenty of olive oil. Onions, while a welcome addition, are often reserved for menemen eaten later in the day. The flavorful mixture is cooked until the eggs are barely set, then taken off the heat and served with toast.
This breakfast soup can be found throughout the Andes region of Colombia, particularly in the departments of Boyacá and Cundinamarca. Traditionally, the broth is made from equal parts milk and water, with a pinch of salt for flavor. Modern recipes often swap out the water for chicken stock. When the broth comes to a boil, a fresh egg is cracked in and cooked by the residual heat. Changua can be garnished with scallions, cilantro, or small pieces of cheese, and is typically served with stale bread for dipping.
Shakshuka is a staple breakfast food at Israeli hotels, as well as in kibbutzim – small communities traditionally based around agriculture. Hailing from Northwest Africa, the dish consists of eggs poached in tomato sauce and seasoned with Middle Eastern spices. Variant recipes might call for preserved lemons, sheep’s milk cheese, or merguez sausage to the added to the mix. Typically, shakshuka is eaten communally, rather than divvied up into individual portions.
Nasi Lemak: Malaysia
Like Jamaicans, Malaysians kick off the day with their national dish. Nasi lemak is a fragrant food, made from rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. While delicious on its own, the dish is at its best when served with a selection of sides. Sambal, peanuts, cucumber, and deep-fried anchovies are all welcome additions to the plate. Of course, they’re by no means your only options; nasi lemak can be paired with anything from tempeh to curry, depending on your palate.