The beauty of breakfast

Photo by Blake Israel

For many of us, the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day has been instilled in our very being since the day we were born. No breakfast better exemplifies the ideal American breakfast than a big plate of pancakes and syrup. The perfect breakfast for many of us — myself included — is a heaping plate of pancakes shared with my family first thing in the morning on a weekend. 

And yet, for almost every other conceivable situation, this breakfast is not at all appealing, at least to me.

It’s far too dense and sweet for a regular day of the week where you intend on accomplishing things, with the sugar bogging you down on an otherwise regular workday. 

Which brings me to the problem that I have with many classic American breakfasts, from cinnamon rolls to French toast and all the classic cereals in between: they’re simply too sweet. Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I personally prefer a sweet treat at the very end of the day, as a sort of reward for surviving to the end of the day. 

The idea of a huge, disgustingly sweet meal to start off the day is, while delicious and filling, completely abhorrent to me. I would never dream of preparing for a test or getting ready for a workout with a belly full of French Toast; I’d pass out halfway through the day in need of a two-hour nap as a pick me up. 

Yet despite this unfulfilling meal as a start to the day, our other options are generally quite limited.

Apart from eggs, bacon and sausage, all other meal choices leave us with either an unnecessarily large amount of sugar, or a meal so bland and tasteless that I wouldn’t feed it to my dog. 

Every other meal has an endless list of healthier — or even semi-healthier — alternatives that are enough to keep things varied and interesting for months before a repeat occurs. 

This is really only a problem that Americans face. Every one of my other roommates isn’t American, and their idea of breakfast is quite different from our own.  

Whether that’s a bowl of noodles, a stew, or a plate of curry, their options are typically — just like lunch and dinner for us — limitless! I think that this problem should be addressed immediately, thus alleviating millions of Americans from a lifetime of monotonous breakfast dishes. 

We’ve put dozens of people on the moon and still can’t figure out a better breakfast to recommend than pancakes and syrup. The solution, for me at least, has been in trying my roommates’ breakfasts, and trying to incorporate them into my own cooking. 

Sometimes I’ll have fried rice from the night before, and simply add some eggs and milk on the side to give it that breakfast feel I’m so accustomed to. Or perhaps I’ll go with a curry and some rice to really fill me up. Once, my roommates and I even got together and tried to make a full English
breakfast instead. 

After experimenting with a bunch of other foods, I’ve reached two epiphanies. One: other types of food are delicious!

There is an entire world of savory breakfast dishes that I’ve never experienced, and I’m loving every minute of it. 

Most times I feel more refreshed going into the day, and have found I have more energy when not relying entirely on oatmeal or French toast as my most important meal of the day. And secondly, perhaps most importantly, I’ve found that I enjoy those sweet breakfasts that I’m so accustomed to even more than I did before. 

It’s much more of a difference going from noodles to pancakes, and it makes it even more enjoyable than before. 

Even my regular dish of oatmeal has become less boring, simply because I don’t find myself eating it anywhere near as often as before I started this radical new breakfast journey. 

The diversity of food has brought a whole new wave of excitement into my classic meals, and I’m finding more and more that I look forward to breakfast not as the worst, most monotonous meal of the day, but as the best meal of the day. 

I’ve found pleasure in enjoying whatever I find interesting for breakfast, and I implore you to make the same discovery for yourself.